LTP News Sharing:

Citing the risk of formalized discrimination against people for their political and religious opinions, activists with Project 21, the black leadership network of the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), delivered a letter yesterday to U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kiran Ahuja on behalf of 42 of its members and the organizations they represent requesting that OPM reject a proposed change to federal hiring and retention rules that would affect not only current employees, but the future hiring of federal employees and contractors.

In the letter, Project 21 members told Director Ahuja that they “strongly urge you not to enact the regulation in any form because it will be especially discriminatory against many black Americans and the religious foundation on which the black community has been built.”

Under the proposed change, which was introduced in late January and just ended its public comment period, OPM will establish minimum standards of fitness based on character and conduct. The agency describes “suitability and fitness” as “a decision by an agency that an individual does or does not have the required level of character and conduct necessary to perform work for a federal agency.” Decisions related to conduct are arbitrary and subjective standards, which OPM essentially acknowledged by separating suitability and fitness determinations as “distinct from the assessment of an individual’s job qualifications.”

The proposed rule would add new barriers to federal service based on public affiliations and perceived coercive behavior and beliefs. As the political left increasingly equates speech with violence, the interpretation of these rules by a political bureaucracy could have devastating effects on those with traditional religious beliefs.

“The Biden Administration’s proposed rule change is clearly unconstitutional. It violates the First Amendment to our Constitution by prohibiting free speech,” said Project 21 member Mike Hill, a former Florida State Representative. “A person could be prevented from employment merely based on expression of a certain political or ideological position, including religious or conservative views. This is a real problem that cannot be ignored.”

“As a former U.S. Air Force officer and member of the Florida State House, I said an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” added Hill. “I am compelled to declare my aversion to this proposed rule because it does violate the Constitution. It was President John Adams who said our Constitution is suitable only for a moral and religious people, it is wholly unsuitable for any other. It is clear that those proposing this unconstitutional rule change are immoral and irreligious people. Having fidelity to my oath of office, I will oppose this proposed rule.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “Current Population Survey Employment Level,” one in five black workers are employed in the public sector. That, however, could all change under the proposed rule. Black families, who have remained historically religious, will be excluded because of their beliefs. Black Americans – like all Americans – shouldn’t be forced by government to choose between their faith and public service.

“Our faith and the biblical framework in which we view the world is at stake here,” said Project 21 Director of Membership Donna Jackson. “It’s clear that the Biden Administration wants us to adapt a Marxist CRT worldview so the government can gain more control over our daily lives. There is no compromise when it’s comes to who we are in our faith.”

“Biden and the left have always had this idea that they ‘own’ black people,” added Jackson. “With his ‘if you don’t vote for me, you ain’t black’ or ‘they gonna put y’all back in chains’ comments, it’s clear that Biden and his progressive puppeteers have a deep resentment towards any black person who dares to think for themselves.”

The members of Project 21 strongly urge that the Biden Administration not enact the regulation in any form because it will be especially discriminatory against many black Americans and the religious foundation on which the black community has been built.

“Given our strong concerns about religious freedom and individual autonomy,” the Project 21 members say in the letter, “We strongly urge the government to reject the proposed rule.”

The Project 21 letter to OPM Director Kiran Ahuja can be viewed here.

Author: Dan Faoro