Civil Rights Violations Only a Concern of the Right?

Posted: Jul 17, 2010 5:25 PM
That certainly seems to be what the Washington Post is suggesting.  In reporting on the unfolding scandal surrounding the Department of Justice's "handling" of the New Black Panthers/voter intimidation case, the Washington Post writes about how the case "riles the right."

A 2008 voter-intimidation case has become a political controversy for the Obama administration as conservative lawyers, politicians and commentators raise concerns that the Department of Justice has failed to protect the civil rights of white voters.

It's interesting to me that the Post singles out "white voters," when no "conservative lawyers, politician or commentator" has made that assertion.  The charge is that the New Black Panthers were intimidating voters--a clear violation of the law, regardless of their race.  Period.  Why is it a violation of whites' civil rights?  Just because the violators are black?

Isn't it possible that any other ethnic group could've also been intimidated by uniformed men standing in front of polling places weilding weapons??  It seems like the Post has freely made some unwarranted assertions about the case while it's being investigated.

Conservatives complained last year when Justice officials narrowed the case, dropping the party and one of the men and focusing only the bearer of the stick. Department officials have said since then that they did not have sufficient evidence to pursue the case against the other defendants. Justice officials who served in the Bush administration have countered that the department had enough evidence to pursue the case more fully and called the decision to narrow it political. The matter caught the attention of some Republican lawmakers, who held up the confirmation of President Obama's assistant attorney general for civil rights for months asking for a congressional review of the case.

The conflict intensified last week when former Justice Department lawyer J. Christian Adams, who was hired during the Bush administration and helped develop the case, told the Commission on Civil Rights that he believed the case had been narrowed because some of his colleagues in the civil rights division were interested in protecting only minorities.

Regardless of what party you belong to or what ideology you might subscribe to, the accusations being made about the Justice Department are very serious.  Why is it that the media is reporting on the case through an ideological and racial lens? 

If it had been armed, militant whites "standing guard" at a polling location, would that change the circumstances of the case at all?  Of course not.  But since the case is revolving around black defendants, why is the media--and the Obama administration--seemingly so eager to dismiss it all as just a political squabble and not as a serious judicial matter?

Strangely enough, it's the exact same manner in which Media Matters is spinning the story.  In fact, Soros' MM praised the Post for revising their headline to reflect a more politically divisive story.  Way to go, Washington Post.