Believing Fairy Tales about Civil-Rights Law Enforcement

Kerry Picket, Washington Times, March 21, 2011

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As I wrote in my previous post, the Justice Department plans on looking at bullying cases in local school districts that violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act. DOJ says it will, “enforce federal laws that protect students from discrimination and harassment at school because of their race, national origin, disability, religion, and sex, including harassment based on nonconformity with gender stereotypes.” Those who believe the DOJ is doing nothing wrong, because this law would also include white heterosexual males, are ignoring recent reports from former Justice Department employees who say the Civil Rights Division is not enforcing legislation in a race neutral manner.

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Steven Hayward at National Review cites two liberal “stalwarts” at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 1985 who believed “civil rights laws” were not meant to “give civil rights protections to all Americans.” In his article he writes:

The view that civil-rights laws should not be color blind was perhaps most explicitly asserted way back in 1985, when Mary Frances Berry and Blandina Ramirez, two longtime leftist stalwarts on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, issued an official statement in their roles as commissioners that said, “Civil rights laws were not passed to give civil rights protections to all Americans, as a majority of this Commission seems to believe. Instead, they were passed out of a recognition that some Americans already had protection because they belonged to a favored group; and others, including blacks, Hispanics, and women of all races, did not because they belonged to disfavored groups.”

In a piece published today Hans Bader, Senior Attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, correctly points out that Washington is currently “inventing” an anti-bullying law today.

However, the administration is on a quest to make it a federal issue, and one must wonder if the Department of Justice will enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act as race blind as they claim to enforce the Voting Rights Act.

Testimony from two former DOJ attorneys who blew the whistle on the Department about the handling and eventual dismissal of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case begs the question not so much if DOJ ever did prosecute what is specifically called a “hate crime” against a white heterosexual male, but if the Justice Department truly looks at civil rights legislation for all people in an equal manner.

According to 2009 hate crime statistics over at the Justice Department, the prosecutions of hate crimes against minorities and homosexuals indeed overwhelms the majority of cases, but the question remains as to how many cases against whites and heterosexuals were reported but were deemed as non-hate crimes.

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The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin wrote in Commentary Magazine in September of 2010:

Coates’ bombshell testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights focused on the Philadelphia black-panther case. Members of the New Black Panther Party, one of whom was an Obama campaign poll watcher and local democratic official, used a nightstick and racial epithets to intimidate voters in a Philadelphia precinct. But the Obama Administration killed a successful lawsuit against these criminals, dismissing it after career Justice Department lawyers had already obtained victory in the case, as a former Justice Department Lawyer the Philadelphia Bulletin, and a newspaper editorial note. (The New Black Panther Party, which attacks what it refers to as “blooduscking Jews,” is recognized as a racist, antisemitic hate group even by liberal civil-rights groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center. Its voter intimidation was captured on videotape by a college student).

“Career lawyers pursued the case for months, including obtaining an affidavit from a prominent 1960s civil rights activist who witnessed the confrontation and described it as ‘the most blatant form of voter intimidation’ that he had seen, even during the voting rights crisis in Mississippi a half-century ago.” But Obama’s political appointees at the Justice Department overruled them, dropping the case after victory was already assured because “the court had already entered a default judgment against the” Black Panthers. Thanks to that outrageous decision, the only result of the case was a meaningless injunction telling one of the three defendants not to commit such crimes again (and telling him not to commit such crimes only until 2012, and not barring him from committing such crimes in his home city, but rather barring such crimes only in Philadelphia).

If the federal government will be prosecuting bullying cases under civil rights laws going forward, how can all American people be so confident that the cases will be considered fairly, given the history of both the Justice Department in recent years and the point of view about the intention of civil rights laws from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Commission? Believing everyone should get a fair shot under the law is nice to think, but it is not the reality.

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