Friday, September 24, 2010

Equal Treatment Under The Law

Christopher Coates
After a year of efforts to obstruct his testimony by our own Department of Justice, Christopher Coates, former voting chief for the department's Civil Rights Division, spoke under oath Friday morning before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  His testimony backed up the testimony of former Justice official J. Christian Adams, whose testimony in July we had earlier discussed.  Both officers have testified that the Justice Department is ignoring civil rights cases that involve white victims and wrongly abandoned a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party.

Mr. Coates discussed in depth the DOJ's decision to dismiss intimidation charges against New Black Panther members who were videotaped outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008.

"In lengthy and detailed testimony, Mr. Coates testified that the department cultivates a "hostile atmosphere" against "race-neutral enforcement" of the Voting Rights Act.  He said civil rights attorneys stick to cases that involve minority victims, and he said the Black Panther case was dismissed following "pressure" by the NAACP and "anger" at the case within the Justice Department itself.

Coates dismissed as weak the department's rationale for abandoning the case, saying the department let one of the Black Panther members off the hook because a local police officer had determined he was a Democratic Party poll watcher. Coates called it "extraordinarily strange" for the department to rely on this and urged the commission to consider what the legal backlash would have been if the Panthers had been members of the Ku Klux Klan. "To understand the rationale of these articulated reasons for gutting this case ... one only has to state the facts in the racial reverse," he said. Coates said that with the United States becoming increasingly diverse, it is "absolutely essential" that the law be enforced equally.

"As important as the mandate in the Voting Rights Act is to protect minority voters, white voters also have an interest in being able to go to the polls without having race-haters such as Black Panther King Samir Shabazz, whose public rhetoric includes such statements as 'kill cracker babies' ... standing at the entrance of the polling place with a billy club in his hand hurling racial slurs at voters," he said.

"Given this outrageous conduct, it was a travesty of justice for the Department of Justice not to allow attorneys in the voting section to obtain nationwide injunctive relief against" the defendants, he said. "
Since last year, Coates has been transferred to the U.S. attorney's office in South Carolina. He said Friday that the Justice Department told him not to testify before the commission after he was first subpoenaed in December 2009.

Read the rest here.


  1. The question is, under the self proclaimed post-partisan, new tomorrow President Obama, will all Americans have an equal opportunity, and equal protection under the law.

    The answer is a resounding 'No'.

  2. Hey!!! You were supposed to watch Steve Colbert testifying before Congress in that little dog and pony show your Democrat betters arranged for you! Your looking to go to the re-education camp
    this Winter, aren't you? Look where they tell you to look!

  3. Steve Colbert?! Please.

    He would hold my interest for all of ... actually, he is of no interest. What the hell is he doing testifying before congress, except to underscore that the Dems management of the place is an absolute joke.

  4. ...except to underscore that the Dems management of the place is an absolute joke

    That's what I took away from that. Maybe they will make the Dem Congress a regular show on the Comedy Channel.

    And that was "You're" up there, btw. I'm trying to go to re-education camp this Winter too. For different reasons obviously. It's heated, right?

  5. What in the world is the Justice Department doing telling their officers to ignore congressional subpoenas? Do they not realize that they and they're officers are not above the law, and that they have to answer to congressional inquiries?

  6. And this Zoe Lofgren, whom the Dems put in as chairwomen of this subcommittee, asks a comedian to testify for his insights on immigrant farm labor, and he speaks before the committee in his 'Ted Baxter' character? He basically mocks this woman's sub-committee?

    What an ass.

    And Lofgren... what a tool.