Monday, October 25, 2010

Unequal Justice at the DOJ

The Washington Post has conducted an investigation into the Justice Department's handling of the New Black Panther Party case and has concluded what was pretty obvious to anyone who had followed it from the beginning: The DOJ is not interested in pursuing voting rights abuses when the victims are white and the perpetrators are black.

The article presents a good summary of what the case is about, and those not familiar with the details are urged to read it. For those who are acquainted with the case here are some excerpts that give a sense of the culture the Post found at the DOJ:
Civil rights officials from the Bush administration have said that enforcement should be race-neutral. But some officials from the Obama administration, which took office vowing to reinvigorate civil rights enforcement, thought the agency should focus primarily on cases filed on behalf of minorities.
"The Voting Rights Act was passed because people like Bull Connor were hitting people like John Lewis, not the other way around," said one Justice Department official not authorized to speak publicly, referring to the white Alabama police commissioner who cracked down on civil rights protesters such as Lewis, now a Democratic congressman from Georgia.
Before the New Black Panther controversy, another case had inflamed...passions. Ike Brown, an African American political boss in rural Mississippi, was accused by the Justice Department in 2005 of discriminating against the county's white minority. It was the first time the 1965 Voting Rights Act was used against minorities and to protect whites.
Coates and Adams later told the civil rights commission that the decision to bring the Brown case caused bitter divisions in the voting section and opposition from civil rights groups.
Three Justice Department lawyers, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation from their supervisors, described the same tensions, among career lawyers as well as political appointees. Employees who worked on the Brown case were harassed by colleagues, they said, and some department lawyers anonymously went on legal blogs "absolutely tearing apart anybody who was involved in that case," said one lawyer.
"There are career people who feel strongly that it is not the voting section's job to protect white voters," the lawyer said. "The environment is that you better toe the line of traditional civil rights ideas or you better keep quiet about it, because you will not advance, you will not receive awards and you will be ostracized."
In the months after the case ended, tensions persisted. A new supervisor, Julie Fernandes, arrived to oversee the voting section, and Coates testified that she told attorneys at a September 2009 lunch that the Obama administration was interested in filing cases - under a key voting rights section - only on behalf of minorities. "Everyone in the room understood exactly what she meant," Coates said. "No more cases like the Ike Brown or New Black Panther Party cases."
If this is not racism then the word racism has no meaning. It's ironic that President Obama, who campaigned as a man who would heal our racial divisions, has done more, either directly or indirectly, to exacerbate those divisions than has any president in the last fifty years.

The principle here is clear, or should be: If it would be unjust for the federal government to wink at white crimes against blacks then it's equally unjust for federal officials to excuse black crimes against whites. As soon as that principle of equal treatment under the law is no longer honored then this country is going to go up in flames, just as it did in the 1960s. Unfortunately, too many on the Left see the ascendancy of a black man to the presidency as an opportunity for blacks to do to whites what had long been done to them. If the Department of Justice and other federal agencies are actually going to abet this attitude then we stand on the brink of social upheaval.

It's getting monotonous, I know, but it must be said yet again: None of this is surprising. It's precisely the sort of racial bias we can expect as long as we keep putting leftists and liberals into positions of power.