Friday, February 4, 2011

Shades Of Huey Newton--Black Liberator

He who laughs last, laughs best. That cackling sound you're hearing is Black Panther co-founder Huey P. Newton laughing at the white liberals who thought the Panthers were a civil rights organization and that by supporting their cause, the law would be adhered to without regard to race. It's not easy to guffaw amid the lapping flames of hell, but if anyone could do it, it's Huey.

I have mentioned in the past that the next time I would discuss the New Black Panthers voter intimidation dismissals would be when the report of the Civil Rights Commission on the subject was issued. That sad day has come to pass, and it's a tragically-flawed document. Flawed because it reached its conclusions without having done the honorable thing. It didn't wait until Eric Holder's Justice Department responded to the Commission's many direct questions about the dismissals. Holder stonewalled successfully, and the Commission let him get away with it.

I understand the need to bring matters to an end, but not when the work is incomplete. Unlike the unrelated report from the Commission under Chairwoman Mary Frances Berry in the 90s, this document included a minority report. But that only skewed the conclusions farther. Commissioner Abigail Thernstrom, normally unable to tolerate half-truths, caved in and essentially joined the majority. It wasn't a complete capitulation, but it indicates that she has been fighting the good fight almost alone for so long that she just ran out of steam.

Holder and his minions, under the leadership of the first post-racial President, played a game of hide and seek in which hide worked and seek didn't. When the Department of Justice political lawyers didn't outright lie, they stalled, danced, pretended not to understand what was being asked, and sent any Department dissenters into DOJ Siberia. A few courageous career lawyers simply resigned rather than be part of a massive coverup.

For background on the voter intimidation cases and the sleazy dismissal of charges already proven to a court's satisfaction, go to A Difference of Opinion, Holder's Mouthpiece, Thernstrom Hiccups, The Facts?, and Hold That Tiger. Although I am very concerned with the issue, I'm not obsessed with it despite the numerous past posts. It's simply a matter of the way the information has, from the very beginning, dribbled out. The Holder Justice Department wanted this travesty to come out in small doses in order to keep the whole bloody mess from being exposed all at once. The mainstream media were delighted to help. For instance, how many of you reading your big city dailies even knew the Commission had issued its report?

The sum and substance of my rejection of the report is that it was not only poor investigation and a cowardly Commission retreat, but it spits on the public's right to know all the relevant information and have the Department of Justice held accountable just like any other entity. The Department of Justice investigated itself and found it was doing a wonderful job, protected Obama's and Holder's highly-politicized appointments, denied the distinctly racial overtones of the Department's internal policies, and denigrated the right of the Civil Rights Commission even to ask "what's going on in your department?"

Why did this "internal investigation" take sixteen months? Where did Holder and the DOJ shysters find those phony executive privileges never recognized in law? Why did Holder put purely political functionaries in charge of the investigation instead of competent career DOJ lawyers? Why did Holder and his department stall and obfuscate answers to legitimate questions about the Panther dismissals from Congress, the Civil Rights Commission and a few honest news reporters? None of these questions are answered in the Report, let alone the simple basic question: "Why did your department dismiss cases which had already been won?"

The single question that was directly asked in relation to the dismissals hovered over whether Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes adopted and championed a policy of not enforcing two laws distinctly designed to prevent harassment of voter--without regard to whether the alleged perpetrators are white. Returning to Mary Frances Berry for a moment, as Chairwoman she boldly asserted that the voter intimidation provisions of the Voting Rights Acts were designed solely to protect black voters from intimidation by whites. The law says nothing of the kind, and is designed solely to protect our most precious right--the right to vote our consciences regardless of color. All evidence and testimony that was actually presented at the Civil Rights Commission points to Fernandes as holding precisely the same view of the law as Berry.

Fernandes's name is all over the investigation, and in the only sworn testimony given by any employees of DOJ, Fernandes was shown as clearly determined to enforce racially selective prosecution. But Fernandes didn't testify, Holder buried those dissidents who remained with DOJ, and the political DOJ lawyers simply refused to cooperate with the Commission or Congress. Yet given Fernandes's critical involvement in the core question raised by the Commission, the two liberals who wrote the 23 page comment ending the investigation never mentioned her name--not even once.

That comes as no surprise to me, since one of the two Commissioners is former San Francisco Supervisor Michael Yaki. Those of us San Franciscans who were not drowned in red rhetoric and purple prose referred to him as "Yakkety Yaki." The man could put together half the words in the dictionary to say and prove absolutely nothing. Only his conclusionary sentences were brief, and they usually amounted to "I'm right, you're wrong." He was a master at ignoring the 500 pound evidentiary gorilla in the room in order to concentrate on the conjectural gnat. Nothing has changed, and his joint comments on the New Black Panthers prove it.

As for Thernstrom, she said: "It is simply impossible to believe that Fernandes said anything like what was reported, unless she's a moron." Well, I have my opinion on that, but I'll leave that to you readers to figure it out. Thernstrom went off the rails. It wasn't just "reported." It was contained in sworn testimony, under penalty of perjury, by career [former] DOJ lawyers. And it is unrefuted in any official way since Holder produced no testimony or witnesses directly addressing the issue or the sworn testimony. Given all that, it's a mystery why Thernstrom added in a dissent: "The majority charges that racial double standards govern the enforcement of the Voting Rights Act in the Holder Justice Department. If that can be convincingly demonstrated, it will be a grave indictment of this administration. But that evidentiary showing awaits further investigation by the Department of Justice and Congress (emphasis added).

Well, Dear Abby, unrefuted sworn testimony is regarded as evidence. Further investigation? Are you crazy or just full of anti-depressants? Given the complete disregard for the law and legal ethics demonstrated by Holder and his department so far, why would anyone in his right mind believe that Holder is suddenly going to be struck by pangs of conscience and start cooperating and/or telling the truth? Holder has the same contempt for Congress that he has for the Commission. It's another example of leftist race-baiting thinking: "Nobody should interfere with our doing the right thing, as only we can define the right thing."

Frankly, I don't remember seeing Holder out there with us on the forefront of the Civil Rights movement. In fact, he was in diapers at the time. His head is still wrapped in diapers--dirty diapers. But I can tell you from personal experience, we did not fight to replace white voter intimidation with black voter intimidation. We worked hard and long to assure that the vote was a human right which could not be denied to blacks or whites in a free society. And despite all the Holder shucking and jiving, at the original hearing a civil rights worker who was in the heart of Dixie during the 60s testified that he never observed white intimidation of black voters that was as bad as what he saw in Philadelphia.

The Commission majority simply refused to find even the smallest wrongdoing in the dismissals. It's a good thing that Lady Justice wears a blindfold, or we'd be able to see that nasty black eye. Laugh, Huey, laugh.


AndrewPrice said...

This is another one of those things the Republicans need to investigate. They need to expose the DOJ civil rights division for being a collection of racists who believe that the civil rights laws are only meant to protect non-whites (and non-Asians of course). This report is nothing more than a cover up for blatantly racist actions. And if liberals actually meant the things they say, they would be out there criticizing DOJ for these issues.

Joel Farnham said...

What bugs me LawHawk, there are people who actually believe that blacks can't be racist. Nor bigoted. That and when it is a confrontation between a black and a white, the white first has to justify his/her existence as well show that he/she isn't racist.

This is one of the cases that Issa should investigate.

Unknown said...

Andrew: As we both know, the liberals talk a good game, but they won't defend their own philosophy when there is one of their manufactured exceptions to the rule. Here, the rule is "blacks can only be discriminated against, but can never discriminate." It ties into the belief that only whites can be racists. And ultimately, there's their practical rule: "Don't mess with the black caucus."

It will be interesting to see if the House will take up the investigation now that the Republicans have the majority. There's much to be done first and more critically, but this is not an issue that should be allowed to go away. Until now, Holder and Obama had the Democrat majority to cover for them and assist in quashing information harmful to the DOJ and Holder.

Unknown said...

Joel: And the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is exactly the right place to do it. The Judiciary Committee would make a hash of it by arguing fine legal points when this is actually a matter of political misfeasance and malfeasance. We need to know who did the bogus internal investigation at DOJ and why they stonewalled the Civil Rights Commission for over a year and a half.

T_Rav said...

Joel and LawHawk, I haven't yet had anyone come right out and say to my face that it's impossible for blacks to be racist (though I'm only on my second year of grad school, so who knows). However, I have read part of the school guidelines for the University of Delaware, which flatly assert just that. Under the civil rights section, it states, "'Reverse racism' and 'black racism' do not exist. These are terms invented by racist whites to excuse their continued oppression of African-Americans." Okay.

Unknown said...

T_Rav: Jeez! I spent my entire academic life in Berkeley and San Francisco, so that kind of blatant nonsense doesn't surprise me. But Delaware?!?! It sounds like the administration got its information from Malik Zulu Shabazz. I think Huey's laughter just got louder. At least at UC Berkeley they pretend to be neutral in their admissions guidelines.

Tennessee Jed said...

The why of it all that you refer to is probably not only rhetorical, but in our hearts also pretty obvious. Race is still the third rail. We knew "O" and Eric would act this way, perhaps just not so blatantly.

T_Rav said...

LawHawk, I know. But Delaware's a fairly blue state (at least the Wilmington area), and anyway, universities hardly reflect the political climate of the surrounding area anymore, unless it's a smaller state school. Go to any of the 50 states, and you can find a hotbed of liberalism at the university.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: I actually knew more about Holder than I did about Obama up until it became obvious that the Democrats were going to nominate their post-racial messiah. I had no doubt that the administration would lean toward persons of color, and actually didn't have a serious problem with that. It's common practice and human nature to go with what you know and who you know, so long as race isn't the only reason.

I had no idea how blatant and how vicious it would be however. Playing the race card at every opportunity, while at the same time doing the very things they publicly condemned. The New Black Panthers dismissal was merely the smoking gun. I don't coddle the skinheads just because they're white. The New Black Panthers are the same kind of sick hate group, but Obama and Holder coddled them anyway. I don't need a twenty-five page instruction booklet to tell me why.

T_Rav said...

By the way, I should add that I only learned much about Huey Newton a year or two ago, via the excellent "A Conservative History of the American Left," and how anyone could make the decision to follow that man in all his sadism and debauchery is beyond me.

Unknown said...

T_Rav: I have to admit that despite my current peaceful valley isolation, I've been in the thick of a lot of history, much of it by pure happenstance. While a sophomore at UC Berkeley, I had the distinct displeasure of meeting both Huey Newton and Sonny Barger (founder of the Hell's Angels). I was working part-time as a photographer's assistant to help pay for my dorm fees. He covered largely radical and underground groups, and I was the perfect foil since I was a radical myself. Newton was one of the few people in my life who just plain scared the crap out of me. It wasn't the public threatening and strutting to impress the cops and the liberal press that got to me, it was his utter hatred for nearly everyone who wasn't in his inner circle. When I read about his ignominious end a few years later, all I could think was that it couldn't happen to a nicer person.

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