At the U.S. Civil Rights Commission's upcoming hearing on May 14, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez will attempt to explain why the Obama administration dropped federal voter intimidation charges against two New Black Panthers. Clad in paramilitary uniforms and armed with a nightstick, the Panthers had spent several hours on Election Day 2008 stalking the entrance of a voting place in Philadelphia - hurling racial epithets at whites and blacks alike, taunting poll watchers, and intimidating voters who sought to cast their votes for president as well as other candidates on the ballot. These voting rights violations were captured, partially, on video and uploaded to YouTube.Try dressing up in full KKK attire and standing in front of a polling place. Ya think that might get some action?
Attempting to defend the Justice Department's decision to change course in this case, the Obama administration's apologists have tied themselves in knots and turned the Voting Rights Act on its head.
Their principal argument is that the Panthers were not scary enough. They contend that two men who dress up like soldiers and stand in the doorway of a voting place brandishing a billy club cannot be prosecuted for voter intimidation in the absence of testimony from a voter who was intimidated, or proof of someone who was turned away from voting. Without such evidence, they argue, it is impossible to prove what the Panthers intended by their actions.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Posted by traderrob at 12:03 PM