Based on rhetoric coming from the Congressional Black Caucus, sequestration is racist because government cuts will affect blacks and other minorities disproportionately, as they are more likely to work for the government.
“Sequestration will impact everyone, but it will have a particularly harmful effect on communities of color who were hit first and worst by the great recession, and have yet to significantly feel the effects of the recovery,” Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) claimed earlier this week. “Federal budget cuts under sequestration would quickly mean cuts to federal, state and local public-sector jobs, which disproportionately employ women and African-Americans.”
According to Lee, 20 percent of the Federal, State and local public workforce is comprised of blacks, and 50 percent of the public workers are women.
Lee said that minorities, who already face staggering unemployment, will also be hurt by cuts in unemployment benefits and a number of other social welfare handouts.
Some people might argue that members of the CBC are overplaying the victim card. Just a few years ago, minority groups were advocating for increased affirmative action in Federal government hiring, citing Office of Personnel Management numbers that portrayed Federal workers as too male and too white. A 2010 OPM report said the Federal workforce was 66.2 percent white, 17.7 percent black, 8 percent Hispanic, 5.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander and 1.8 percent Native American. It was 56.1 percent male.
In response to those numbers, President Barack Obama issued a three-page executive order in 2011 requiring Federal agencies to hire more minorities.
The Obama order, along with recent high-profile affirmative action cases have presumably encouraged managers at all levels of government to increase minority hiring efforts.