Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 11:15:05 am
Tommy Christopher has a good piece at Mediaite today on Andrew Breitbart's race-baiting attempt to tie President Obama to the New Black Panther Party, with a look back at the right's history of using the NBPP to scare white people: Andrew Breitbart Obama Black Panthers Photobomb.
During the 2008 campaign, reports surfaced that the Obama campaign had posted an endorsement of the candidate, by the NBPP, on its website. But what really happened was that an NBPP member posted a blog in a user-controlled forum (kinda like our comments section), and it was later removed.
In the waning hours of that campaign, the McCain campaign also pushed a story about two NBPP members outside a Philadelphia polling place, who were chased away by police because one of them was holding a nightstick. The group’s leader, Malik Zulu Shabazz, told me the following day that those two members defied his explicit instructions in bringing a weapon to a polling place. He was authentically angry about it, but mainly because of the heat it would bring down on his organization.
That story would become the basis for an overreaching suit by the Bush Justice Department that resulted in default judgments against the two members, and the organization. The Obama DOJ vacated the judgments, citing a lack of legal justification, and obtained an injunction against the man who had carried the nightstick. A politically-stacked Civil Rights Commission took up the case in order to, as one Republican member of the Commission said, “bring Eric Holder down and really damage the President.”
The whole thing got tick-tock coverage on a number of Fox News programs, and across the conservative web, but very little from the mainstream press, except to debunk it.
Just in time for the 2012 election, however, comes more of this silliness, from Andrew Breitbart himself, and his progressive pal, Lee Stranahan.
The reason why Breitbart and Stranahan are spreading race-baiting lies is clear; it's a long tradition in the GOP to keep the white voting base as afraid as possible of the scary angry black men:
Breitbart and the zealots behind this smear are trying to create a Black Menace to scare white voters, and tie it to Barack Obama. Now, no one is saying that the NBPP are good people. The NBPP has been designated a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. They’re very bad people, but their worst offenses are making a lot of vile statements (many of them right to my face), and getting into a shoving match with some reporters. To equate them with a murderous group like the Ku Klux Klan is offensive; to do so in an attempt to race-bait is despicable.
Their membership numbers are unknown, but I would be shocked if it exceeded the low hundreds. Shabazz was consistently evasive with me about the group’s funding, but did reveal that they are not well-funded. At various times, I’ve tried to contact the NBPP headquarters, and gotten disconnect messages. They are not a menace to anyone. Their primary use is to scare white people, which is apparently pretty easy to do, depending on the white person.