Putting Panther Myths to Rest

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At National Review Online today, U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow makes mincemeat of the left’s arguments against the substance of the commission’s inquiry into the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case. Within his lengthy recitation of facts is this passage:

Uncontroverted evidence adduced before the Commission shows that a culture exists within the Civil Rights Division that is hostile to bringing claims against minority defendants or on behalf of white victims. The evidence shows, inter alia, that a black Department of Justice employee who worked on a case involving black defendants was racially harassed by Voting Rights Section staff; that a Department of Justice attorney who brought a case against black defendants had his authority gradually removed; that repeated statements were made by Department of Justice personnel that the DOJ should not bring cases against minority defendants on behalf of white victims;

I would add that when the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne wrote a column on this subject yesterday, he smeared the whistle-blowing attorney J. Christian Adams in a way that made Adams himself almost sound racist. It was a vile smear. Ken Berwitz answers it here. Dionne wrote:

J. Christian Adams, who served in the Bush Justice Department. He’s a Republican activist going back to the Bill Clinton era. His party services included time as a Bush poll watcher in Florida in 2004, when on one occasion he was involved in a controversy over whether a black couple could cast a regular ballot.

Berwitz answered:

Ok, now J. Christian Adams is a racist too.  Add him to the list, folks.  FYI, the Florida incident refers to Adams telling a couple for whom there was no record of their change-of-address forms, to fill out a provisional ballot - something any poll watcher would tell anyone of any color.  The problem was that Democrats had told Black voters not to fill out provisional ballots because they wouldn’t be counted.  In other words, Adams acted properly, but Democrats had insisted Black voters not follow the law.  So which side does E.J. Dionne come down on?  I rest my case.

Now, go back to the Kirsanow passage. Unlike the Adams case, where Adams literally did his job and actually helped ensure that the black couple’s votes COULD count, not that they couldn’t, there is evidence within DoJ about the harassment of a black employee who dared to work on a case involving black defendants. Others within the department were actually reprimanded for that harassment. THAT is the real story.

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About the Author
Quin Hillyer

Quin Hillyer

Quin Hillyer, a senior editorial writer for The Washington Times and a senior editor for the American Spectator magazine, has won awards for journalistic excellence at the local, state, regional and national levels. His work has been featured in more than 50 publications, including the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, the San Francisco Chronicle, Investor's Business ...

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