Latest from Houston: Black Panthers, affinity for assault weapons, smears.
This is precisely why it was such a disaster to let the New Black Panthers off the hook for their armed presence in 2008. They were emboldened by stupid decisions inside the Justice Department. And on cue, the Houston New Black Panthers announce a polling place operation for Tuesday. This is the same group that paraded in Houston with machine guns. From electionjournal.org.
In some far fringes of the internet the focus is instead on True the Vote, a group of elderly ladies and stay at home moms who serve as volunteer poll watchers. Warner Todd Huston has this must read report at BigGovernment.com about the madness descending on Houston and the race-hustlers who are quick to leverage threats against law abiding citizens who seek to bring integrity to the elections. Huston points out that they employ many of the same tactics used by the KKK, including their legal threats to civil rights groups in the 1960's to demand donor disclosure. How sad that groups once dedicated to protecting civil rights have adopted the tactics of their mortal enemies. How sad that groups that once stood for free access to a polling place have carried the water for the New Black Panther Party.
A lawyer in Houston is also threatening to deploy some of his clients who were recently released from prison to go after the observers. "Each of us has friends or relatives who fit the bill. Several of my clients just got out of [Texas Department of Corrections] have already volunteered," he sends in a broadcast email. A shocking portion from the Warner Todd Huston piece at BigGovernment.com:
"Then there is former and soon again to be State Representative Borris Miles, the same Borris Miles that was accused of threatening people with a gun in 2007. According to poll watchers Miles entered an early voting place and began loudly proclaiming that he was there to 'help' anyone that needed it. After being ignored by the voters he threateningly announced that he would be back the next day.
Additionally Miles has been heard telling his male supporters that if they feel intimidated they should react with violence if necessary. Miles reminds his supporters that 'a mans gonna do' what he has to in order to protect elderly women voters that are being harassed by King Street poll watchers. What else could he mean but that his supporters should resort to violence? It is certainly easy to assume that Miles is inciting his supporters."
But you won't hear a peep out of recent college kids cum bloggers about Borris Miles.
Here is some free advice to the hucksters that push this meme on blogs, best advise your folks to stand down. People are starting to notice, and it isn't helping your cause overall. Peoria doesn't take kindly to the defense of thugs and attacks on law abiding citizens. And to the folks who breathlessly post blog entries about citizens groups watching the polls for voter fraud, you are actually reinforcing the notion that someone has something to hide.
This is not the end of the story, in the days and weeks to come, more stories about this crowd will be written. More stories will follow about the cottage industry devoted to keeping law abiding citizens away from the polls as observers where they can detect fraud. Particular people and groups are behind these tactics. If they were serious about civil rights, they would condemn the New Black Panther's behavior instead of trying to get the case dismissed. But they aren't serious about civil rights. They are serious about their partisan agenda clothed in the noble garb of civil rights.
I'd wager the days are over of their ability to toil in relative anonymity, with the occasional public spin to blogs about how old ladies with notepads are the biggest threat to voting rights since Jim Crow. America doesn't take it seriously anymore. They have exhausted America's goodwill, built over decades of genuine litigation achievement by these groups. They broke down barriers, but their day as moral arbiters has passed. These days, they are standing watch for the lawless.
In the past, very few called them to account. But much has changed, including an activated citizenry bound and determined to stamp out electoral illegalities across the nation. This may be one of the biggest impacts of the Tea Party movement - a dedicated citizenry who will no longer be bullied by hucksters who name call in order to advance an ideological, and occasionally lawless, agenda. More often than not, their agenda isn't civil rights, but rather partisan advantage. I'll have more on this in the days ahead.