One example occurred when Reagan sided with Bob Jones University in a lawsuit to obtain federal tax exemptions that had been denied by the IRS. The IRS denied tax exemptions to segregated private schools. Many of them were schools such as Bob Jones University, which enrolled a handful of minority students but prohibited interracial dating and marriage. It was the basis of this discrimination that the IRS denied the tax exemption.
Update RequiredTo play audio, update browser or Flash plugin. To see more, visit http: Steve Inskeep talks to former diplomat Uzra Zeya about what she sees as declining diversity at the State Department. She worked there for 27 years but walked away from her job in the spring.
Diplomats are gathering here for the annual meeting of the United Nations this week. That staff no longer includes Uzra Zeya, who ended a long career in the department this spring. The real question was - could I continue to do good, as I define it, in my role serving this president?
And I reached the conclusion, simply, that I could not. She left because of policy differences but says it had an effect. She says that loss of diversity in senior positions matters. And all along the way, I ran into funny situations where, oftentimes, people would have a hard time believing A, that I was American, and B, that I was an American diplomat.
Now, for me, I would have a small moment of joy hearing that because it was an incredible opportunity to explain what America is all about.
Certainly the foreign service that I joined in was a lot less diverse than what we see today. So a very white agency, very male agency when you joined in How has it changed? There was a real opening of opportunities for women, for people of color.
There were new programs that were implemented. There were also landmark shifts with respect to LGBT diplomats. When I joined the State Department inyou could be fired, summarily dismissed, for coming out. And it was President Clinton - it was an executive decision at the top which changed government policy that no longer subjected LGBT public servants to loss of their security clearances.
Did diversity improve even under a Republican administration? You served all through the years of George W. President Bush had two African-American secretaries of state, an African-American national security adviser. Those kinds of decisions - I mean, nobody would deny the absolute talent of all of those individuals.
But having those kinds of shifts at the top, I think, do change mentalities. What changed beginning in ? Well, certainly, the arrival of a new administration. I think there were a number of concerning events that, in succession, added up to what I would describe as a decline in female and minority representation at these top levels.
In the first five months of the administration, you had the only two African-American assistant secretaries in the State Department either removed or abruptly resigned from their positions.
You had the only assistant secretary equivalent, the director for foreign missions, also removed. You had the top-ranking Latino in the department, our director general for personnel, removed from his position. All of the persons mentioned were replaced by white successors.
There were lots of people who went out the door. This was not limited in any way to women and persons of color. I would even call it a brain drain in terms of decades of experience that went out the door.
And you need to acknowledge the impact and then hopefully make an effort to redress that. Did the political appointees who came in with the new administration just not trust you?
I think I never had the opportunity to even get to know them or make my case.Under most of Reagan’s strategies for the social and economic progress of the black communities, progress was contingent upon the granting of a prior incentive to private enterprise. Thus, black progress, at best, was subordinate to business progress under Reagan’s blueprint.
The president was so cut off from the counsel of black Americans that he sometimes did not even realize when he was offending them. One example occurred when Reagan sided with Bob Jones University in a lawsuit to obtain federal tax exemptions that .
• The black unemployment rate peaked at percent under Reagan in January , but the peak under Obama was significantly lower -- percent in March What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success Everyone agrees the United States needs to improve its education system dramatically, but how?
But lately Finland has been.
Education: The high school dropout rate has improved during the Obama administration. However, currently 42 percent of Black children attend high poverty schools, compared to only 6 .
The Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP) Based on the recommendations of a presidentially commissioned panel of political science and public administration experts that was known as the Brownlow Committee, Under .