Cancellation Comes After Sustained Coalition Effort Against Deeply Bigoted and Unqualified Nominee
Washington, DC — On Thursday, the Senate Armed Forces Committee abruptly cancelled a hearing on the nomination of Anthony Tata to be Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon moments before it was set to begin. Yesterday, Muslim Advocates and a coalition of civil rights and veterans groups hosted a press call urging senators to oppose Tata’s nomination because of his long history of mismanagement and offensive, anti-Muslim, anti-Black words and acts. Muslim Advocates, NAACP, the Center for Disability Rights, the American Federation of Teachers and the Southern Poverty Law Center also organized opposition from over 50 civil rights groups in opposition to the nomination. The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Public Advocacy Director Scott Simpson:
“This cancelled hearing shows that deep incompetence and naked bigotry can still be disqualifying in Washington, but only when people of conscience organize to hold their senators accountable. Tata does not have the votes and the White House knows it.
However, we are not out of the woods yet. Anthony Tata still works with the Department of Defense and President Trump has repeatedly shown his willingness to undermine the authority of the Senate by installing controversial and unqualified people unilaterally in an acting capacity.
We urge the White House to acknowledge where the wind is blowing and immediately withdraw this nomination. We also urge Tata to cease all work at the Pentagon.”
In an op-ed that ran this morning in the Daily Beast, Muslim Advocates argued that “Anthony Tata’s nomination is an insult to Muslims, to Black people, to Latinos, to the military and to us all. He risks turning the Pentagon into a nest of dangerous conspiracy theories and partisan witch hunts. He must be stopped. No less than the credibility and safety of the military and the nation are at stake.”
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.