DOT hands out $1.5 billion in grants for 'woke' transportation projects 

Grants seek to advance racial equity, climate justice and union jobs in transportation.
Golden Horseshoe

The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just The News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government. The award is named for the horseshoe-shaped toilet seats for military airplanes that cost the Pentagon a whopping $640 each back in the 1980s.

This week's Golden Horseshoe is awarded to the Department of Transportation for $1.5 billion in grants for "woke" projects to promote "racial equity," "environmental justice" and union jobs in transportation.

Part of President Biden's $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the grants will be administered under DOT's Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program, the department said in a press release accompanying its Notice of Funding Opportunity. 

The DOT is "encouraging applicants to consider how their projects can address climate change, ensure racial equity, and remove barriers to opportunity," the department said. "The Department also intends to use the RAISE program to support wealth creation and the creation of good-paying jobs with the free and fair choice to join a union, the incorporation of strong labor standards, and training and placement programs, especially registered apprenticeships."

"The historic investments the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing today will help communities across the country modernize their transportation," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "After decades of underinvestment in America's infrastructure, we are supporting projects that help people and goods get where they need to go more safely, efficiently, and affordably." 

Former HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson slammed the grants as divisive.   

"It's rather quite sad that we would use this excuse to funnel money in for their pet projects; the Christmas wishlist of the woke left," Carson told Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity. "And singling out racial favorites: that doesn't really do anything. 

"If you think back to the last administration, it was a philosophy that a rising tide floats all boats, and we had the lowest unemployment for minorities — particularly blacks and Hispanics. We had the highest wages. We had prison reform. We created a situation where the HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) didn't have to come with cup-in-hand every year." 

In contrast, the woke  transportation grants "are used to further divide the American population," Carson said. "If you favor one group or another, all you're going to do is create tension. And we've gotten to the point where we think that we're enemies: We, the American people, we're not each other's enemies."

The DOT did not respond to a request for comment on the grants or Carson's comments.