The Washington Post has taken a look at the story behind the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case.
A good look.
Interviews and government documents reviewed by The Washington Post show that the case tapped into deep divisions within the Justice Department that persist today over whether the agency should focus on protecting historically oppressed minorities or enforce laws without regard to race.
The dispute over the Panthers, and the Justice Department’s handling of it, was politicized from the start, documents and interviews show. On Election Day, the issue was driven by Republican poll watchers and officials and a conservative Web site.
At the department, Adams and his colleagues pushed a case that other career lawyers concluded had major evidentiary weaknesses. After the Obama administration took over, high-level political appointees relayed their thoughts on the case in a stream of internal e-mails in the days leading to the dismissal.
That decision to pull back the lawsuit caused conflicts so heated that trial team members at times threw memos in anger or cursed at supervisors.
That first paragraph is a game changer.
How is it justifiable to look at legal cases through the lens of race? How is it acceptable to have a division of the Justice Department that doesn’t know if they should prosecute a case because the defendant is a minority?
There is no justification. There has to be some serious changes made.
And no, I don’t blame this all on Eric Holder. It’s obvious this is a culture that has been established over time. It was like this when Holder arrived. Oh, he made of emboldened some of the veterans there, so cases like this one were dropped solely on racial reasons, but he didn’t create the culture.
Some weapon’s grade housecleaning is in order. There are people there, and no doubt someone knows who, that need to find employment elsewhere.
Comments like this show a culture that sees race as a reason to tolerate criminal activity against whites:
“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.
Whether Holder or anyone else in this administration has the backbone, or motivation, to make the necessary changes is the question.