One of the constant refrains heard from liberals in their attempt to diminish the importance of the New Black Panther scandal is that there is no evidence that any voters were intimidated or prevented from voting.
That claim is patently false although it was repeated last night again by Abigail Thernstrom on NBC News.
Is it a document aimed at redressing the concerns of all disenfranchised voters, or is it specifically crafted to thwart historic prejudices against minorities?
As a practical matter, disenfranchisement claims against blacks remain the exception.
And the witnesses made it clear that the two Black Panthers acted as a team, in concert, at the polling place.
QUESTION: Did the individuals that you saw turn around, those were people that you believed were coming to vote? That’s the only reason you walk along that long block on the pavement, and then go in the long driveway.
"To Christopher Coates, the former head of the Department of Justice's voting rights section, the comment was more than just an attempt at irony – it was evidence that something was going wrong in the department. Coates testified before the US Civil Rights Commission, a bipartisan oversight group, alleging that under President Obama, the dismissive attitude of that civil rights staff attorney toward white claims of disenfranchisement at the hands of blacks has essentially become Justice Department policy.
He said he had seen evidence that Obama appointees in the Department of Justice had created a "hostile atmosphere" toward attorneys pushing to prosecute blacks for voting-rights violations – a charge the Justice Department denies.
Dropping the New Black Panther Party case, he said in his testimony, "was intended to send a direct message to people inside and outside the civil rights division.
That message is that the filing of voting cases like the Ike Brown and the NBPP cases would not continue in the Obama administration."Coates also said that before his resignation in 2009, a senior political official ordered him to stop asking job candidates if they'd be willing to prosecute equal-protection cases against whites as well as blacks.