Polly Want Anotha Cracka?


Back on July 9th, I wrote about the voter intimidation case involving King Shamir Shabazz and how it appeared that someone in the Obama administration had pressured the justice department to drop the case.

Without much fanfare, former DOJ official Christopher Coates testified yesterday in front of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission about the department’s handling of the Black Panther intimidation case last year. Coates’ testimony supports former staffer J. Christian Adams’ claims of bias against cases involving white victims and black defendants. Both have been critical of the DOJ’s handling of this particular case, which occurred in Philadelphia in 2008 during the Presidential election.

In his testimony, Coates criticized “senior political appointees” at the DOJ, saying “Given this outrageous conduct, it was a travesty of justice for the Department of Justice not to allow attorneys in the voting section to obtain nationwide injunctive relief against the defendants.”

Coates also claimed that the Voting Rights Act has not been enforced properly and that some civil rights organizations have pressured the DOJ into using it to primarily benefit minorities. Coates’ testimony can be read here.

Coates, who has worked for the civil rights division of the DOJ for thirteen years, was advised by the DOJ not to honor the subpoena to speak before the commission but ignored the suggestion and appeared anyway. He called this attempt part of the hostile atmosphere that has existed at that department against uniform enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

For their part, the DOJ claims that the case was downgraded based on its merits and not the race of any of the involved parties. We all know how that goes, though, don’t we?

What do you think would happen if a member of a white supremacist group or a Nazi organization had been blocking the entrance to a voting precinct? Don’t you think there probably would have been a lot more furor over this? Just color me skeptical, I guess.

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