Obama administration DOJ official tells Senate panel that all American institutions are racist

“I think we all have implicit bias and racial bias," said former DOJ official Vanita Gupta

Updated: June 17, 2020 - 4:46pm

The head of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division during the Obama administration told lawmakers on Tuesday that she believes all American institutions suffer from structural racism. 

Vanita Gupta told the Senate Judiciary Committee that racism is something she sees in all aspects of American life. "I don't think there is an institution in this country that isn't suffering from structural racism given our history," she said.

Gupta's testimony was part of a Senate hearing on police brutality and racism as the legislative body begins discussion of police reform bills that would combat several of the issues that have punctuated the national discourse in recent weeks.

"I think we all have implicit bias and racial bias," said Gupta. A stunned Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) responded, "Wow." 

"You lost me when you wanted to take the acts of a few misguided perhaps malicious individuals and ascribe that to all Americans," he continued.

“The attorney general needs to explain why the Justice Department has abandoned pattern and practice cases and the department has declined to open a broader investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, investigations into police departments whose officers have been accused of brutal behavior.

"The attorney general needs to explain why the Justice Department has abandoned pattern and practice cases and the department has declined to open a broader investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department," said the senator, referencing the killing of George Floyd while in police custody on Memorial Day.

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