Leftwing media and organizations are fretting over U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s choice of Candice Jackson as acting assistant secretary for that department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), citing concerns about her views on affirmative action, feminism, and campus sexual assault policy.
“The new acting head of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights once complained that she experienced discrimination because she is white,” says ProPublica, which quotes the 39-year-old Jackson’s comment in the Stanford Review when she was an undergraduate.
“I am especially disappointed that the University encourages these and other discriminatory programs,” Jackson wrote about an extra help section of a class that was held solely for minority students. “We need to allow each person to define his or her own achievements instead of assuming competence or incompetence based on race.”
Jackson’s writings during and after college suggest she’s likely to steer one of the Education Department’s most important — and controversial — branches in a different direction than her predecessors. A longtime anti-Clinton activist and an outspoken conservative-turned-libertarian, she has denounced feminism and race-based preferences. She’s also written favorably about, and helped edit a book by, an economist who decried both compulsory education and the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Teen Vogue, a mouthpiece for the abortion industry within the adolescent female demographic, asserts Jackson’s appointment creates concern about how the federal government will respond to campus sexual assaults.
Jackson has “spoken out against feminism, criticized programs designed to assist people of color, and dismissed those who have accused Donald Trump of sexual violence as ‘fake victims,’” the magazine fusses.
The acting head of OCR graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2002 and worked for conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch. Jackson will lead the OCR until DeVos chooses a permanent head and that individual receives the Senate’s confirmation.
“Her college writings, as reported in the media, are out of step with Supreme Court doctrine and are inconsistent with progressive visions for civil rights enforcement,” former Obama-era OCR head Catherine Lhamon said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I have deep concerns about the notion of anyone in that role who doesn’t have long and sustained experience doing work of the type that is required for the role.”
In 2005, Jackson wrote a book titled Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine, which focused on the stories of Gennifer Flowers and other women who reported sexual assault or misconduct by former President Bill Clinton.
“Extensive research and firsthand interviews document the intimidation and harassment that these women suffered after falling out of Clinton’s favor, in the process revealing a disturbing truth about the ideology of the president and his followers,” says a description of the book at Amazon.com.
Jackson recently represented Kathy Shelton, who was 12 years old in 1975 when Hillary Clinton defended the rapist who assaulted her. Shelton attended a news conference prior to one of the presidential debates in October.
The attorney told American Thinker that Clinton “unethically and immorally blamed a twelve-year-old victim.”
A report in the New York Times cites Jackson’s appointment and the nomination of Carlos Muñiz to the post of general counsel at the U.S. Education Department:
The posts are among the most high profile in the department. Staffing in the Office for Civil Rights has been a source of concern for civil rights advocates ever since the Trump administration rescinded protections for transgender students as one of its first education policy moves.
The appointments have been met with trepidation from advocates who are anxious about the future of the Office for Civil Rights, which gained a higher profile under President Barack Obama as it focused policy as much on equity in education as on achievement.
Women victims’ advocacy groups have written to DeVos regarding their concern over the secretary’s commitment to the rights of “sexual assault survivors.”
Last week, DeVos met with Chancellor Steve Wrigley of the University of Georgia System and Georgia State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, who sued the federal education department over the 2011 Obama policy that expanded Title IX anti-discrimination laws to include how colleges and universities address cases of sexual harassment and assault.
The groups write:
Representative Ehrhart’s views on sexual assault are extreme and dangerous. Most recently, he spearheaded an unsuccessful Georgia bill that would have required colleges to refer all sexual assault reports to the police, even against the victim’s expressed wishes. Such a law would discourage victims from reporting sexual assault to their schools… Through the years, Representative Ehrhart has evidenced his disdain for survivors.
“In light of your meeting with a person who has been so openly hostile to Title IX, equality, and victims’ rights, survivors and their advocates are even more eager to meet with you,” the feminist groups add.