Biden Admin Halts Texas Highway Widening Project, Cites Civil Rights Act of 1964
President Joe Biden’s Department of Transportation, headed by former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, has halted a Texas highway expansion project on the grounds that it is “racist.”
You read that correctly.
According to Politico, a portion of Interstate 45 near Houston was set to be widened. On Thursday, Biden’s DOT decided to freeze it, citing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
At first, activists tried to raise issue with the project due to its proposed environmental impacts. Some of the arguments they made seemed to be outlandish enough already, but they were repeated unironically by Politico.
“Twenty-six schools would be brought within 500 feet of the highway, increasing children’s exposure to pollution in a metropolitan area that’s already rife with car exhaust,” they reported.
Texas is one of seven states that is considered an “assignment state,” which means they can “serve as a proxy for the federal government when it comes to administering the National Environmental Policy Act,” Politico said.
As such, this project had already completed the environmental review process and been given a Record of Decision in February, which would seemingly give it a green light.
Once leftists realized that their wild claims of children coming too close to that dangerous car exhaust were not going to halt the project, they turned to a new talking point: racism.
“[About] 1,079 residential housing units – both single-family and multi-family housing, 344 businesses, five places of worship and two schools would be displaced by this project,” said Harris County Judge Hidalgo to KTRK-TV.
Of course, that level of displacement is unfortunate, but it is not uncommon for an infrastructure project of this magnitude. As a result, activists decided to add another layer to their opposition of the project.
“Local activists say the communities that would be harmed are disproportionately home to Black and Hispanic residents,” Politico reported. They provided no evidence to support this claim, yet they seemed to regard it as fact as they quoted exclusively leftists who agreed with the claim.
Politico reported that the federal DOT was invoking Title VI of the Civil Rights Act as a reason for pausing the project.
It states: “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
“Clearly the TXDOT blatantly violated [Title VI], recklessly violated it,” Democratic Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee told Politico.
Again, no evidence was provided as to how this expansion was disproportionately discriminating against people based on race.
However, the not-so-subtle secret in the Democratic party is that evidence is not necessary, as long as the claim being made supports their preferred narrative.
Hardly a month into the job, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was already repeating the lies of systemic racism and connecting them to American infrastructure.
“This is not just a matter of halfway accidental neglect,” Buttigieg told Politico in March. “We’re talking about some really intentional decisions that happened, and a lot of them happened with federal dollars.”
In other words, Buttigieg blamed previous administrations for actively promoting policies with the direct intent of harming minority communities. This claim did not need evidence, as far as Politico was concerned, because it went along with a narrative they were already pushing.
It shouldn’t be all that surprising, then, that Buttigieg took the first opportunity to virtue signal to the Democrats regarding how serious he is about his fight against racism in infrastructure.
Fred Wagner, who served as general counsel at the Federal Highway Administration under President Barack Obama, accidentally let the cat out of the bag in that regard.
“It’s going to be the first kind of test of the new administration to demonstrate how it’s going to apply its standards for more equitable transportation on a megaproject like this,” he told Politico.
Biden and Buttigieg do not care about making progress on infrastructure. Instead, they care about their appearance regarding the fight for “racial equity.”
Once you promote the lie that every institution in America is inherently racist, you must answer for that lie by tearing down those institutions without proper cause. Unfortunately, halting a highway expansion project represents only the beginning of that slippery slope.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.