June 15, 2020
Issue: Stopping Discrimination
Muslim Advocates Urges Rejection of Defense Nominee: “Where Anthony Tata Goes, Bigotry and Discrimination Follow.”
Nominee’s Anti-Black, Anti-Muslim Record is Disqualifying
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Muslim Advocates Public Advocacy Director Scott Simpson released the following statement calling for the unequivocal Senate rejection of Anthony Tata’s nomination as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, which is the Pentagon’s third highest position:
“Where Anthony Tata goes, bigotry and discrimination follow. His lengthy record of hostility and discrimination against Black people, Muslims and people with disabilities are absolutely disqualifying for any federal appointment. The Senate should reject him without hesitation.
His career as a media personality is built on anti-Black, anti-Muslim smears. He invoked slavery to attack a Black news anchor, he has repeatedly invoked race to smear Congresswoman Maxine Waters for her advocacy on behalf of police violence victim Rodney King, and he regularly perpetuates the anti-Muslim, anti-Black birther conspiracy theory that President Obama is a ‘terrorist’ and a secret Muslim.
He incessantly obsesses about Muslims. He called Islam ‘an oppressive, violent religion’ and even conjured up a subplot about ‘Islamic gang rape’ of ‘white British teenagers’ in one of his thriller novels.
But it’s not just his words that have been offensive. His actions during his limited recent time in public service roles have shown hostility to the rights of people of color and people with disabilities.
In his past position as the superintendent of schools of Wake County, NC, he was a leader in the attempt to re-segregate schools whose “conduct reveals a deep and unprofessional bias and a lack of fairness and willingness to hear all voices,” according to the NC NAACP.
After being fired from the Wake County schools position, he went on to lead North Carolina’s Department of Transportation, where he would get sued for discriminating against people with disabilities. That suit was ultimately successful and the NC Division of Motor Vehicle was forced to change procedures.
The Pentagon is the largest employer in America, with a deeply diverse workforce on seven continents. You can’t lead a diverse department while having such open contempt for diversity.
The Defense Department is filled with Americans of all faiths, races, and abilities. Tata’s record of hostility, bigotry and discrimination clearly shows that he should have no place there.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.