Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Elections Matter, Part 3,749

First, a look back at the state of things under the previous administration.

6 years ago I wrote about the Bush administration's evisceration of the Civil Rights Division. I quoted from a Washington Post article detailing the damage:
....prosecutions for the kinds of racial and gender discrimination crimes traditionally handled by the division have declined 40 percent over the past five years, according to department statistics. Dozens of lawyers find themselves handling appeals of deportation orders and other immigration matters instead of civil rights cases....

The Bush administration has filed only three lawsuits -- all of them this year -- under the section of the Voting Rights Act that prohibits discrimination against minority voters, and none of them involves discrimination against blacks. The initial case was the Justice Department's first reverse-discrimination lawsuit, accusing a majority-black county in Mississippi of discriminating against white voters. [emphasis added]
That's the historical context.

Now cut to the present. The DOJ is demonstrating (in both words and action) that voting rights are again a priority. They have also made a priority of investigating police misconduct, including high-profile cases in East Haven and New Orleans.

And now they're looking into the killing of Trayvon Martin.

I'm pretty sure this means Greenwald will never again mention the Trayvon Martin case (he did tweet about it a couple times before the DOJ announcement, although he never mentioned it on his blog). For anyone who genuinely cares about civil liberties, though, this--yesterday's decision, and the whole turnaround of the Civil Rights Division--is extremely good news.

Elections matter. That is all.


BH said...

And don't forget DOJ's investigation of Sheriff Arpaio's operation in Az. Yup, elections matter. Lots.

I get the Nation online, & a recent edition included a story on OWS students. One self-appointed undergrad mouthpiece was quoted as saying that Obama had forfeited a right to leadership & "the movement" was looking for a replacement. I hope that the only "movement" represented by this nimrod is the movement of his jaws.

Steve M. said...

Elections only matter to the extent that they stop DRONES KILLING MUSLIM BABIES. Other than that, elections are irrelevant. < / Green-bot >

BH said...

You had me worried there for a sec, Steve, until you added the <...>. Whew.

Tom Hilton said...

BH, I knew there was a big one I was leaving out--thanks for the reminder.

Steve, what makes it even more hilarious is that Greenwald actually claims (or used to claim) law-enforcement abuse is one of his core issues...but he consistently ignores it unless it's at the Federal level (and thus can be pinned on Obama).

Bulworth said...

A very helpful reminder.

Wish I could donate more to the campaign this year.