WASHINGTON – In light of the imminent release of a report on the Justice Department's apparent politicization of the case of alleged voting rights abuses by the New Black Panthers, members of the Project 21 black leadership network are commenting on revelations that federal civil rights enforcement is not being administered in an impartial manner.
"'Equal justice under law' is as central to the American idea as 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' Unfortunately, this now appears to be an alien concept at the Barack Obama-Eric Holder Department of Justice," said Project 21 member Deroy Murdock. "The American people should be enraged at news reports -- corroborated by the sworn testimony of career federal prosecutors J. Christian Adams and Christopher Coates -- that supervisors at the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division seemingly have decided not to prosecute cases in which blacks are the perpetrators and/or whites are the victims of federal Voting Rights Act violations. It now is not the content of one's criminal behavior but the color of one's skin that matters at today's Justice Department. Who knew that race-conscious prosecution, or non-prosecution, would be part of the 'change' that President Obama promised us?"
Two career Justice Department prosecutors, J. Christian Adams and Christopher Coates, testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights about Obama Administration Justice Department political appointees opposing the prosecution of three members of the New Black Panther Party for alleged voter intimidation on Election Day 2008. That case, brought against the men during the Bush Administration, was settled early in the Obama Administration after a default judgment had been made. The settlement allegedly was made at the insistence of Obama political appointees.
A report on this case, compiled by the Civil Rights Commission after a year-long investigation, is scheduled to be released this week.
According to the October 23 edition of the Washington Post, three other Justice Department lawyers, who spoke anonymously out of fear of retaliation by supervisors, confirmed charges made by Adams and Coates about an overall environment favoring selective civil rights enforcement. One lawyer told the Post: "There are career people who feel strongly that it is not the voting rights section's job to protect white voters. The environment is that you better toe the line of traditional civil rights ideas or you better keep quiet about it, because you will not advance, you will not receive rewards and you will be ostracized."
Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie sent letters to President Barack Obama on December 12, 2009 and July 12, 2010 asking for the appointment of a special prosecutor to address the allegations regarding the New Black Panther Party case. As of October 25, 2010, the White House has not replied to either letter.
"Short of donning robes, hoods and burning crosses, it is hard for me to imagine a more glaring racist practice than that which the Obama-Holder Justice Department has apparently adopted," said Project 21's Massie. "It is not just an insult to the Constitution, but a complete abrogation of the Declaration of Independence pursuant to equal justice. The greatness of America can be found in our nation's Pledge of Allegiance in the words 'with liberty and justice for all.' Nowhere is it stated or intimated that said justice and freedom is to be based on color of skin."