DETROIT — After a closed session, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission voted recently to formally reprimand the state’s Department of Civil Rights Director, Agustin Arbulu, for making inappropriate comments objectifying women and creating an offensive work environment. In response, state Rep. Leslie Love (D-Detroit) has issued the following statement:
“The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is responsible for investigating claims of discrimination and harassment, so how can the people of Michigan trust they will be taken seriously when the director of the Department is guilty, by his own admission, of such obscene behavior? Not only did Mr. Arbulu objectify a woman, he also insulted a gentleman for not condoning his base behavior. The hypocrisy of the director of the Department of Civil Rights making such lewd comments is reprehensible. The MDCR should be the very last place someone who uses degrading language to debase the people he has the responsibility to defend should find refuge.
“I fully support the calls from my colleagues and the governor for Dr. Arbulu to resign, however, should he refuse to do the right thing, I implore the MDCR to do more than simply offer a minor reprimand. It is my hope that if he somehow remains within the department that the MDCR will: 1. Not allow him to maintain his title as director. 2. Require him to submit a written apology to the public. 3. Require him to complete an additional 24 hours of courses that examine sexual harassment prevention and awareness and gender-identity sensitivity. 4. Require him to host four community conversations throughout the state, with an emphasis on unconscious bias. A slap on the wrist — which is all he’s received thus far — is insufficient.”