Monday, July 12, 2010

Results count

J. Christian Adams relates yet another DOJ action with racially biased results. I state it this way because Mr. Adams takes some care to say he does not mean the DOJ is racist:
Let’s get one thing straight: enforcing voting laws in a racially unfair way is not necessarily racist. Just because some are hostile to equal enforcement of the law does not mean that racism lurks in their hearts. Judge Alex Kozinski wrote of this distinction in a voting rights case, Garza v. Los Angeles. Simply, one can take actions which intentionally harm someone because of their race even if the actor does not hold racial animus in their heart towards that race. The intentional action, such as not equally enforcing the law, is racially discriminatory, even if it is not motivated by racism. Thus, I have never claimed that the unequal enforcement of these voting laws means anyone at the Justice Department is racist, as some have lazily characterized my columns. This is obviously a rhetorical snare laid by the defenders of the Department’s unequal enforcement policies — a snare Judge Kozinski’s thoughtful opinion allows reasonable people to entirely avoid.
I disagree.  I do not think the intentions are exculpatory of the results, here no more than they are for statist policies in general.  Claiming you meant to make health care cheap and universal does not excuse making it more expensive and less effective, for example.

Even under Mr. Adams formulation, however, we can say that when President Barack Obama's Department of Justice employs Julie Fernandes to call for ignoring voter ID laws, ignores Ike Brown's ugly tactics and drops the Philly New Black Panthers case, it is acting in a racist manner.

Mr. Adams formerly was employed by the Voting Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice. His website is here, should you wish further insight into the workings of the Obama/Holder DOJ.

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