Civil Rights

Justice Department racial double standard

Last week, lost in the Colbert hoopla, Christopher Coates, a former head of the
Department of Justice’s Voter Rights Division, testified, “Opposition within the
voting section was widespread to taking actions under the Voting Rights Act on behalf
of white voters in Noxubee County, Miss.”

Coates confirmed last year’s testimony by former DoJ official J. Christian Adams
that the government was wrong to drop an open-and-shut case against the New Black
Panther Party for claims of voter intimidation during the 2008 election.

Coates also recounted that Obama appointee Julie Fenandes made it clear in meetings
that the administration only wanted to file “traditional types” of voting-rights
cases that would “provide political equality for racial and language minority voters.”
Apparently, the message was loud and clear: “No more cases like the Ike Brown or
NBPP cases.”

We are better than this. Two wrongs do not make a right. Whenever someone is in
a position of power, he or she should use the power justly, not as a tool to avenge
the past. It is because of our past; not just black or white, but the country as
a whole; that We the People must be vigilant in upholding the law, no matter whom
it protects or punishes. If we fail to do so, America will never become a post-racial
society, rather a petty tyranny of resentment.

Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at, and follow him on Twitter at


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