Eric Holder Defends New Black Panther Case Treatment

Says allegations of Justice Department reverse racism "fly in the face of history and facts."

Posted:
 
ericholder
Getty Images

Politico reports that Attorney General Eric Holder got fed up Tuesday with claims that the Justice Department went easy in a voting-rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party because they are African American.

The specific accusation from Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas): "There's clearly evidence, overwhelming evidence, that your Department of Justice refuses to protect the rights of anybody other than African Americans to vote." 

Specifically, he accused the Justice Department of failing to cooperate with a Civil Rights Commission investigation into the handling of the 2008 incident in which New Black Panthers in intimidating outfits and wielding a club stood outside a polling place in Philadelphia.

Holder was especially exasperated by a comment Culberson read in which former Democratic activist Bartle Bull called the incident the most serious act of voter intimidation he had witnessed in his career.

"Think about that," Holder said. "When you compare what people endured in the South in the '60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia -- which was inappropriate, certainly that ... to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people."

He added, "To compare that kind of courage, that kind of action, and to say that the Black Panther incident might be somehow greater in magnitude or is of greater concern to us, historically, I think just flies in the face of history and the facts."

Holder, who once chastised Americans for being "a nation of cowards when it comes to race," doesn't seem to have that problem himself.

Read more at Politico.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. 

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.