In one of its final moves, the Obama administration hit JPMorgan Chase & Co. with a one-two punch in the form of two discrimination lawsuits: one for discriminating against black and Latino mortgage borrowers and another for discriminating against their own female employees.
According to Bloomberg, on average, black borrowers paid $1,126 more in fees while Latinos paid an average of $968 more in fees when compared to white customers.
JPMorgan spokesperson Elizabeth Seymour said, “We’ve agreed to settle these legacy allegations that relate to pricing set by independent brokers. We deny any wrongdoing and remain committed to providing equal access to credit.” They settled on the same day the lawsuit was filed.
The second lawsuit against the bank was filed by the Labor Department and claims that 93 female tech employees were paid lower wages than their non-female counterparts. JPMorgan Chase & Co. isn’t settling in this case and says that they’re looking forward to getting their evidence in front of “a neutral decision maker,” which is just another way of saying, “see you in court.”
Click here to find out more about the lawsuits filed against JPMorgan Chase & Co.
It’s no coincidence that ever since Donald Trump became the President of the United States, there has been a spike in hate crimes — both physical and verbal — and the numbers only continue to rise. It seems that every day, we keep uncovering stories of discrimination and racism toward communities of color. More specifically and more recently, Latinx communities have been at the center of these hate crimes.
From viral videos of white people telling folks to “stop speaking Spanish” or telling folks “you don’t belong here,” to mass shootings — it seems as though our community cannot catch a break.
In late August, it was reported that the parents of a 14-year-old Latinx student at Lancaster ISD’s Obama 9th Grade Center in Texas were furious after they found out a teacher had threatened their son with deportation.
According to the mother of the teen, this all happened over a dress code violation. The teen didn’t wear a belt to school and the school dress code states that belts are “required.” The mother also tells CBS 11 that the teacher was trying to teach her son a lesson for responding, “yeah,” instead of “yes sir.”
The teacher then went as far as telling the student that “even though you are a citizen, Trump is working on a law where he can deport you, too, because of your mom’s status.” After telling the student this, the teacher showed her son a coin with the word, “ICE.”
This incident in Lancaster, Texas is only one more case of discrimination and racism against Latinos that we’ve seen in the news lately.
According to a report by the Associated Press published after the mass shooting in El Paso, extremism experts believe that President Donald Trump’s use of language like “invasion of illegals” — words that were also echoed in the manifesto by the El Paso shooting gunman, is no accident. “They say historical data suggests a link between heated rhetoric from top political leaders and ensuing reports of hate crimes, only adding to the fears of those who could be targeted,” writes Michael Kunzelman and Astrid Galvan of AP.
Statistics released by the FBI last year showed that hate crimes in the U.S. increased by 17% in 2017 compared to the previous year. This marked the third consecutive year of an increase in hate crimes. “There were 7,175 hate crime incidents in 2017, and of the crimes motivated by hatred over race or ethnicity, nearly half involved African-Americans and 11% were anti-Hispanic,” the AP reports.
It’s needless to say that we’re aware that these discriminations and hatred against black and brown communities have long been in place before men like Donald Trump have taken office.
But, what data suggests here and what we keep yelling from the rooftops, is that while racism has existed long before this bigot has been in office — his administration has done nothing to dismantle that. In fact, all they’ve done is continue to feed the vicious cycle of racism and discrimination against communities of color.
As a result of a racist president that has no respect for communities of color — in any way, shape, or form, other folks find it easier to say racist things and feel even more entitled to act on those thoughts without thinking of the consequences.
In a statement from the district, Lancaster ISD said it did not support “nor tolerate behavior that promotes division.”
“Our district takes pride in being an inclusive district that puts students first regardless of their background. It is our goal to ensure a quality education for all students and a safe learning environment,” the statement continued.
However, it looks like “safe” is far from how the teen student feels.
According to CBS 11, he refused to be identified for fear of retaliation against his family. His mother also told the publication, “you’re basically scaring him. Now, he thinks I’m going to get deported. Now, he thinks he might get deported.”
No student or young kid should feel this way especially inflicted by an adult that’s supposed to someone they trust.
According to CBS 11, a school board meeting was organized in response to the incident in order to plan for a more effective way to handle future incidents like this. A spokesperson for the school district confirmed that the Lancaster ISD school employee accused of threatening the teen with deportation was no longer employed there. According to Yahoo Lifestyle, the mother of the teen boy said that two other families had also said the same teacher made other deportation threats.
The state of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is currently in limbo, as it has been since Donald Trump became president. The Democrats are fighting to keep the program that protects young undocumented people from being deported, while the Republicans are putting up their own fight to end it. In the end, however, it’s not going to be up to either party. The U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately decide in October the fate of the program and the estimated 800,000 people that are currently enrolled. There is one man that is fighting DACA tooth and nail and has been doing so for years.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is one of the fiercest critics of DACA and he just filed an amicus brief on behalf of Texas, and 12 other states.
An amicus brief is a legal document that is “filed in appellate court cases by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter,” and Paxton has a robust interest in the matter. The other heads of state that signed the legal document include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Mississippi.
“The DACA program was a lawless exercise of executive power, and the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA was absolutely necessary to uphold the rule of law,” Paxton said in a statement. “By creating DACA and DAPA, the Obama administration attempted to bypass Congress and unilaterally amend our immigration laws. The president’s duty is to ensure that the law is faithfully executed, not to unilaterally re-write the law anytime the president disagrees with Congress’ decision.”
The fight against DACA has been Paxton’s most significant battle since 2017.
He alleges that that DACA “puts undue financial strain on states. Under DACA, states bear the cost of providing social services including healthcare, education, and law enforcement, to non-citizens. Texas alone incurs more than $250,000,000 in total direct costs from DACA recipients each year.”
Several appeals courts have already ruled that DACA must remain in place. They stated that the president can make some changes but cannot end it altogether.
In November 2018, a Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit ruled “the cruelty and wastefulness of deporting productive young people to countries with which they have no ties.”
That is why the case has been turned over the Supreme Court. The highest court can also hear from both advocates and opponents, and try to settle this matter out of court. However, because the House and Senate are so divided, no conclusion has been met.
“We will continue to fight tirelessly to protect these outstanding young men and women as we work to ensure America remains a nation of hope, freedom, and opportunity for all,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement after the court’s announcement this summer, according to the New York Times.
Paxton is eager to win this fight, despite not hearing from his own party, including people that voted for him.
Republican voters have told him to end this battle because it’s not worth it. In 2017, Norman E. Adams, Co-founder of the Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy, and a conservative voter sent Paxton an open letter, in which he stated:
Dear Mr. Paxton,
First of all, I want you to know that my wife and I contributed to your campaign and voted for you. We did the same for President Trump, and we are proud of what he has done. We are not as happy with what you are doing. General Paxton, your threat of a lawsuit to overturn DACA is a big mistake. Instead of opposing DACA, Texas should follow President Trump’s lead on the 800,000 so-called “dreamers.” Evidently, you have been convinced that opposing DACA is good for you politically. We did not elect you to practice politics. We elected you to use good judgment and to make sound decisions that benefit Texans.
Paxton can fight all he wants but he should know that DACA supporters (both Democrat and Republican) will fight for DREAMers as well. And, since he is DACA’s loudest critic he doesn’t have much a chance to win anyway.