One of the first things Office of Management and Budget Director and bad tipper Mick Mulvaney did upon seizing the reins at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was to hire one Eric Blankenstein, first as a senior adviser and then associate director for supervision, enforcement and fair lending. Now, Mulvaney’s not good at a lot of things, so it is possible that he and his underlings never Googled Blankenstein before handing him a top job at an agency they don’t think should exist. It’s also possible that, as a former Republican congressman from South Carolina, Mulvaney found none of the following objectionable.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official responsible for policing racial discrimination at financial companies has acknowledged writing blog posts more than a decade ago that questioned the legitimacy of hate crimes and whether use of the N-word constituted racism….
In one post titled “Hate Crimes vs. Crimes,” Mr. Blankenstein described the University of Virginia’s policy to consider racial intolerance an honor violation “more racial idiocy at UVA,” writing that “they are making it illegal to have a thought.”
He also wrote, “Hate-crime hoaxes are about three times as prevalent as actual hate crimes.”
Blankenstein was unrepentant about those statements in a typically Trumpian way last week, but now that some of the people he works with say they’d rather not anymore, he’s being a bit more diplomatic.
“Do I regret some of the things I wrote when I was 25...? Absolutely,” he said in the email. “The tone and framing of my statements reflected poor judgment.”
“I have always rejected racism and sexism in the strongest terms possible,” Mr. Blankenstein added.
Of course. My strongest rejection of racism, as a white man writing for a blog, is also to muse on whether using the n-word constitutes racism and bemoan the “racial idiocy” of efforts to tamp down thereon. But perhaps Blankenstein has seen the light and recognized that a person who made those statements should perhaps not be in charge of enforcing anti-discrimination rules for lenders?
The top enforcement official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday expressed regret for “poor conduct” regarding past racial remarks he made on a blog more than a decade ago, saying he was “absolutely committed to carrying out the bureau’s fair lending mandate.”
Eric Blankenstein, a CFPB associate director overseeing supervision, enforcement and fair lending, in an email told CFPB staffers he intended to stay on the job.