For more than five years now, Seattle's Race and Social Justice Initiative has festered in the city's law books, unexposed by the Liberty Enforcement Squad at Fox News. But no longer! Fox host Megyn Kelly has unearthed the law from the city's webpit and is none too pleased. She's spent the last couple days berating Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes for doing things like cutting sentences for certain misdemeanor offenses and not prosecuting other minor driver's-license infractions. Follow me through the wormhole . . .
She is, however, familiar with a paragraph on the city's webpage that talks about the initiative, 'cause it sez:
Institutional racism is when organizational programs or policies work to the benefit of white people and to the detriment of people of color, usually unintentionally or inadvertently. For example, job requirements that put undue emphasis on college degrees over work experience may eliminate qualified candidates of color, who face institutional barriers to higher education.
Her translation, and I quote: "The city's website in Seattle claims that jobs that require college degrees . . . Are racist! Because more white people go to college!"
But let's let her do her own fear mongering:
Kelly claims as well that "city prosecutors have also stopped enforcing certain traffic and drug laws because they feel that they're too harsh on minorities."
She offers an fictional example: "You've got a third-degree traffic offense. You pull over the driver. He is a minority. Don't give him and citation and don't arrest him. But if he's a white guy, take him down to jail."
The only drug law that the city doesn't enforce is simple marijuana possession--a law that was passed by voters, has been on the books for several years, and has nothing to do with the the city's Race and Social Justice Initiative. So whatever she's talking about there is completely made up.
The driving law she exaggerates has to do with a policy Holmes has started in which DWLS3 offenses (driving with license suspended in the third degree) are not prosecuted as criminal matters. It's true that Holmes stopped prosecuting these lowest-of-the-low driving violations because they disproportionately affect minorities. But it's an across-the-board dismissal that affects white people in the exact same way as blacks, whites, Hispanics, Native Americans, or what have you--and only for third-degree DWLS stops.
Finally, Kelly ominously makes up Seattle's policy of "requesting less jail time for illegal immigrants who are arrested for crimes because they want to prevent the feds from deporting them."
This one refers to Holmes' policy of asking for 364-day sentences for gross misdemeanor offenses that before had called for 365-day sentences.
Once an illegal immigrant has been locked up for 365 days, an "automatic deportation" order is given by the federal government, and that person is shipped back to their country. Defense lawyers had often requested 364-day sentences for gross misdemeanors for people with questionable immigration status, but the city attorney is doing it for everyone, and at a judge's final discretion.
Subtle but important differences. But differences, nonetheless, that don't fit within the manufactured reality inside the Fox studio/parallel dimension.
Despite all that, Holmes went back on Kelly's show on Wednesday and attempted to correct the record.
Seattle Weekly asked Holmes about the Fox News piece. Besides pointing out the factual errors, he fully owned the progressive label that the network saddled him with and which Seattle voters elected him on.
"Someone in New York might not be fully appraised as far as what's going on in Washington," he said. "Yes, I'm an unapologetic Democratic progressive doing what I was elected to do. Some of the blow-back across the country is unfortunate, but I was happy to go back on Megyn's show and set the record straight."
Something tells me that you shouldn't expect a phone call from Roger Ailes to apologize, Pete.