In a past national election, a uniformed hate group stood outside a polling place with a two-foot-long police nightstick in hand, screaming racial epithets and threats in a successful effort to prevent citizens from voting and poll watchers from doing their jobs. The Department of Justice investigated, the career counsel approved the institution of a civil complaint, and one was brought.
The defendants offered up no defense. They failed even to appear in court. The federal district court judge entered default judgments against the defendants. Later he ordered the Justice Department to file motions for the entry of default judgments, formally acknowledging they had won.
At this time, over the objections of career counsel, Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli ordered the case dropped.
Is this an historic case illustrating life under the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow?
No, it occurred in the 2008 election and the group involved was the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (NBPP).
Was there some dispute about the facts? No. Here’s a YouTube of the incident so you can see some of what occurred yourself.
The U.S. Civil Rights Commission, charged with overseeing such matters, examined the evidence. In a letter to the Justice Department, they said that this act caused “great confusion, since the NBPP members were caught on video blocking access to the polls, and physically threatening and verbally harassing voters during the Nov. 4, 2008, general election. ”
The attorney general who engaged in this inexplicable act was appointed by President Barack Obama, who was sold to the voters as a post-racial figure and a constitutional law scholar.
In 2004, the misnamed left-wing outfit People for the American Way (PFAW) put forth a report entitled “The Shadow of Jim Crow,” which risibly confused efforts to prevent obvious voter fraud with intimidation and suppression. It concluded on this pot-banging note:
Robbing voters of their right to vote and to have their vote counted undermines the very foundations of our democratic society. Politicians, political strategists, and party officials who may consider voter intimidation and suppression efforts as part of their tactical arsenal should prepare to be exposed and prosecuted. State and federal officials, including Justice Department and national political party officials, should publicly repudiate such tactics and make clear that those who engage in them will face severe punishment.