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I’ve been writing this blog quite a while now, and one of the effects of that is that I’m rarely surprised any more by extreme or even bizarre arguments in favor of racial preferences, special treatment based on race, etc. But I’m about to share with you a justification of criminal behavior, and an official pass given to that behavior, based on an argument of “structural inequality” (as discussed at length here and here) that had even me gasping in disbelief.

Briefly, that argument holds that minorities will deserve preferential treatment until the “playing field” becomes level, and that the field is not level so long as minorities are “underrepresented” anywhere, so long as any racial “disparities” continue to exist. In short, it posits the continuing pervasiveness of racism even in the absence of visible racists, of pervasive discrimination even in the absence of discriminators. Its weapon of choice to fight this racist discrimination is “disparate impact” litigation.

Keep that theory in mind as you consider one of the more glaring examples of racial favoritism, at least so far, that has been committed by President Obama’s Justice Department. After surveying a number of examples of the politicization of Eric Holder’s Justice Department, Jennifer Rubin wrote:

But these instances are tame compared with the Justice Department’s controversial and still unexplained decision to dismiss a default judgment obtained in a case of egregious voter intimidation. On Election Day 2008, members of the New Black Panther organization, dubbed by the Justice Department a “black-super-racist organization” were captured on videotape at a Philadelphia polling place. One wielded a nightstick. All wore the uniform and insignia of the organization. They made racial threats and hurled insults at voters. After the video made its way around the Internet, the voting rights section of the Justice Department’s civil rights division investigated. Additional evidence showed that the New Black Panthers had in Internet postings called for “300 members to be deployed” at the polls on Election Day. Bartle Bull, a veteran activist and civil rights attorney, filed an affidavit in support of the Justice Department, terming it “the most blatant form of voter intimidation I have encountered in my life in political campaigns in many states, going back to the work I did in Mississippi in the 1960s.”

A Justice Department complaint was filed on January 7, 2009, against the New Black Panthers national organization and the individuals present at the polls. Although the Justice lawyers urged the defendants (one of whom was a lawyer himself) to respond, they did not. The court then ordered the Justice lawyers to file a default judgment against the Panthers. Nevertheless, in an unprecedented move, the Justice Department in May dismissed the case against all defendants, save the single nightstick-wielding individual….

…. The decision mystified lawyers in the civil rights division as well as outside observers including the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which sent a letter of inquiry.

Read Ms. Rubin’s entire article for more information on this remarkable decision, and the Justice Department’s lame attempts to explain it, but I mention the voter intimidation and the shameful refusal to prosecute it here only as a prelude to the remarkable “structural inequality” defense I want to share, a defense that appeared this afternoon as a comment to my Pajamas Media article. The commenter is replying to another commenter. Here’s the relevant part:

First, the Black Panthers in Philadelphia.

This is a prime example of what the first truly great President in American history, Barack Obama, calls structural inequality.

The majority of polling places are in “white areas.” Thus, blacks inherently feel intimidated to go there. The gentlemen in fatigues were simply there to reassure black voters that they could carry out their constitutional right without fear of any form of reprisal. In case you don’t remember, in the south, my kind used to be hanged for trying to vote. One of them being my great grandfather. So perhaps I have a perspective on the Philadelphia incident that white girls lack.

Now it is possible that this comment is a parody, meant to reveal the absurdity of an extreme “structural inequality” argument, but I don’t think so. The remainder of the comment reinforces my belief that it is, alas, real.

Of course, it’s harder and harder these days to distinguish serious “structural inequality” arguments from heavy-handed parodies of them.

Say What? (1)

  1. mj August 6, 2009 at 7:31 am | | Reply

    I find nothing surprising about this. One of the great benefits of identity politics is the ability to punish some for others’ offenses. Why waste time with a defendant when you can skip right to the damages phase? If you can pin the bill on whites that’s fine. If not, asians and “the rich” are close enough.