Biden's controversial EPA nominee to face Senate, expected to address allegations of past racist comments

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President Biden’s controversial nominee to hold a leadership position at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to face tough questions on his past comments about civil rights laws and support for reparations set to faces the Senate soon during his confirmation hearing.

Carlton Waterhouse, Biden’s pick to serve as deputy assistant administrator for land and emergency management, has come under criticism from conservative lawmakers who oppose his confirmation due to racist policies he allegedly supported in the past. 

“Carlton Waterhouse is a political activist who supports fringe environmental and racist policies,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., told Fox News in a statement.

“Arkansans and all Americans deserve a fair administrator of law — not an extremist who would weaponize the EPA to serve his wacky version of ‘social justice,’” he continued.

The watchdog American Accountability Foundation’s BidenNoms website details the many controversial comments on race made by Waterhouse, including a tweet in 2015 where he claimed police shootings were the “symptom” of the “problem” of “White racial dominance.”

Waterhouse also had a controversial take on the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s and 1970s, claiming in 2007 while a professor at Florida International University that the legislation “represented one more step in a series of unfortunate legal events that ultimately reflected the dominant attitude of society’s white majority toward ending the Jim Crow practices of the south.”

The EPA nominee also made a similar claim in his doctoral dissertation.

“Rather than a crowning achievement of American democracy, the civil rights legislation of the 1960s and 1970s represented one more step in a series of legal developments that moved America from one racial paradigm to another but ultimately reflected the dominant attitude of the society’s white majority toward ending the Jim Crow practices of the South more than the intrinsic justice of the American legal system,” Waterhouse wrote.

“These laws represent a continuation in a series of harmful legal events, despite their role in removing the imprimatur of legal legitimacy from much overt discrimination against blacks and others,” he continued.

Multiple professor reviews of Waterhouse say he focused a lot on race in his class, rather than property law, with one student remarking that was “frankly, inappropriate.”

“Professor Waterhouse is a great guy and he is more than welcoming to all students. However, his class is simply about race,” the student review says. “He brings race into everything he teaches and, frankly, it’s inappropriate.”

“We have options to take classes built around race. Property should be about property law,” they continue. “Not, how bad white people are and how great everyone else is.”

Waterhouse also claimed in another paper from 2009 that “race-neutral financial support programs do not represent an effective alternative to remedy past governmental discrimination” while calling for reparations for slavery and that “[r]ace-based exclusions should be viewed as an appropriate legislative effort to target a particular harm for remediation rather than constitutionally impermissible racial discrimination.”

When asked about his past writings, Waterhouse told Fox News in a Monday email that his statement about the landmark civil rights legislation “was noting that it was an unfortunate event that the legislation while impactful did not provide redress for the victims of historic Jim Crow discrimination.”

Tom Jones, founder of the American Accountability Foundation, told Fox News in a statement that Waterhouse “is a racist who is woefully unfit to serve in the EPA.”

“He is obsessed with pushing racially-divisive rhetoric and policies into every aspect of public life,” Jones said.

“If the Senate were to confirm him, they’d be giving an individual who advocated for racially segregated schools, opposed the civil rights laws of the 1960s, and who used his platform as a professor to indoctrinate young Americans in his divisive world view a seat at the highest levels of our federal government,” he continued.

Waterhouse’s nomination hearing was recently postponed, with a spokesperson for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee majority office telling Fox News last week that they didn’t have date for the rescheduled hearing to give at this time.

The EPA touted Waterhouse as “an international expert on environmental law and environmental justice, as well as reparations and redress for historic injustices.”

A spokesperson for the EPA told Fox News in a Monday email that Waterhouse “is highly qualified to lead EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management.”

“His prior experience at EPA and decades of work to address historical racial injustices and to fight for climate justice position him to lead programs like Superfund and Brownfields to protect all communities from pollution,” the spokesperson said. “EPA looks forward to swift action by the Senate to confirm Dr. Waterhouse.”

The White House did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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