The Perez Labor Nomination and the “Black Panther” Smear

Black panthers are scary. See?

Black panthers are scary. See?

On Election Day, 2008, an incident occurred at a polling site on Fairmount Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two African American individuals, later identified as King Samir Shabazz (KS Shabazz) and Jerry Jackson, both members of the New Black Panther Party, stood outside the entrance to the polling station in full Black Panther uniform. One of them had a nightstick.

Oops... I meant these guys. Sorry bout that! :)

Oops… I meant these guys.  That lady looks terrified, does she not?

The New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case, sometimes known simply as the Black Panther Case, is a political nontroversy being revived by Republicans in Congress in hope to block the nomination Thomas Perez as Labor Secretary.

Almost immediately after President Obama introduced Thomas Perez as his choice for Secretary of Labor, Senator David Vitter (R-La.) vowed to block the nomination in the Senate. The far-right senator issued a press release condemning “his spotty work related to the New Black Panther case,” which Vitter claimed Perez was “closely involved in.”

The New Black Panther Party and two of its members, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson, were charged with voter intimidation for their conduct outside the polling station. The Department of Justice later narrowed the charges against Minister King Shabazz and dismissed the charges against the New Black Panther Party and Jerry Jackson.

The decision to dismiss the charges led to accusations from conservative politicians that the Department of Justice under the Obama administration is biased against white victims and unwilling to prosecute minorities for civil rights violations.

These charges have surfaced and resurfaced since the November 2008 incident, and prompted several more investigations.

The Justice Department has carried out its own internal investigation into the handling of the case. In fact, the case has been investigated at least three times since 2008.

But that doesn’t stop the smear factory from grinding out more manufactured controversy… Even the Wikipedia entry has been updated to include more allegations in the case… Despite the fact that the Justice Department released a new investigation report as recently as March 8, 2013. (seen here)

Yes…. Republicans did know that these report results were coming. (Where do you think I got the link?)

Fresh Wikipedia edits citing conservative media.

Fresh Wikipedia edits citing conservative media.

The 299 page report, titled A Review of the Operations of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, makes it apparent that internal investigations cleared Thomas Perez from any bias or wrongdoing, as well as other attorneys in the case:

March 2013 report contents

One of the reasons that the case was not pursued beyond the basic initial charges was this silly fact: No one came forward to say that these two men outside the voting location intimidated them. Some news reports from around that time of the case speculated the the initial complainants (surprise!) had White Nationalist ties. The two NBPP members involved in the case initially went to the voting location to prevent intimidation of  voters.

More from the 2013 report.

More from the 2013 report.

Here is the report in its entirety.

It’s a 250 page thriller on voting rights and the responsibilities of government officials enforcing voting laws. White conservatives are also worried about being intimidated by more scary minorities.

Also, David Vitter, who is fronting the effort against Thomas Perez, is a hypocritical pervert. 

I hope we’ve cleared that up, now.

Matt Osborne has an awesome video explaining the origins of the Black Panther case:

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