The Corner

Race and President Obama’s Justice Department

Over the weekend, President Obama, whose campaign appeal was based in part on the premise that he transcended racialism, made a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus– a race-based organization that crossed the threshold of obsolescence almost contemporaneously with its formation decades ago.

Among the representations made to the gathering by the president was the following: “We (the Obama administration) recommitted our Justice Department to the enforcement of civil rights laws.” Apparently, the president’s staff neglected to brief him on the  evidence adduced by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that the Justice Department is enforcing those civil-rights laws in a racially discriminatory fashion; that one of his political appointees allegedly informed the Voting Rights Section that Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act would not be enforced by this administration; that the Civil Rights Division has a culture hostile to the color-blind enforcement of voting-rights laws and; that the case against the New Black Panther Party was dismissed for reasons other than its legal merits.

Moreover, it appears the president missed last week’s announcement by the DOJ’s inspector general that he is embarking on an investigation of DOJ’s enforcement of the nation’s civil-rights laws.

Apparently, the mainstream press has been so successful at burying the news of serious allegations of racially discriminatory enforcement of civil-rights laws by the DOJ that even the president is oblivious to it. At its public meeting this Friday, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will be voting on its report to the president and congress concerning the DOJ’s enforcement of civil-rights laws. The report will detail all of the evidence gathered by the commission during the course of its year-long investigation. The report will make specific findings and recommendations.  Perhaps then the president and the media will take the matter seriously.

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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