'Blankenstein Must Be Fired'
A senior Trump appointee at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is under fire after racist and anti-equality blog posts from 2004 were discovered by The Washington Post. Eric Blankenstein, who makes $259,500 a year, is responsible for enforcing laws against financial discrimination. He says that in the eyes of his critics he's guilty of "governing while conservative."
"Writing under a pen name in 2004," The Post reports, Blankenstein "questioned whether the n-word was inherently racist and claimed that the great majority of hate crimes were hoaxes."
In a prior report earlier this week, The Post also reported that in one of those 2004 blog posts, "Blankenstein wrote that a proposal at the University of Virginia to impose harsher academic penalties for acts of intolerance was 'racial idiocy.' He questioned how authorities could know the motivation of someone using a racial slur."
“Fine . . . let’s say they called him n----- ,” he wrote, spelling out the slur. “. . . would that make them racists, or just a-------?”
Blankenstein also wrote that “hate-crime hoaxes are about three times as prevalent as actual hate crimes.”
He also complained that "as with hate crime legislation, they are making it illegal to have a thought."
And in a chilling statement, Blankenstein also wrote: “Until a hood wearing KKK member is caught, why should the honor system be changed?”
One of Blankenstein's subordinates says the "tone and framing" of the blog posts "are deeply disturbing to me as a woman, African American, advocate for LGBTQ rights, and human being."
Those concerns came from Patrice A. Ficklin, a career staffer and director of the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, via a mass email sent to hundreds of agency employees, The Post reports. They also came after Blankenstein asked her to write a positive note in support of him in response to an earlier Washington Post report.
Ficklin is calling into question Blankenstein's ability to perform his job responsibilities.
“After the article appeared, I began to read his posts and was struck by how they reminded me of debates we’ve had with Eric on supervisory and enforcement matters,” she wrote.
“And while he has been collegial, thoughtful and meticulous, I have had experiences that have raised concerns that are now quite alarming in light of the content of his blog posts — experiences that call into question Eric’s ability and intent to carry out his and his Acting Director’s repeated yet unsubstantiated commitment to a continued strong fair lending program under governing legal precedent,” she wrote.
Blankenstein, in response to calls for his ouster, is alleging anti-conservative discrimination by his critics.
“The need to dig up statements I wrote as a 25 year old shows that in the eyes of my critics I am not guilty of a legal infraction or neglect of my duties, but rather just governing while conservative.”
“Eric Blankenstein has done everything he can to keep the CFPB from doing its job, gutting the Office of Fair Lending and failing to file a single anti-discrimination lawsuit since he arrived at the agency in December,” Warren said in a statement. “Now we know why — Blankenstein must be fired.”
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