In 2007, the Bush-era Justice Department took action against a black man named Ike Brown in Noxubee County, Mississippi, saying that he had tried to discriminate against white voters in the local Democratic Primary. This became a key exhibit in the right's accusation, during the uproar over the New Black Panther Case, that the Civil Rights Division was racist against white voters. Republican hires said that the liberal attorneys in the division didn't want to protect white voters, while those attorneys responded that they didn't contest the merits of the Noxubee case, and that their objection was to the Bush-era Justice Department not acting on much more egregious instances of discrimination against minorities.
The incident was a key part of the scurrilous Republican accusation that the Obama Justice Department wouldn't protect the voting rights of white Americans. That notion was quickly debunked last year when the Civil Rights Division requested that the injunction against Brown be extended. It's now been further discredited with the news that the Justice Department has sent primary election observers to Mississippi, including Noxubee County:
The Justice Department announced today that it will monitor primary elections on Aug. 2, 2011, in Bolivar, Clay, Copiah, Humphreys, Jefferson Davis, Noxubee, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie and Wilkinson Counties in Mississippi to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group.
Remember, the key allegation against Brown was that he was trying to prevent whites from voting in the Democratic Primary. While DoJ refused to comment on the reason for sending observers, it's a good bet they did so to ensure that Brown -- or anyone else -- won't engage in these kinds of shenanigans. So much for the idea that Obama's DoJ won't intervene to protect white voters.
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