Betsy DeVos' pick for civil rights office has a terrible record on civil rights

Source: Associated Press

Betsy DeVos' pick to head the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has long been an active opponent of discrimination... against white people.

Earlier this month it was announced that DeVos would tap Candice E. Jackson as her deputy assistant secretary for civil rights, and acting assistant secretary for civil rights. Because the assistant secretary position requires Senate confirmation, Jackson will serve as "acting" secretary until she can be approved by the Senate. 

Jackson is a relatively unknown figure in public policy circles, but a report Friday from ProPublica delves into her well-established political philosophy honed during her time at Stanford University and through her work in the Libertarian think-tank world.

While attending Stanford in the mid-'90s, a young conservative Jackson frequently wrote for the Stanford Review. The Review is best known on the California campus as a right-leaning publication co-founded by Peter Thiel, a man who would later discover that he much preferred destroying news outlets to creating them.  

Betsy DeVos
Source: 
Evan Vucci/AP

In one op-ed unearthed by ProPublica, Jackson wrote that Stanford's affirmative action policy, "promotes racial discrimination." 

"As with most liberal solutions to a problem, giving special assistance to minority students is a Band-Aid solution to a deep problem," Jackson wrote. "No one, least of all the minority student, is well served by receiving special treatment based on race or ethnicity."

Jackson also reportedly complained about student support groups that were intended only for minorities on campus, calling them "discriminatory."

After college Jackson worked at the Libertarian Von Mises Institute, where she assisted and coauthored papers by the conservative economist Murray N. Rothbard. Throughout his career Rothbard expressed antipathy toward civil rights legislation including the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which he characterized as "monstrous."

It's not clear whether Jackson endorses Rothbard's beliefs or maintains her college position on affirmative action. But if the Trump administration hopes to make her the permanent "assistant secretary for civil rights," the Senate will have plenty of opportunity to ask her about it.

Whether they would take that opportunity is anyone's guess.

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Andrew Joyce

I cover politics and policy.

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