County gets sued for basing government help on race

Cook County, Illinois, and its commissioners are being sued for basing a government aid program on the race of recipients.

You’re white? You’re out!

The Pacific Legal Foundation is reporting its case challenges the “unlawful use of racial preferences in its Source Grow Grant program.”

The idea is to help small businesses.

The organization explained, “The COVID-19 pandemic was a brutal blow to small business owners nationwide. Cook County will soon implement its Source Grow Grant program, providing $10,000 in grants to struggling small businesses.”

The foundation added, “The eligibility requirements are simple: Own a for-profit company that opened before 2020, suffered revenue losses or increased costs during the pandemic, and employs fewer than 20 full-time employees. One more thing: The grant requires all applicants to identify their race and will distribute the limited number of grants, in part, on the basis of racial preferences for ‘persons of color.’”

Andrew Quinio, a lawyer for PLF, said, “It is wrong for the government to grant preferential treatment based on race.

“The government is attempting to pick winners and losers based on race, in utter disregard for the Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment protects individuals from discrimination due to arbitrary classifications like race.”

The complaint was filed on behalf of Dr. Domenic Cusano, who the board “does not consider” to be a “person of color.”

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“Like many others, Dr. Cusano suffered revenue losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant emergency orders. Yet the county will treat Dr. Cusano and Cusano Chiropractic differently on the basis of an arbitrary characteristic that is irrelevant to an individual’s moral worth: race. The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution forbids the government from discriminating against individuals on the basis of their membership in a racial group. It requires government to treat every person based on his or her individual qualities. Plaintiff Domenic Cusano brings this lawsuit to allow his small business to compete on equal footing for much-needed COVID-19 relief grants and to vindicate his fundamental right to equality before the law,” the complaint charges.

He applied for help but was rejected because “Dr. Cusano identifies as white and Caucasian.”

It was Commission President Toni Preckwinkle who openly admitted the racism, stating that the “quarter of the billion American Rescue Plan Act dollars to fund programs in alignment with our Cook County Policy Roadmap.”

Preckwinkle confirmed that effort will allow the county to use race to determine access to grants.

The commission, in fact, “directed the County Bureau of Economic Development to partner with non-profit groups, Women’s Business Development Center and Allies for Community Business, to implement a $70 million grant program that would provide early-stage business grants to micro-businesses owned by ‘historically excluded populations…’”

It identified those as those owned by “entrepreneurs of color, women, veterans, LGBT+ and persons with a disability.”

The complaint charges that Commissioner Kevin Morrison claimed the cash handouts “will go directly towards reducing the racial wealth gap and moving us toward the equity goals we strive for.”

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Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact