The White House.gov URL that once directed the public to an Obama administration page detailing a broad set of civil rights commitments and accomplishments was gone Friday, along with several other issues pages.
The failure to produce a Trump administration civil rights page, does, however, register in metaphorical and political terms as a significant oversight. Trump’s campaign was at times fueled by language and roughly-outlined policy promises that seemed to champion the utility of racial profiling.
Trump’s stated interest in perusing a possible ban on Muslim immigration, standing up a “deportation force” to implement a program of mass deportation and support for the use of police tactics such as “stop and frisk” signaled to Trump’s chief critics during the campaign that a Trump administration would not be particularly attentive to civil rights.
Since Trump’s election victory, his statements indicating that voter fraud rather than voter suppression ranks among the nation’s chief challenges and his decision to nominate Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as the nation’s next attorney general have intensified this perception.
The failure to include any information about civil rights protections or the administration’s philosophy on such matters also stood in sharp contrast to that of the Obama administration.
During Obama’s tenure, he directed significant political energy and capital toward expanding LGBT rights, improving police community relations and reducing racial bias in policing, and decreasing certain common forms of economic discrimination including gender wage differentials. He also spoke evocatively about racial tension and tragedies which cost some Americans their lives.
The Obama administration also confronted issues related to racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and identified efforts to expand economic and educational opportunities for the disabled and the nation’s veterans among its efforts to foster equality.