One of the most absurd and unnecessary goals of the left is to absorb as many different classes as possible under the umbrella of protection, creating new laws that make it illegal to discriminate against members of a certain demographic. Most of these laws were intended to protect Americans from discrimination based on traits they can’t control: gender, race, age, disabilities, etc. Lately, however, liberals have been pushing to include categories that a little more nebulous. For instance: criminals!

Obama has already made efforts to “ban the box,” which means federal agencies cannot ask about an applicant’s criminal history on the first application. And now, his Department of Housing and Urban Development is warning landlords that if they refuse to rent to criminals, they could find themselves in litigation. Why? Because of racism, of course.

“The Fair Housing Act prohibits both intentional housing discrimination and housing practices that have an unjustified discriminatory effect because of race, national origin, or other protectec characteristics,” said HUD in a new set of guidelines. “Because of widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system, criminal history-based restrictions on access to housing are likely disproportionately to burden African-Americans and Hispanics.”

HUD stopped short of telling landlords that they could not take a renter’s criminal history into consideration, but the guidelines are clear: If you turn down a minority renter with a checkered past, you’d better be ready to defend your decision in court.

“Arbitrary and overbroad criminal history-related bans are likely to lack a legally sufficient justification,” they said.

So, here we have Obama once again dividing this country based on race. Over the last seven years, we’ve seen this playbook again and again. Every time this president (or this party) wants to curtail freedoms, all they have to do is cite “disparate effect” to get what they want. It doesn’t matter if discrimination is intentional or not anymore; if minorities are being adversely affected, it’s illegal. One can only imagine where this particular rabbit-hole will take us.

Just read those guidelines. HUD can’t come out and say that criminal history is irrelevant, because that would be too absurd even for this administration. And it seems that if we lived in a monoracial society, they wouldn’t have made this rule at all. So that tells you everything right there. Yes, it’s common sense to put a lot of weight on an applicant’s criminal record. No, you can’t do it, because of slavery or something.

We need change in Washington, and we need it yesterday.