Nation’s Largest Black Labor Organization
Condemns President Bush’s
‘Undeclared Domestic War on Diversity.’

CBTU President Attacks White House Intervention in
Univ. of Michigan Affirmative Action Cases

Washington, DC –
Declaring that President Bush should stop using black members of his administration as “ornaments of diversity” to disguise his contempt for affirmative action programs like the University of Michigan’s, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) today said it would mobilize its members to oppose Bush’s “undeclared domestic war against diversity and racial progress.”

CBTU President William Lucy said, “Even Ray Charles can see that Bush’s decision to intervene before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of white students who oppose the University of Michigan’s affirmative action plan for what it really is – a revival of antebellum racism on the Potomac.”

Lucy said Bush’s decision to revive the nomination of Mississippian Charles Pickering, Sr. (who was rejected last year by a Senate panel because of his racist views and behavior) “confirms an unmistakable pattern of deceit and hostility toward civil rights.” He added that Bush’s hostile intervention in the Michigan affirmative action cases and his arrogant re-nomination of Pickering makes it clear that “we should not be distracted by the color of the people who speak for his administration.”

“It’s the message, not the messenger, that lacks credibility here. It’s about achieving a truly diverse society, not pushing America backward, that should be the President’s aim,” Lucy said. Lucy, who is also international secretary-treasurer of the 1.2 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), said, “Bush is the most right-wing President since Ronald Reagan occupied the White House. Bush not only opposes affirmative action, he also has rolled back workers rights, cut programs that help poor families and turned his back on the fiscal and urban crisis gripping states and cities.”

Lucy said, “It’s time Bush listened to America and not to his right wing backers. Stop attacking affirmative action at home and pursue peaceful disarmament of Iraq.”

William Lucy is also a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council. The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, which was founded in 1972 and is the largest black labor organization in the country, with more than 50 chapters in the United States and Ontario, Canada.