Jim Crow Prowls Paradise

Guam has created a racially discriminatory voter roll just like the one in Hawaii and the CNMI. In Guam, you are only allowed to register to vote if you had an ancestor living on Guam who became an American citizen in 1950. The problem for thousands of American citizens living on Guam in 2014 -- nearly everyone on Guam in 1950 was of the Chamorro race. This has created a racially exclusionary voter roll for a plebiscite election populated only by voters with Chamorro bloodlines. And what will be on the ballot in the this plebiscite? Whether or not Guam should break away from the United States. Separatism is driving the desire to create a racially exclusionary electorate on Guam, just like in Hawaii. Along with the Center for Individual Rights and others, I am representing US Air Force Major Dave Davis (Ret.), a white American citizen on Guam who was denied the right to register to vote for the plebiscite.  Dave doesn't have the right racial bloodlines to vote.

Maj. Dave Davis (Ret.) Maj. Dave Davis (Ret.)

Dave relentlessly badgered Eric Holder’s Justice Department Voting Section for help.  Predictably, as in the CNMI and Hawaii, Eric Holder offered no help. Holder has other priorities than Mr. Davis. Eric Holder called voter ID the modern version of Jim Crow. So a historical refresher is in order. When it came to voting, Jim Crow created all manner of tricks and traps to block black voters from registering to vote. Jim Crow had close cousins like separate water fountains, restrooms and lunch counters. But in voting, Jim Crow was all about keeping blacks off the registration rolls. In Oklahoma, Mr. Crow said that unless your grandfather was eligible to vote, you couldn’t register to vote without passing a complicated literacy test designed to trap black registrants. You needed the right bloodlines to participate in an election. The Supreme Court struck down that trick in Guinn v. United States. Jim Crow wasn’t about voting laws that applied equally to everyone, like voter ID. Jim Crow wondered who your grandfather was. Jim Crow made sure you couldn’t get registered if your bloodlines weren’t racially correct. Jim Crow is alive and well in paradise. What is happening in Guam, the CNMI and Hawaii bears far more resemblance to Jim Crow than the voter ID laws the Justice Department is spending millions of dollars fighting. When I did my interview with Megyn Kelly in July 2010, I knew that the New Black Panther case wasn’t the only matter where a racialist policy by Holder’s Justice Department left some voters unprotected from racial discrimination. After leaving DOJ, I talked to American patriots like Dave Davis who said he had been begging for DOJ help to break down racially discriminatory barriers to the ballot box, but had received none. The New Black Panther dismissal was the first example of Holder’s racially exclusionary priorities, but it wasn’t the only one. When President Obama boasted that his Justice Department had brought 102 voting rights cases, I knew the numbers were phony. Hans von Spakovsky and I explained in detail how the president’s list was phony. Surely an attorney general committed to protecting the voting rights of all Americans, and not just “my people” or “people of color,” could have found the time to submit even an amicus brief in the CNMI case, at a minimum. The CNMI law itself should have been attacked in court by Holder under 42 U.S.C. 1971(c), a law which allowed Holder to bring the suit instead of the plaintiff. Sadly, the voting rights of CNMI plaintiff John Davis don’t seem to be a priority of Eric Holder. Perhaps cases against the CNMI and Hawaii were never brought because the lawyers who have been hired by Eric Holder share Holder’s priorities. PJ Media’s Every Single One series revealed the ideological homogeneity of the new Voting Section lawyers. The Voting Section lawyer assigned to the CNMI is Elizabeth Westfall. It was her job to monitor election litigation in the CNMI and press to vindicate the voting rights of CNMI citizens who were discriminated against. ws Under Voting Section procedures, Westfall would be the first to identify the plight of John Davis and organize DOJ aid.  This also gives her the ability to deep-six the matter.  John Davis helps pay Westfall's salary, and John Davis deserved protection. The Every Single One series described her background:

According to the Federal Election Commission website, she contributed nearly $7,000 to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential election campaign, contributed another $4,400 to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, contributed $2,000 to Wesley Clark’s presidential campaign in 2004, contributed $3,000 to John Kerry’s presidential campaign and compliance fund in 2004, contributed $500 to former Senate Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle’s PAC in 2004, and contributed $2,000 to Hillary Clinton’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2000. In addition to this incredible funding of Democratic candidates, Westfall worked for six years at the far-left Advancement Project, directing its Voter Protection Program and managing its litigation and advocacy activities. She also previously served as a staff attorney at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in its Fair Housing Group, and worked on the Hill as a legislative assistant to then-Congressman Bill Richardson (D-NM). On Westfall’s self-drafted Harvard alumni biography, she notes that she has testified before the U.S. Congress about supposed “barriers” to voter registration, “unwarranted” purging of the voter rolls, and voter caging.

Ironically, instead of fighting the modern version of Jim Crow in the CNMI, Westfall spends her time fighting Texas voter identification laws in court. Or consider the DOJ lawyer assigned to Hawaii, Catherine Meza. Instead of bringing a case to knock down the racially exclusionary Hawaii voter registration roll, Meza is busy attacking North Carolina voter id in court. Her priorities as outlined in the Every Single One series:

Ms. Meza, who contributed $450 to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign before getting hired by the Voting Section, has a rich history of liberal advocacy. During law school at Berkeley, she interned for (i) the NAACP LDF, where she worked on voting rights and “economic justice” issues, (ii) Bay Area Legal Aid, (iii) the ACLU of Northern California, (iv) the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), (v) Centro Legal de la Raza, and (vi) the East Bay Community Law Center Workers’ Rights Clinic. On her resume, Meza proudly proclaims her membership in the American Constitution Society and her role as an Advisory Board Member of the Thelton Henderson Center for Social Justice. Meanwhile, while working a brief stint at the Fried Frank law firm after law graduation, she assisted on a pro bono case seeking to preserve the confidentiality of ID cards issued to illegal aliens by the city of New Haven, Connecticut, an effort to help illegal aliens avoid being prosecuted for violating federal law. She also helped draft a report for the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in which she suggested that the U.S. “government’s programs and policies continue to perpetuate segregation and concentrate poverty in communities of color.”

There’s that “of color” thing again. It is no surprise to anyone with walking around sense that civil rights no longer means what it used to mean. The moral victories of the civil rights movement have been squandered by people like Eric Holder and Catherine Meza. In the 1960s, civil rights meant the government would stop using race to provide benefits and impose barriers. Today, the civil rights industry is usually about using race to provide benefits and impose barriers. That Holder’s version of justice doesn’t include some Americans living in Guam, the CNMI and Hawaii should surprise nobody after six years of the Obama presidency. These racially exclusionary efforts are explicit attempts to diminish American sovereignty. The advocates don’t expect it to happen overnight. But like the Chinese proverb that says “three feet of ice is not formed in a single day,” efforts to divide Guam, the CNMI and Hawaii between natives and the American “colonizer” are long-term efforts. Over 8,000 sailors, soldiers and Marines died on these islands in the 20th century. They bore the battle and allowed American ideals of constitutional equality to extend westward. They also secured the most important deep water ports in the Pacific and strategically essential airfields from which I watched American F-22 Raptors land alongside Japanese F-2s. That separatists are using the tricks of Jim Crow to erode the political order in the Pacific while Holder sits silent is a dangerous disgrace.

An F-22 Raptor on the flight line at Andersen Air Force Base Guam (photo by author). An F-22 Raptor on the flight line at Andersen Air Force Base Guam (photo by author).