For most of the country's history, the victims of racist law enforcement have been black. There were episodes when the perversion of police power was beyond grotesque. The involvement of the Sheriff's Department in the savage murders of three young civil rights workers, Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman, in Philadelphia, Mississippi 46 years ago this summer stunned most of us old enough to remember it. If the cruelty of Jim Crow didn't bring home the point, that episode certainly did.
Times have changed.
There are now non-frivolous reasons to believe that a racist -- specifically, anti-white -- bias is telling the tale in the Voting Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division at DOJ. See, for example, this post at Powerline, which contains a video tape of a news conference held by the New Black Panther Party. The leader is holding forth on the supposedly positive changes that followed the appointment of, as he says, "a black man," Eric Holder, as AG. The particular "positive change" he has in mind is the deep-sixing of the case of voter intimidation against his Black Panther colleague.
We have been following the voter intimidation scandal in several posts, and will continue to follow it. For now, I want to say only one thing about it (with apologies for personalizing it): When I started my career, at DOJ, I was so proud to be working there. I was idealistic, as many are at that age. I was confident that I would be working for justice, and to help put thugs away whether they showed up at the convenience store at 4 a.m. or the polling place at noon.
Today, I would be neither proud nor confident. Indeed I would look for work elsewhere.