[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
As part of its campaign to promote their phony story claiming that Obama's Justice Department is shunning cases of voter intimidation by nonwhites, Fox News yesterday devoted a great deal of attention to the New Black Panthers Party, a couple of whose members are at the center of the hue and cry over GOP operative Christian Adams' absurd claims about the DOJ.
At one point, they actually ran an incredibly incendiary video showing one of the two men in question ranting at length about how much he hates white people. Mind you, to most folks in mainstream media, this is normally considered an irresponsible sort of clip to run because it is needlessly incendiary and racially divisive and, moreover, gives these otherwise fringe figures far more attention than they deserve -- not to mention that some of the people who absorb these rants will be persuaded by them.
But when it helps underscore the long-running Fox theme that Obama is a black radical racist who secretly hates white people, they'll run anything, apparently.
Now, it's worth understanding something that only Trace Gallagher briefly mentions here: The New Black Panther Party has long been recognized as a real anti-white hate group, both by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. (Read these reports in full to understand just how ugly and vicious they are.)
And indeed, Glenn Beck later in the afternoon compared the NBPP characters hanging outside a voting station to the Ku Klux Klan -- a fair comparison, but one that is more revealing than Beck thinks.
Because while the Klan of the Civil Rights era indeed indulged in voter intimidation tactics -- one of the main reasons the DOJ's voter-rights section exists in the first place, in fact -- it did so on a massive, and horrifically violent, scale. From Wikipedia:
In states such as Alabama and Mississippi, Klan members forged alliances with governors' administrations. In Birmingham and elsewhere, the KKK groups bombed the houses of civil rights activists. In some cases they used physical violence, intimidation and assassination directly against individuals. Many murders went unreported and were not prosecuted by local and state authorities. Continuing disfranchisement of blacks across the South meant that most could not serve on juries, which were all white.The site goes on to detail some of the notorious murders committed by the Klan in their campaign of terror against black voting rights, including Medgar Evers and Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman.
Meanwhile, what have the New Black Panther actually done? Sent a couple of shady-looking dudes to stand outside a mostly black precinct and where no one reported that they were intimidated by their presence. That's it.
So a little perspective is perhaps helpful here: There are indeed black racist hate groups (the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors is another). However, they are dwarfed both in size and in sheer numbers by white racist hate groups. Check the SPLC's compendium of hate groups and you'll see what I mean: they outnumber anti-white racists by about 99 to 1.
Oddly enough, we never get any reporting about these hate groups from Fox News -- except when they want to attack the Department of Homeland Security's bulletin warning about the rising likelihood of violent terrorism from right-wing extremists. Then, they're all too eager to simply whitewash away the very existence of white supremacists and far-right terrorists.
Well, for our readers' edification, we've compiled some of the haters that Fox News won't show and the things they say:
Leading off the pack is a fellow named Roy Warden. Roy is a well-known Latino-hating racist who is fond of threatening to kill his critics and anyone who opposes him -- and as you can see from the video, in fact packs a holstered pistol to all public events.
Warden is especially noteworthy because, just like those New Black Panthers, Roy Warden was in fact the subject of a DOJ voter-intimidation investigation -- and they indeed decided not to prosecute him based on a lack of evidence, just as in the NBPP case. Media Matters has more:
In his May 14 testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the DOJ's civil rights division, highlighted a case that completely undermines the notion that the DOJ's decisions in the Black Panthers case were unprecedented or racially motivated. Perez testified that in 2006, the DOJ "declined to bring any action for alleged voter intimidation" "when three well-known anti-immigrant advocates affiliated with the Minutemen, one of whom was carrying a gun, allegedly intimidated Latino voters at a polling place by approaching several persons, filming them, and advocating and printing voting materials in Spanish." [U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 5/14/10]We've rounded out the video with a selection of rantings from Minutemen, Joe Arpaio fans, and the pack of Arizona neo-Nazis led by J.T. Ready. All of these people, it should be understood, have longstanding associations with Russell Pearce and Joe Arpaio -- two of Fox's favorite spokesmen for the nativist, pro-SB1070 contingent.
Anti-immigrant activist in 2006 case reportedly had "9mm Glock strapped to his side" at polling place. A November 8, 2006, Austin American-Statesman article reported (from the Nexis database): "In Arizona, Roy Warden, an anti-immigration activist with the Minutemen, and a handful of supporters staked out a Tucson precinct and questioned Hispanic voters at the polls to determine whether they spoke English." The article continued:
Armed with a 9mm Glock automatic strapped to his side, Warden said he planned to photograph Hispanic voters entering polls in an effort to identify illegal immigrants and felons.Arizona Daily Star: "[A]nti-immigrant activist" "stood by with a firearm in a holster." A November 8, 2006, Arizona Daily Star article reported (from Nexis):
A crew of anti-immigrant activists, meanwhile, visited several South Side polling places in what one poll-watch group called a blatant attempt to intimidate Hispanic voters.Tucson Citizen: Incident "reported to the FBI." A November 8, 2006, Tucson Citizen article (from Nexis) reported that Mexican American Legal Defense Fund lawyer Diego Bernal "said he reported the incident to the FBI." The article also reported that Pima County elections director Brad Nelson said: "If intimidation or coercion was going on out there, even though it might have been outside the 75-foot limit, it's something we take very seriously, and we'll be looking into it."
Anti-immigrant crusader Russ Dove circulated an English-only petition, while a cameraman filmed the voters he approached and Roy Warden stood by with a firearm in a holster.
Diego Bernal, a staff attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), said the trio was trying to intimidate Hispanic voters. "A gun, a camera, a clipboard before you even get to the polls - if that's not voter intimidation, what is?" he asked.
Bernal said his group encountered the men at the Precinct 49 polling place at South 12th Avenue and West Michigan Street and began documenting the scene with their cameras. "There was an interesting period where they were taking pictures of us taking pictures of them."
Interesting double standard there, isn't it?