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Merrick Garland draws sharp contrast with William Barr by saying 'it is plain to me' that systemic racism exists in US

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22%. 1 min read.

Judge Merrick Garland testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be US Attorney General on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 22, 2021. (Photo by Demetrius Freeman / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DEMETRIUS FREEMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Judge Merrick Garland was asked to define systemic racism, implicit bias and racism during the first day of his Senate confirmation hearing on Monday, and his answers laid out a stark contrast with the last Senate-confirmed attorney general from the Trump administration.

(CNN)Judge Merrick Garland was asked to define systemic racism, implicit bias and racism during the first day of his Senate confirmation hearing on Monday, and his answers laid out a stark contrast with the last Senate-confirmed attorney general from the Trump administration.

They have a disproportionately lower employment, disproportionately lower home ownership rates, disproportionately lower ability to accumulate wealth," Garland said, after being asked by Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, to define systemic racism.

Under the leadership of Jeff Sessions and William Barr, the department took a more limited role in reforming police departments accused of civil rights violations and Barr, on multiple occasions during last summer's protests after the death of George Floyd, refused to recognize the role systemic racism plays in policing.

Kennedy also asked Garland to explain his view of the difference between people who are racist and institutional racism, as well as the "concept of implicit bias. "

"I don't agree that there's systemic racism in the police departments generally in this country," Barr said in that hearing.

"I'm pleased that Garland recognizes that the Justice Department is a representative of the people that it doesn't belong to the presidency or that its serving one individual or a party that it represents the entire country," Williams said.

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