Energy & Environment

Interior official called Black Lives Matter ‘racist,’ defended Kenosha shooter

A recently appointed Interior Department official has called the Black Lives Matter movement racist and defended Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen charged with killing two people after opening fire at a protest in Kenosha, Wis.

Jeremy Carl was appointed as Interior’s deputy assistant secretary of fish, wildlife and parks in early October, joining the department without any publicity from the agency. His appointment, as well as his history of controversial comments, was first reported by HuffPost.

Interior did not respond to multiple requests for comment on his appointment, instead referring The Hill to the White House, which also did not comment.

In July, Carl penned a piece arguing the Black Lives Matter movement “is not marxist, it’s racist.”

“I don’t mean to pick on these individuals in particular; many of them are good patriots and conservatives who have explicitly denounced BLM’s racial politics,” Carl wrote on the American Greatness blog after referencing posts from a number of other conservatives. 

“But at the same time, we must be clear: Marxism doesn’t define the Black Lives Matter movement—anti-white racism does.”

On the same blog, he argued the peaceful protests over George Floyd’s killing were more harmful than the looting that followed.

“[T]he non-violent protesters actually are far more damaging to the long-term fabric of our civil society than the rioters,” he wrote

“Though many of the protesters have entirely sincere intentions, they are dangerous because their protests — often using ritual humiliation of their adversaries — are based fundamentally on lies and slander about white people, about police, and about America.”

President Trump has also been highly critical of the Black Lives Matter movement, calling a mural on New York City’s Fifth Avenue a “a symbol of hate.” He has also defended Rittenhouse, suggesting the teen was acting in self defense.

House Natural Resources Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) called Carl “an avowed white nationalist” and argued his hiring does further damage to an agency that is among the least diverse in government.

“Hiring Jeremy Carl, an avowed white nationalist, to run major portions of the Interior Department is the culmination of a long and intentional process that started early in the Trump administration,” Grijalva said in a statement to The Hill.

“It’s clear that [Interior] Secretary [David] Bernhardt either doesn’t know racism when he sees it or he doesn’t care, and the restoration of DOI’s credibility will have to start with the removal of the racist ideologues he put in place,” he continued.

“Addressing DOI’s well-known problems with diversity and inclusion will take time and demand serious attention from the next Interior Secretary regardless of who he or she may be.”

Carl’s Twitter account is private, but The Washington Post pointed to tweets defending Rittenhouse’s action in Kenosha.

Carl retweeted an image the day after the Aug. 25 shooting featuring men carrying rifles with the caption, “With law enforcement incapable of defending private property … Armed groups have begun protecting the city.”

Carl also reportedly linked to a white supremacist blog when he penned a 2018 op-ed questioning if Starbucks would “become America’s largest chain of homeless shelters.”

The op-ed came shortly after two Black men were asked to leave a Starbucks. The two had not purchased coffee while waiting for another party to arrive for their meeting. 

The piece posits that if customers cannot be asked to leave for failure to make a purchase, “Starbucks may soon find its customers don’t really enjoy sharing their space with transients.”

But in criticizing former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder, whom Starbucks hired as an adviser, Carl linked to the American Renaissance website, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as “one of the vilest white nationalist publications.”

Carl came to Interior from the conservative Claremont Institute, where he focused primarily on “immigration, multiculturalism, and nationalism in America,” according to their website.

Carl is not the only top Interior official to have espoused controversial remarks about Black Lives Matter. 

William Perry Pendley, the top official at the Bureau of Land Management, has also criticized the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a November 2017 Washington Examiner op-ed, Pendley wrote that “Michael Brown never raised his hands in surrender and cried, ‘Hands up; Don’t shoot.’”

“We know the political movement spawned August 9, 2014, Black Lives Matter, was built on that terrible lie,” he said, criticizing those fearful of saying “all lives matter.’”

Updated: 2:07 p.m.

Tags Black Lives Matter Donald Trump Eric Holder Interior Department Wisconsin

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