Manufactured Crisis

Remember, kids, it’s perfectly okay for Tea Partiers to carry guns at rallies and to presidential appearances, but it’s never okay for a black man to carry a baton at a polling place:

The Commission on Civil Rights today approved a motion asking Congress to essentially allow it to take the Justice Department to court if it refuses to enforce the commission’s subpoenas and other “lawful requests” pertaining to a lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party.

Commission on Civil Rights passes motion that could take DOJ to court.
In a heated, often unruly meeting where tempers flared, most of the eight-member, conservative-heavy commission accused the Justice Department of failing to enforce the voting rights law in a race-neutral way in the case of the black panthers.

The Bush administration filed a voter intimidation lawsuit against three members of the New Black Panther Party in January 2009, alleging that they intimidated voters outside a polling place in Philadelphia in November 2008 by hurling racial slurs.

Videos circulating on the Internet showed a man holding a baton outside a polling station.

But the Obama administration dropped the lawsuit in May against all members save Malik Zulu Shabazz, who was accused of yielding the baton, saying that it couldn’t find any evidence and claims by voters that they were intimidated.

That’s because it’s a black neighborhood, and I seriously doubt anyone was intimidated. Contrast this with the numerous incidents of black voter intimidation by Republicans that are simply par for the course.

“The department concluded that the allegations in the complaint against Jerry Jackson, the other defendant present at the polling place, as well as the allegations against the national New Black Panther Party and its leader, Malik Zulu Shabazz, did not have sufficient evidentiary support,” Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez told the Commission in May. “The Department reviewed the totality of the evidence in the applicable law in reaching these decisions.”

But conservative members of the commission say they want more evidence from the Justice Department, especially because a former trial attorney at the DOJ, J. Christian Adams, testified in July that the agency repeatedly showed “hostility” against cases like those involving the New Black Panther Party.

“The section doesn’t want to protect white voters,” Adams claimed of the DOJ’s civil rights division.

This Republican bully boy won’t be happy until he convinces white people they’re victims of racism. Poor, poor white people! No, they’re victims of Republican economic policies — but this is a useful diversion in the meantime.

One thought on “Manufactured Crisis

Comments are closed.