In 2008, led by their leader King Samir Shabazz, members of the New Black Panthers (NBP) in Philadelphia intimidated voters by standing before a voting place in the city, dressed in their uniform of black beret, black jacket, black pants, and black boots and carrying clubs in their hands. Shabazz has also been captured on video saying he hates all white people, “every single one of them,” and calling for the killing of all white babies.
But Attorney General Eric Holder, the chief law enforcement official in the United States, ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to drop the case against Shabazz and his fellow thugs. If the voter intimidators were white and if a white attorney general, who was appointed by a white president, had dismissed the case, there would be cries of racism to high heaven.
Last July 6, 2010, former DOJ official J. Christian Adams testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that attorneys in the civil rights division were instructed to ignore cases that involve black defendants and white victims. Adams said that “over and over and over again,” the department showed “hostility” toward those cases, including the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. Adams said that some people in the DOJ “argued that the law should not be used against black wrongdoers because of the long history of slavery and segregation. Less charitable individuals called it ‘payback time.’”
At a New Black Panther Party meeting, its president Malik Shabazz said outright that his brothers got a pass from the Obama Justice Department because “Justice Department leadership changed into the hands of a black man by the name of Eric Holder.”
Now we have the truth straight from the man himself, Eric Holder.
H/t my friend Sol.
The attorney general confirms suspicions of racial bias at the Justice Department.
By James Taranto – Wall St. Journal – March 2, 2011
“This Department of Justice does not enforce the law in a race-conscious way,” declared Attorney General Eric Holder in a House oversight hearing yesterday. But Politico reports on an exchange during the hearing that suggests otherwise. Rep. John Culberson, a Texas Republican, was questioning Holder about the New Black Panther Party voter-intimidation case, which the department dismissed after Holder took over:
The Attorney General seemed to take personal offense at a comment Culberson read in which former Democratic activist Bartle Bull called the incident the most serious act of voter intimidation he had witnessed in his career.
“Think about that,” Holder said. “When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia–which was inappropriate, certainly that . . . to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people,” said Holder, who is black.
It’s sometimes a useful exercise to imagine situations like this one in reverse. Suppose that in the course of defending himself against accusations of bias in favor of whites, a white attorney general referred to whites as “my people.” What would we make of that?
We have to admit that, for historically contingent reasons, such a scenario would be worse. Although civil rights laws protect everyone, they were enacted to remedy brutal and systematic discrimination against blacks. Thus it is of particular importance that black Americans be able to have confidence in the impartial administration of justice.
Yet to say it is of particular importance is to draw a distinction of degree, not of kind. It is of great importance that all Americans have confidence in the impartial administration of justice. Holder understands that, at least in theory, or he would not have denied that his department enforces the law “in a race-conscious manner.” But when the attorney general spoke of “my people” and meant only a subset of Americans, it confirmed the suspicion of bias that he was trying to counter.
“Holder noted that his late sister-in-law, Vivian Malone Jones, helped integrate the University of Alabama,” Politico reports. That’s a legitimate point of personal pride, but in his official capacity Holder owes his allegiance to the nation as a whole. If he approaches the job with the attitude that any group smaller than all Americans is “my people,” he is the wrong man for the position.