by Kathy Shaidle | January 17, 2009 12:57 pm
Barack Obama’s pick for his new “climate czar”, Carol Browner, is an odd choice for this influential post.
Not because her radical views about global warming and economics don’t line up perfectly with the latest far Left fads, but because her background is marred by incidents of racial discrimination that happened on her watch at her last big Washington job.
Others have already exposed Browner’s high level membership in Socialist International, where she served as a “commissioner.” (In the great Soviet tradition of “disappearing commissars,” Browner’s bio has now been stripped from the SI website.)
However, Browner’s performance at one of her previous jobs — as head of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton Administration — is only now receiving renewed scrutiny.
According to a February 2001 report in TIME magazine, the EPA was plagued with “festering racial problems” during Browner’s time in charge.
One African-American EPA employee, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, told TIME that she’d been passed over for promotions for being “too uppity,” adding, “We [African-American employees] were treated like Negroes, to use a polite term. We were put in our place.”
Coleman-Adebayo was later awarded $600,000 in damages in a settlement that found the EPA guilty of “discrimination and retaliation against whistle blowers.”
Shortly thereafter, Congress passed the “No Fear” government whistle blower protection act in response to the Coleman-Adebayo v. Carol Browner decision.
Dr. Coleman-Adebayo lamented in a recent interview, “The very woman I prevailed against in court is being elevated to a White House decision-level position.”
At least 150 EPA employees filed similar lawsuits during Browner’s time there.
In one particularly bizarre incident, blogger Shawn Mallow notes, “Anita Nickens, an EPA specialist, and the only black present during a visit of Mrs. Browner, was told to clean the toilet prior to her arrival. Afterward, the rest of her white co-workers bragged about it.”
It’s a good thing Browner’s appointment to the newly invented post of “Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change” isn’t subject to Senate approval.
Or maybe it doesn’t matter, given the Democratic makeup of Congress.
After all, during last week’s hearings, one Senator asked African-American candidate for Attorney General Eric Holder if he was a decent basketball player.
The party of JFK and Lyndon Johnson doesn’t seem to be as “racially sensitive” as it once claimed to be.
(Kathy Shaidle is Conservative Politics specialist at Examiner.com. She also blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 9th year.)
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