President Biden’s controversial nominee to hold a leadership position at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) touted the “defund the police” movement during an appearance on Chinese state television last year.
Carlton Waterhouse, Biden’s pick to serve as deputy assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, appeared on China Global Television Network (CGTN), a Chinese state-run media network, in June 2020 as the George Floyd protests continued across the country.
“So the idea of defunding the police generally means we should reallocate the funds that are used for policing toward the actual services that are needed by communities,” Waterhouse, a law professor at Howard University, told the network.
“There are places where we see that they don’t have robust police forces and they seem to be able to live their lives in a way that is acceptable and comfortable for them,” he continued. “In all honesty, if you think about all of our major police forces, we have spent all of our money on a possible cure rather than putting it into education, into health and into social services.”
The comments were resurfaced Wednesday by the government watchdog American Accountability Foundation (AAF).
Less than two months after his appearance on CGTN, Waterhouse joined hundreds of fellow professors and scholars in signing an open letter pledging solidarity with the movement, the Washington Free Beacon first reported.
“We are inspired by communities that are demanding redefinition of public safety and redistribution of resources to those who have borne the brunt of state violence,” the letter read. “Movement organizers have long highlighted the state’s simultaneous overinvestment in police and divestment from key resources that communities require to thrive and stay safe: health care, education, housing and employment. Today’s calls to defund the police stem from a recognition that policing is rooted in anti-Blackness and the policy choices to impoverish people and then punish them for the predictable consequences of poverty.”
Waterhouse is expected to face tough questions during his confirmation hearing in the Senate. He was already facing criticism from conservative lawmakers 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 Tuesday. “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.’”
The AAF’s BidenNoms website details the many controversial comments on race made by Waterhouse, including a tweet in 2015 in which 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.”
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.”
Waterhouse did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment Thursday regarding his comments on CGTN or the open letter.
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 a 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.”