Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. should resign. He is a disgrace to his office and to his country.
Mr. Holder is a race baiter. On Tuesday, he testified during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the voting rights case involving members of the New Black Panther Party. In the 2008 election, Black Panthers - dressed in military fatigues and wielding a club - threatened voters at a Philadelphia polling station. They denounced the voters as “crackers” and vowed those voters would not be allowed to help defeat then-candidate Barack Obama. Their goal was to bully and intimidate. This was a clear case of violation of voting rights. Such behavior may occur with impunity in banana republics - not in the world’s leading democracy.
Rep. John Culberson, Texas Republican, confronted the attorney general, demanding to know why the Justice Department refused to prosecute the Black Panthers - especially considering they were caught making the menacing gestures on tape. Mr. Holder shamelessly played the race card. He claimed to take offense at comments by civil rights activist Bartle Bull, who called it the most serious example of voter intimidation he had ever seen at the polls.
“When you compare whatpeople endured in the South in the ‘60s to try to get the right to vote for African-Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia … to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people,” Mr. Holder said.
Excuse me - his “people”? This is one of the most outrageous - and divisive - statements by a senior government official in recent memory. His people are and should be the American people - all of us.
Mr. Holder is the nation’s top law enforcement officer. His duty is to uphold the law and apply it fairly and equally to everyone - regardless of race. In other words, his job demands that he be colorblind. By his own words, he has shown he is unfit for the position. He is a racial tribalist - race trumps justice. When he talks about his people, Mr. Holder sounds like the grand wizard of a black Ku Klux Klan.
This is not the first time Mr. Holder has made offensive racial comments. In 2009, he claimed that when it comes to discussing race, Americans are “a nation of cowards.” He said in a 1996 interview with The Washington Post that regardless of how “affluent, educated and mobile” a black person becomes, “his race defines him more particularly than anything else.” In other words, according to Mr. Holder, no matter how successful and integrated blacks are in U.S. society, they will always be victims; racial solidarity must supersede their American identity.
Mr. Holder is deliberately evading questions about the Black Panther case. He is guilty of nixing an investigation into blatant voter intimidation because the culprits were black - and the victims white. He refuses to answer questions directly or release documents about the decision-making process that led the Justice Department to drop much of the case. In particular, he refuses to answer whether Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes instructed her subordinates to pursue only civil rights investigations involving victims who are black. Mr. Holder is stonewalling in a desperate attempt to cover up his race-based policies.
Mr. Holder is a product of the 1960s. He embodies radical chic, the belief that America is based on racial domination and capitalist exploitation. The reason he refuses to go after the New Black Panthers is that he largely shares their worldview. The original Black Panthers were fascists. They championed black nationalism, racial supremacy and economic collectivism. Their aim was the violent overthrow of the “white power structure.” In short, they were the very opposite of Martin Luther King Jr., who espoused nonviolence, assimilation and the creation of a truly colorblind society.
Since the late 1960s, however, black racial separatism has been growing. The New Black Panthers are the direct descendants of it, as are Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They are race baiters who seek to erect an ethnic spoils system that will balkanize America. Mr. Holder is a polished version of Mr. Sharpton. Despite the fancy suits and lawyerly demeanor, Mr. Holder embraces the same destructive ideas: black nationalism, anti-Americanism, state socialism, support for affirmative action and racial quotas, and the politics of grievance and victimology.
The attorney general insists on making false - and inflammatory - comparisons to the civil rights movement. No one is saying that the Black Panther case is akin to segregation in the South or that whites are systematically being denied the right to vote. Rather, the New Black Panthers are thugs. Their actions represented a fundamental assault on our democracy.
When it comes to America’s mortal enemies - such as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 - Mr. Holder goes out of his way to defend their rights. This includes supporting efforts to have Mohammed tried in a civilian court. Hence, Mr. Holder thinks jihadists are entitled to full constitutional protections while peaceful, law-abiding Americans exercising their God-given right to vote are not - especially if they are white and possibly pro-Republican.
Mr. Holder lacks the character or competence to be attorney general. He has abused his office and violated his sacred oath. Like other practitioners of racial politics - white, black and Latino - Mr. Holder acts as if everything begins and ends with race. This is a form of intellectual and moral corruption that threatens the very long-term unity of America. This kind of black nationalism is poisonous to the nation’s bloodstream. It is divisive, destructive and dangerous. And it is why Mr. Holder must go.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute.