When I first discovered that the Justice Department did not criminally prosecute Black Panther Party members for voter intimidation at the polls, I was appalled. It was even more fascinating to hear J. Christian Adams’ (ex - Justice Department official) testimony before the US Commission on Civil Rights last Tuesday. He declared very clearly that “over and over again” the department had shown “hostility” toward cases that involved black defendants and white victims, favoring the defendants. He went on to say, “We abetted wrongdoing and abandoned law-abiding citizens.” In other words, Adams was blowing the whistle on a strange kind of reverse racism.
What happened to Attorney General Eric Holder’s statements that he was going to pursue civil rights? Didn’t Holder call us a “nation of cowards” for failing to protect the rights of all Americans? In light of the Justice Department’s recent actions, Holder’s words ring hollow and partisan. His team seems to be applying the rule of law selectively according to his ideology, instead of objectively. This is not the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. espoused. He did not want to change positions with whites - allowing blacks to become oppressors in selected jurisdictions. Instead King argued that all the rights and privileges of the constitution should apply to all Americans - regardless of color or creed.
As these thoughts were whirring through my mind, another sign of the Justice Department’s imbalance occurred. On Tuesday July 6, Robert Gibbs made a startling confession. He could not explain why the Justice Department would bring a lawsuit against the State of Arizona (claiming that their most recent immigration laws attempt to supplant current federal law), while allowing the self-proclaimed “Sanctuary Cities” to function without challenge. He told the reporter who asked the question, “I’ll have to get back to you.”
As you may remember, the Sanctuary City term refers to municipalities that refuse to use municipal funds or resources to enforce federal immigration laws. Typically they forbid municipal employees or police to inquire about one’s immigration status. Therefore, undocumented aliens are free to maintain their lives without fear of arrest despite their violation of federal laws. Just like the Black Panther case, in the name of creating justice, good laws being are ignored.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.