July 29, 2020
Issue: Fighting Bigotry
Civil Rights and Veterans Leaders Ask Senate to Reject Bigoted Pentagon Nominee Anthony Tata
Tata’s Record of Anti-Muslim, Anti-Black Bigotry and Discrimination Disqualifies Him for Top Pentagon Post
Washington, DC — On a Wednesday press call, leaders from Muslim Advocates, NAACP, VoteVets and Faithful America called on the U.S. Senate to reject Anthony Tata, President Trump’s anti-Muslim, anti-Black nominee to be Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon. On Thursday morning, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing to consider Tata’s nomination.
Click here for a recording of the conference call
- Click here to read a letter from more than 50 civil rights, faith, education and labor groups opposing the nomination of Anthony Tata
- Click here to read the North Carolina NAACP’s documentation of Tata’s record of racial hostility and mismanagement as schools superintendent in Wake County, NC.
“There is only one word that describes Anthony Tata’s suitability for this job: unfit,” said Muslim Advocates Public Advocacy Director Scott Simpson. “Does Tom Tillis want to endorse the resegregation and mismanagement of Wake County, NC schools? Do Martha McSally and Joni Ernst want to endorse mismanagement of the military? Does David Perdue want to embrace deeply anti-Black and anti-Muslim animus?”
“He is the supervisor for the men and women who will outline policy for combatant commands. This is a very important position. It is not a position for a retired military person to begin with,” warned VoteVets Senior Adviser Retired Army Major General Paul D. Eaton. “His very presence would make him a pariah overseas and greatly dilute our capacity outcomes, notably in Africa, notably the Middle East. This is not a guy we want in this position. He is a hot mess.”
“In 2010, the Wake County North Carolina School Board recruited Brigadier General Tata to be the Superintendent of its world class schools. His racial insensitivity quickly became notorious,” stated NAACP Washington Bureau Director Hilary O. Shelton. “Tata’s first project for the well regarded school system was to re-segregate Wake County Public Schools, transferring huge numbers of African American students back to inner city schools and their white counterparts back to the suburbs.”
“As Christians, whose scripture call us to love our neighbors, we reject all forms of hatred, including Tata’s racism and Islamophobia. It is not Islam that is oppressive or violent, as Tata falsely claims, but fundamentalism in all its forms, including its Christian and secular forms,” said Faithful America Campaigns Director Rev. Nathan Empsall. “Anthony Tata’s record and the agenda it represents pose a danger to America’s Muslim service members, to our Black servicemembers, to religious freedom, and to every American who cares about basic decency and public life, who cares about loving one another.”
Tata has a long history of making anti-Muslim remarks including saying that “Islam is the most oppressive violent religion that I know of” and that President Obama was a “terrorist leader.” Additionally, Tata has launched vile, ad hominem attacks on public figures such as former CIA Director John Brennan and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). And as superintendent of the Wake County, North Carolina school district, Tata spearheaded the effort to re-segregate the entire system and was accused of discriminating against Spanish-speaking parents and students.
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.