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May 29, 2009

Corruption at DOJ: Case Dismissed Against Black Panthers Who Intimidated Voters at Polls

Boy this is has been a tough week for the Obama Administration and race. As if Judge Sotomayor's comments weren't enough, the Washington Times is now reporting that the President's people forced the DOJ to drop the case against three members of the New Black Panthers. The well documented crime was voter intimidation, accomplished by threats and racial slurs.

Justice Department political appointees overruled career lawyers and ended a civil complaint accusing three members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense of wielding a nightstick and intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place last Election Day, according to documents and interviews.

The incident - which gained national attention when it was captured on videotape and distributed on YouTube - had prompted the government to sue the men, saying they violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act by scaring would-be voters with the weapon, racial slurs and military-style uniforms.

Career lawyers pursued the case for months, including obtaining an affidavit from a prominent 1960s civil rights activist who witnessed the confrontation and described it as "the most blatant form of voter intimidation" that he had seen, even during the voting rights crisis in Mississippi a half-century ago.

Now wait a damn minute. You're telling me that if three white boys had been stalking around a polling place in Mississippi throwing out the N-word and accosting voters, the Department would let it go? Of course not. And rightly so. Voter intimidation is nasty, antidemocratic. Voter intimidation on account of race? HELLO?!?

Obama's legacy: soft on race-based voter intimidation. That's right, the president has no problem just letting it slide.

More [DrewM.] Gabe and I posted this almost at the same time but he was kind enough to allow me to draw your attention to one other part of this amazing story.

How bad was the intimidation? Bartle Bull who is described as "a longtime civil rights activist and former aide to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign" said in an affidavit...

"In my opinion, the men created an intimidating presence at the entrance to a poll," he declared. "In all my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation and in my efforts in the 1960s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi ... I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and uniformed men blocked the entrance to a polling location."

Mr. Bull said the "clear purpose" of what the Panthers were doing was to "intimidate voters with whom they did not agree." He also said he overheard one of the men tell a white poll watcher: "You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker."

He called their conduct an "outrageous affront to American democracy and the rights of voters to participate in an election without fear." He said it was a "racially motivated effort to limit both poll watchers aiding voters, as well as voters with whom the men did not agree."

Based on the description of Mr. Bull, I think we can safely assume he isn't an evil Republican white supremacist. If a man with that background is appaled, I think we can all agree this was egregious behavior. Well all of us except the political leadership of DoJ.

I can't wait for Sen. Sessions to have one of those frank discussions Attorney General Holder was going on about awhile back.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:37 AM

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