Last Updated:November 27 @ 10:50 am

Parker: Racial politics thicker than justice

By Star Parker

When the House voted last Thursday to find Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt of Congress, members of the Congressional Black Caucus walked out.

Why is the Black Caucus trying to make this about race?

It's about Holder's refusal to turn over Justice Department documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in its investigation of the Fast and Furious operation.

Fast and Furious was a gun-walking operation conducted by the Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The ATF would allow known smugglers to purchase arms from dealers in Arizona with the idea that they would trace them to their destination to operatives in drug cartels in Mexico.

Before the vote, Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., appeared on CNN calling the House contempt vote "... silly and detrimental to one human being." On MSNBC, he told Al Sharpton, "This is partisanship at its most base level."

Sure, it's an election year. And if you had to stretch to appreciate the complaint against Holder being made by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House committee doing the investigation, you might buy Cleaver's claim that this is just Republican political grandstanding.

But you don't have to stretch to appreciate the case against Holder.

It seems pretty clear that Fast and Furious was a botched operation. The ATF lost track of some 2,000 weapons that disappeared into the hands of criminals in Mexico. In December 2010, weapons traced to this operation were found at the scene of U.S. Border agent Brian Terry's murder. Others were tied to the murder of at least 200 Mexican citizens.

The investigation into these ATF activities began with inquiries by ranking Senate Judiciary Committee member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, after Agent Terry's murder.

The Justice Department, in a letter to Sen. Grassley, initially denied the existence of gun-walking operations. But this picture changed when ATF whistleblowers brought facts to the contrary to light. Subsequently, Justice withdrew its letter, saying its denial of the existence of these operations was mistaken.

Inconsistencies in Holder's testimony before the House committee produced further reasons for suspicion. And then Holder stonewalled for months, refusing to produce the documentation that the House committee requested.

Whether there is a fire here remains to be seen. But there is plenty of smoke.

Yet Cleaver calls the House vote holding Holder in contempt "silly"? The chairman of the Black Caucus should have the opposite reaction, if only out of concern for his own community. Illegal drugs smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico cause havoc among black youth. According to the Center for American Progress, there have been more than 25.4 million drug convictions in the U.S. since 1980, and one-third of them were black.

To grasp what's really motivating Cleaver, I apply what I call the "A Time to Kill" test.

In the 1996 film "A Time to Kill," a black man in a town in Mississippi hires a white lawyer to defend him after he kills two white racists, who raped and mutilated his daughter. When the lawyer makes his closing argument to the jury, he asks them to close their eyes. He describes the atrocities that were done to the girl and concludes by saying, "Now imagine she's white." His black defendant is acquitted.

So close your eyes. Consider the details about Fast and Furious, and then picture that the attorney general is not Eric Holder, but John Ashcroft (first attorney general of President G.W. Bush) and that the murdered border agent, Brian Terry, is black.

Would Emanuel Cleaver now call this contempt vote "silly"? Would the Black Caucus have walked out?

For the Black Caucus, this is about racial politics. Fortunately for us, for Issa (who happens to represent my home district in California), this is about shedding light on what might be broken in ATF operations.


Star Parker is an author and president of CURE.

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  1. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    July 2, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    When the American Black Minority Caucus walks out on unjustified acts of contempt of our Congress and investigation into obvious acts of treason, it is just an incident of theatrics. If ever the American White majority caucus walks out and ignores the unjustified acts of contempt of Congress and the investigation into obvious acts of treason, the show is over and the theater of Liberty is closed. The members of this black caucus had better get back into the theater and into the audience or their voices will never be heard, not that many of them should be anyway. They turn their backs on the very thing that freed them, and secures their freedom.

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    • billwvComment by billwv
      July 2, 2012 @ 8:38 am

      When you see ‘black radicals’ take to the defence of Ozero and Holder; you better know that the devil is in the details. All you will ever get out of Dems is the race card and they will factor it in at every opportunity.
      Holder is ‘in contempt’ of Congress; plain and simple; and to try and make this something ‘black or white’ speaks volumns on the mentality and mind set of the ‘black caucus.
      Get rid of Ozero in 2012.

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  2. fearlessComment by fearless
    July 2, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    You are right to question and condemn the actions of the CBC. Thanks for the “A Time To Kill” test, seems like a useful tool. Remember, it wasn’t just the CBC that walked out of the vote; the vast majority of Democrats didn’t vote as they also walked. This is troubling for me, as I don’t see a path for our political system to return to sanity except through implosion. There seems to be an absence of statemanship, let alone bipartisanship. It will be interesting to watch, but I think it will be very ugly and painful.

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    • vevaComment by veva
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:34 am

      The content of the Congress needs to be CHANGED and get rid of the ones in there now who operate like a bunch of spoiled kids. Statesmanship has been missing for too many decades. Earmarks are one of the problems. Racial ‘identification’ on everything is another one. So WE need to vote for NEW representatives and senators 6 Nov. Make a HUGE effort to vote, to get the family,and your sensible neighbors and friends to the polls. Take the elderly to the polls. Most states will be voting by ‘mail-in’ ballots, but phone calls should be made, a week before to remind every non-brain dead qualified, conservative who hasn’t voted, by the week before.

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  3. MustLiveFreeComment by MustLiveFree
    July 2, 2012 @ 9:48 am

    Why does the CBC still exist? Are they not good enough to caucus with whites still?

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    • duckherderComment by duckherder
      July 2, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

      They don’t want to caucus with whites! They don’t want to be “equal” – they want special RIGHTS. It has never been about equal rights, from day one!

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    • cxComment by genesal
      July 2, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

      And they’re not ready to give up those ‘Special Rights’ they have been given since Obama has become Prez. We need to be more careful in choosing Presidents in the future.

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  4. bgannyfComment by babs
    July 2, 2012 @ 11:18 am

    Making it about race, always gets people to shut up and sit down. Thus – they win again and again.

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    • AMVoterComment by AMVoter
      July 2, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

      That was the case in the past but blacks have worn out the race card with the help of this president and turned it into a meaningless fodder.

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  5. wedeyComment by wedey
    July 2, 2012 @ 11:53 am

    Elijah Cummings is the worst, as he said he said it should be investigated no matter no matter where it lead or how high.
    I think it is disgraceful that all those members walked out. They act like the poor losers in Wisconsin. It is no wonder congress has such a low approval rating. When O was ramming everything down our throats the first two years, you didn’t see the republicans walking out and I guess they should have, as they were totally ignored anyway.

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  6. smilingatorComment by smilingator
    July 2, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

    The Black Caucus demonstrates clearly
    – everytime they walk out because they aren’t capable of initiating a valid discussion –
    that the intelligence level of the meeting has risen remarkably Higher! It would appear the country would be
    much better governed if they just never came back in!

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  7. calharComment by calhar
    July 2, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    With the black caucus in congress its always about race?That is how they get what they want.If they don’t they holler racialy motivated biased or accuse someone of discrimination.In reality all of their B.S is nothing more thanEXTORTION???????

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  8. joelinpdxComment by joelinpdx
    July 2, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

    Really Star, don’t you know? Anything you say that doesn’t support the Obozo Administration is racist. Just ask Janeane Garofalo.

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  9. JDZComment by JDZ
    July 2, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    The Democrats in Wisconsin ran away and hid to avoid voting on the legislation that changed the union collective bargaining rights, etc. The same here with the Eric Holder vote as the CBC and Pelosi and others walked out and did not vote on the legislation. Harry Reid will not bring up for a vote over 30 bills written in the House that have been sent over to the Senate this year. 15 or more have to do with strategies to actually create jobs for unemployed Americans. The Senate has not passed a budget proposition in three years and the government just keeps on borrowing and spending.

    This Congress and administration is totally disfunctional and it is primarily due to the radical agenda and arrogant behavior of the Whitehouse and the Senate. If it is not their dictated by the “dictator in chief”, then is is a no go at the onset. It is their way or the highway, to put it bluntly.

    The lawlessness of this administration is rampart and they are getting away with it across the board because our top cop of the DOJ is complicent in actually facilitating the lawlessness. Eric Holder is either incompetent or is acting in direct conflict with the laws he swore to uphold. It is tyranny at work and these guys are used to getting away with anything they want to do. Apparently the only way to stop it is to vote out Obama in November and for Republicans to take back the Senate. Nothing else seems to stick.

    None of this is race based, it is far left socialist/communist behavior that is now entrenched in the Obama administration.

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  10. middlegroundComment by middleground
    July 2, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

    One out of every six American is reportedly out of work or working part time,yet we are told we can’t get along without those workers who are in this country illegally. If these Americans are not working because they can make more on welfare, change the law. If they are unemployed because of laws prohibiting them from working, change the laws. I didn’t like digging ditches or picking crops, but it was what teenagers did when they had to pay their own way to college. They didn’t go to soccer camps or quarterback camps, they found summer employment in menial jobs, worked and saved. Somehow we all survived and eventually some prospered, but we sure as h444 didn’t think we were too good to do menial work and that was what “others” did.

    As I have visited NYC, I see Blacks as polite salespersons in stores learning to work and be successful in the same manner as every other American and I can’t help but think we finally have a “grassroots” movement that is welding us together as working Americans and then I read about the race exploiters who are trying to preach hate, sloth and envy like those in the Black Caucus and I wonder why they were elected and who couldn’t see this as a dead end.

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  11. prairelivingComment by praireliving
    July 2, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

    Walking out of a vote reminds me of when I was a member of a Soviet state country at a Model UN in college. It didn’t matter what the issue was, it didn’t matter what the position of the US was, nothing mattered except when the Soviet leadership didn’t like it we walked out. Our advisor, who had lived in a Soviet controlled country, told us that this was what the real delegation would do so as to show support for the Soviets. It didn’t do us any good, we didn’t get to vote on anything, and we followed along like sheep.

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  12. FreeDameComment by FreeDame
    July 6, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

    The good news is that the race card has been played so often that most of us don’t care anymore. Call me a racist? I’m not even insulted. I just shrug and walk away.

    This was never about race, certainly, but it is also not about a “botched” operation. The DOJ never had any intention of following those guns, as evidenced by direct orders telling ATF personnel NOT to follow the straw buyers. From the beginning, this operation was designed to put guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels so that there WOULD be killings. And so that the Liberals could use them as an excuse to take away our Second Amendment rights. It was a great plan with only one little flaw. They got caught.

    Finally, obviously, if Holder had nothing to hide, Issa would have had all the documents he asked for long ago. Now, Holder’s only defense is to hide behind Obummer (who was probably in on the game from the beginning.)

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