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Letter Opposing Confirmation of Anthony Tata

Endorsement

 

Reconstructing Judaism joined a coalition of civil rights groups to sign a letter opposing the Senate confirmation of Anthony Tata to a central Pentagon post due to his history of bigoted statements and actions. 

The letter reads: 

 

Dear Senator,
 
On behalf of more than 50 organizations representing civil and human rights advocates, people of color, people of faith, teachers, students, disabled people, and allies, we strongly urge you to vocally and unequivocally reject the pending nomination of Anthony Tata to be Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
 
All of our communities have been directly harmed by Mr. Tata’s words and actions. We believe that the bigotry and discrimination he has perpetuated over this career disqualify him from any federal appointment and especially one of this importance. He is one of the most openly and brazenly bigoted nominees in recent memory.
 
The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy is the third highest position at the Pentagon. With a deeply diverse workforce of almost three million employees and service members and a budget of over $700 billion, the Defense Department is the largest employer in America. Anthony Tata’s record of discrimination and bigotry show that he’s patently unfit to assume such a vital role.
 
Tata’s use of racist rhetoric shows a deep disregard for Black people and victims of police violence.
 
  • He called veteran Congresswoman Maxine Waters a “vicious race baiting racist” for her defense of Rodney King, a victim of police violence. 
  • He invoked plantation slavery to criticize a Black news anchor.
  • He repeatedly invoked the “birtherism” conspiracy theory about President Obama.
 
He is deeply hostile to American Muslims and routinely invoked bigoted anti-Muslim rhetoric and conspiracies, including:
 
  • He repeated false claims based on bigoted narratives about Islam that the nation’s first Black President was a “Muslim,” and a “terrorist leader” with “Islamic roots”  who sought “a weaker America.”
  • He called Islam “most oppressive violent religion I know of.” 
  • In one of his novels that was published in 2019, he included a subplot about “Islamic gang rape” of white women.
 
Anthony Tata was a leader in the effort to resegregate schools. In late 2010, Tata was hired to lead the Wake County, North Carolina school system and immediately dismantled a nationally lauded desegregation program. He wrote and implemented a plan to eliminate school diversity in the face of multiple civil rights complaints and actions. “His racial insensitivity quickly became notorious,” according to the North Carolina NAACP. After his Defense Department nomination was announced, the organization called him “a walking scandal” who “seemed to regard African American parents as ideological adversaries, rather than taxpayers invested in the quality of their Public Schools.” He would go on to be fired less than two years after he was hired.
 
Under Tata’s leadership, Wake County schools discriminated against disabled students and Latinos. His time at Wake County schools was marred by allegations of violating various civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for refusing to provide Spanish-speaking parents with information related to special education services and processes and information about long-term suspensions. 
 
One simply cannot lead a diverse department while having such contempt for diverse people. A vote for Anthony Tata would be a vote to confirm one of the most clearly bigoted executive nominees in recent memory. We urge you to vocally and unequivocally reject the Tata nomination.
 

Signed,

  • Muslim Advocates, Co-Organizer
  • NAACP, Co-Organizer
  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Co-Organizer
  • Center for Disability Rights, Co-Organizer SPLC Action Fund, Co-Organizer
  • A. Philip Randolph Institute
  • American Atheists
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State
  • Andrew Goodman Foundation
  • Anti-Defamation League
  • Arab American Institute
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
  • Athlete Ally
  • Bend the Arc Jewish Action
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
  • Center for Disability Rights, Co-Organizer
  • Center for Responsible Lending
  • CenterLink
  • Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
  • Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
  • Color Of Change
  • EDGE Consulting Partners
  • Emgage Action
  • Equality North Carolina
  • Faith in Public Life
  • Family Equality
  • Feminist Majority Foundation
  • Free Press
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Lambda Legal Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa (LULAC)
  • Matthew Shepard Foundation
  • MoveOn
  • National Action Network
  • National Association of Human Rights Workers
  • National Center for Transgender Equality
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • National Equality Action Team (NEAT)
  • National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
  • North Carolina NAACP
  • Reconstructing Judaism
  • Revolutionary Love Project
  • Rian Immigrant Center
  • Seattle Immigrant Rights Action Group
  • The Interfaith Center of New York
  • Voices for Progress
  • Wallingford Indivisible

 

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