J. Christian Adams: DOJ Opponents of Race-Neutral Law Should Explain Themselves

Today I testified to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights pursuant to a subpoena investigating the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation dismissal. I would rather no such obligation had arisen.

My previous Pajamas Media article comprised much of what I was willing to testify about. In that article, I detailed specific instances of hostility being expressed towards a race-neutral enforcement of civil rights laws, and in particular laws regarding voting and elections.

To the many that have experienced the hostility firsthand, denials of its existence seem preposterous.

To the many who expressed such hostility, often thoughtful but wrong, it would be a help to all of us if they might engage the debate with the respectable tenor which they sometimes did when I was in the Department of Justice. After all, such opponents of race-neutral law enforcement surely weren’t “cowards” about discussing race in those instances, and we might all benefit from a full understanding of their views. So let’s have the opponents of race-neutral enforcement of voting cases come out in the open and tell the American public why they oppose it.

But I’ll start the discussion for now.

I am reminded of a visit to the Voting Section by newly confirmed Attorney General Eric Holder in March of 2009. Attorney General Holder came to the conference room to meet the assembled Voting Section. He was introduced by a political appointee, then-acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King. It was quite exciting. In every federal building, a photograph of the president is displayed with the agency head. So in the Justice Department, President Obama is displayed with General Holder at the entrances.

Loretta King had the honor of introducing Attorney General Holder. She would subsequently participate in the dismissal of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. And she said something astonishing in her introduction of the attorney general.

She exclaimed to the crowd:

I can’t tell you how exciting it is to go to work every day, and look up at the photos, and see that we now have two black men running the country.

Cheers followed, but not from everyone.