The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Justice Department Takes a Second Look at New Black Panthers Voter-Intimidation Case

By Rob Waters on September 11, 2009 - 2:17 pm, Posted in Anti-Semitic, Anti-White, Black Separatist

The Department of Justice has begun an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the dismissal in May of voter intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party, a black separatist group.

Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, disclosed the inquiry this week. Smith has been a strident critic of the Justice Department’s decision to dismiss charges against members of the group who stood outside a Philadelphia polling place on Election Day last November in military-style fatigues and berets. The department previously won an injunction against one of the members, who had carried a night stick.

The original incident was captured on videotape and posted on YouTube, where it attracted national attention. The New Black Panther Party — which despite its name has no connection with the original Black Panther Party — is a black supremacist organization listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, based on the anti-white and anti-Semitic views its leaders and members have repeatedly expressed.

The Justice Department had cited insufficient evidence as the primary reason for dismissing the case, but some Republicans have found that unacceptable. Conservative bloggers and commentators, including Rush Limbaugh, have condemned the decision to drop most of the case. And Rep. Smith has called on Senate Republicans to block the nomination of President Obama’s choice to the head the Civil Rights Division, Tom Perez, over the matter.

Smith was notified of the Justice Department action in a letter from Mary Patrice Brown, chief counsel of the Office of Professional Responsibility, the department’s internal ethics watchdog. The letter, dated Aug. 28, said Brown’s office is conducting an “inquiry,” a preliminary step that indicates the office found more grounds to explore the complaint, while stopping short of opening a more formal investigation.

Acting Civil Rights Division chief Loretta King recommended dismissing most of the complaint in April. The complaint had been filed in January in the waning days of the Bush administration. Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ron Weich wrote to Rep. Smith in July, saying the Justice Department concluded the evidence did not support the allegation that the New Black Panther Party had directed its members to block polling places across the country. “[F]actual contentions in the complaint did not have sufficient evidentiary support,” Weich said.

“I am pleased that someone at the Justice Department is finally taking the dismissal of the New Black Panther Party case seriously,” Smith said in his news release this week. “The Justice Department’s decision to drop a case against political allies who allegedly intimidated voters on Election Day 2008 reeks of political interference. The Justice Department’s refusal to provide Congress with an explanation for the dismissal only further raises concerns that political favoritism played a role in this case. … I look forward to seeing the results of the Department’s investigation.”

Rep. Smith’s characterization of the New Black Panthers as “political allies” of the Obama administration may strike some as a bit of a stretch, however. The principal activity of the New Black Panther Party appears to be spouting hateful talk; there is no evidence of any of the health clinics or breakfast programs the original Panthers provided in the 1960s. The new group rose to prominence in the late 1990s under the leadership of Khalid Abdul Muhammad, who previously was the leading spokesman for the black separatist Nation of Islam, but whose incendiary rhetoric turned out too extreme even for that organization. In a September 2000 speech, he railed against “the hooked-nose, bagel-eatin’, lox-eatin’, perpetrating-a-fraud, just-crawled-out-of-the-caves-and-hills-of-Europe, so-called, wannabe, imposter Jew,” and also said, “There’s only two kinds of white folks, there’s only two kinds, bad white folks and worse white folks.”

Khalid Muhammad died in 2001 and leadership passed to Malik Zulu Shabazz, who once praised his predecessor for being a man “who gives the white man nightmares … who makes the Jews pee in their pants at night.” Zulu Shabazz was one of three party members named in the original Justice Department complaint in December.

The Justice Department did obtain an injunction against the man shown in the video wielding the night stick, King Samir Shabazz. It prohibits him from brandishing a weapon outside a polling place through Nov. 15, 2012.

  • Charles Taylor

    Can you imagine David Duke giving a speech, where he called for the murder of blacks, men, women, children, and infants?

  • Wendel T

    Dear Liesl

    historically? I think it is Rev Leon Kelly that teaches us about your kind of thinking. By chance do you live in Denver or NY?

  • Liesl

    It couldn’t possibly be that there simply isn’t a comparison of numbers in hate groups, could it? Nooooo! It couldn’t be that white people have historically practiced and continue to practice far more racism against African Americans than the other way around. /sarcasm

  • Wendel T

    Wow, I have come across two articles in which there are Blacks against Whites and or blacks against others in this country. But Snorlax and Beholder talk Bush? So transparent…. One or two articles out of millions about the black hate groups against whites and any other and you guys dive right into spinning out of control with you words about all else but what the article is about. Do you live here? It is what it is and your trying to hide it along with these sites is likely to backfire… you think?

  • Larry B.

    This article is a step in the right direction but the SPLC has a long ways to go for me be to be once again a PROUD member of the SPLC. I am a member, but a cool to luke warm one.
    Hateful groups can screem “DEATH TO THE JEWS” and “DEATH TO AMERICA” and stomp on my flag but nothing is mentioned by the SPLC.
    RKA (above) You wrote: “More info is available on the Hate Map.” I’ve been there, and the lack of well known radical right wing Islamic hate groups is shameful. Tolerating intolerance is not tolerance–it is sucide.

  • RKA

    Mr. Exposing,

    The SPLC does call the New Black Panthers a “hate group.”

    “Black separatist” is a category of hate group, as is “white nationalist.” More info is available on the Hate Map.

  • Sissy

    After reading some of the comments I can only shake my head…..Bush is the one who said it was against the law to deny anyone healthcare in an emergency room. Get your facts straight. What color are the ‘Black Panthers again’ ??? The shot of the person carrying the gun at a tea party was a black man. CNN etc…only would show a blown up portion of the man but FOX showed the whole person who was not even affiliated with the tea party but was an angry black racist radical left-winger!! Please get your facts straight. There is no reason to be ignorant in this information age.

  • Philip

    This is such a non-issue it’s amazing!

    In the era of “Cable News” people turn small insignifgant incidents into cause célèbre.

    Nobody knows these guys except them. Right wingers though use these idiots to perpetuate their “Dangerous Militant Blacks Motif” so that “Ma & Pa Kettle” who listen to Rush, Sean, and Bill Cunningham have a reason to vote for Palin

    Note: Please see “Reagan’s Welfare Queen” “Bush I’s Willie Horton” and the Tea Party’s “Comrade Obama”

    I guess you don’t need new ideas when dummies fall for the same old line!

  • JayLee

    As alarming as this is, why is it considered any worse than the people that are armed and at the rallies of President Obama? This intimidation is seriously wrong – but so is the intimidation of the well-armed pseudo militias of the past summer.

  • Exposing Real Hate

    When a group is black the SPLC calls them a “black separatist group”.

    When a group is white the SPLC calls them a “HATE GROUP”.

    I rest my case.

  • beholder

    Snorlax that wasn’t enough. They wanted Bush to shut the doors on healthcare for as many people as possible, because it can be so dreadful to hear anything other than English in a doctor’s office. You never know if those furriners are in there for a throat swab or to give encouragement to the enemies of Freedom.

  • Snorlax

    “most Americans want low taxes, a smaller govt, and a secure border.”

    Bush gave tax cuts to the rich, which means the rest of us
    had to pay their share.

    Bush grew the Federal government 40% and DOUBLED the Federal debt.

    Bush said illegals just take “jobs Americans don’t want”.

    You voted TWICE for the idiot chimp who was AGAINST your
    “low taxes, smaller govt, and secure border.”


  • Snorlax

    Why are the Reich Wingnuts so angry at this group of thugs?

    They just copied the same tactics Republican operatives used to FIX the 2000 and 2004 elections so an incompent drunk could lead us into lies and torture.

    You’d think they’d be flattered by the imitation.

  • daemonesslisa

    See also, “molly”

    You may be able to teach tolerance, but ignorance can’t be fixed, apparently. Those creeps will never stop.

  • James Hutchings

    Sadly it probably won’t shut any of them up, they’ll just ignore it.

  • molly

    SPLC is just a clique of well armed racist operatives who happen to have over 200 million dollars to play with…

    We all know Obama is a puppet of the bankers. and he is pushed around by a bunch of control freaks..and we all know most Americans want low taxes, a smaller govt, and a secure border.
    The SPLC spends its time castigating ordinary middle Americans because the SPLC want to bring this country down.

  • Liesl

    I was thinking the same thing, Tezuka. Oh, they’ll probably just say the SPLC did it to appease them. Some people just can’t stand to be wrong.

  • Tezuka fan

    I know this is off-topic, but this’ll sure shut up some people that say that you guys are only focused on white supremacy/NMS groups.

    ‘Nother off-topic post: Keep up the good work with Teaching Tolerance!