Report Destroys Excuse That Previous Racist Writing Was Youthful Error in Judgement
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This evening, a report in the New York Times destroyed the most recent excuse dismissively offered by Mick Mulvaney’s handpicked CFPB fair lending division chief Eric Blankenstein for his recently uncovered racist and sexist blog posts.
Blankenstein initially said his only misstep was “governing while conservative,” but days later in an email to CFPB staff, he wrote, “do I regret some of the things I wrote when I was 25—relatively fresh out of college…Absolutely.” The implication that he now knows better is directly challenged by this story which reveals writing from Blankenstein in 2016 where he defends “birthers” from critics who say it is racist to advance or promote the unfounded conspiracy theory that President Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen.
“Eric Blankenstein’s apology was about survival, not remorse. He can’t claim he was only 25 and sweep these blog posts under the rug as some sort of youthful indiscretion when those indiscretions apparently never stopped,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.
He continued, “The fact that Mulvaney has yet to act, speaks volumes about the motivation behind his efforts to weaken the CFPB’s ability to protect consumers from discriminatory lending practices and hold bad financial actors accountable.”
According to a report in the Washington Post last week and subsequent research unearthed by Allied Progress, Eric Blankenstein wrote that calling someone “n—-r” (he actually used the word) didn’t make them a racist, asked “does it matter that someone got beat up because they were black,” claimed that hate crime “hoaxes” are “three times as prevalent as actual hate crimes,” blamed a woman’s right to choose as the reason a pregnant woman was murdered, and lamented that women can “‘f— someone [they] shouldn’t have’” and use abortion to “‘get rid of the problem’” but men can’t. He also likened stem cell research to the Holocaust.
Yesterday American Banker reported the CFPB employee union has called on Mulvaney to take “swift and decisive action” against Blankenstein over his racist and sexist writing, which they say shows “he is unfit for any leadership position in the federal government.” Pressure continues to mount on Mulvaney to fire Blankenstein despite a weak non-apology from him on Monday. This followed news of a “rebellion” and deep “dissent” within the CFPB over the issue. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown have called for Blankenstein’s ouster, with Brown taking to the Senate floor and calling on Mulvaney to act.