New Black Panther report released by USCCR

The essentially final report of the United States Commission on Civil Rights about the New Black Panther dismissal is complete.  What does it say?  I’ll leave that to Jennifer Rubin’s summary at the Washington Post.  What is my reaction?  The report is large and thorough.  I was highly impressed by the writing of Commissioner Gail Heriot.  She provides compelling insight on a number of legal and factual issues that I believe nobody has yet provided including me.  I am particularly impressed with her writing as a writer, not just as a lawyer.  She commands the details of the subject as well as the broader implications of the matter.  The dissent seems to have undergone a retreat of sorts from some of their earlier bluster.  That is their right, and I would too given the circumstances.  On a number of occasions, the dissent make plainly false statements.  I’ll not catalog all of them here.  What I will catalog are some of the more interesting moments in the report, and reserve other opinions for those who ask:


This was news to me.  Given dozens of us know they are true, the sands fall into the bottom chamber.  From the report:

Michael Yaki, one of the investigation’s most vituperative critics, has publicly admitted that some of the allegations of racial favoritism we have uncovered, if true, are very disturbing. Specifically, he said that if the allegations against Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes are true, she should be fired.


Gail Heriot uncovers this tidbit about which I was not aware.  No surprise to me – but should be to the taxpayers paying the salary of this DOJ official:

“The law was written to protect black people.”  - Julie Fernades while employed by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and reported on page 132 of the report.


Chris is good at written statements.  I wasn’t particularly thrilled to be there in July:

Commissioner Yaki has insisted, of course, that Ms. Fernandes never made the  statements Adams attributed to her. Adams must be lying or he misunderstood the incidents he was reporting–or so Commissioner Yaki asked us to believe. But on September 24, 2010, Adams’ allegations were specifically corroborated by Christopher Coates, who, like Adams, was testifying under oath. Coates was able to furnish the Commission with a written statement, so his accusation was more elaborate than Adams’.


Professor Heriot writes:

Moreover, Adams and Coates testified that it was common for career attorneys at the Division to oppose the race neutral application of the law and that it was Bush administration attorneys who authorized the Brown case. Under the circumstances, it would hardly be shocking (or inappropriate) for a career attorney interesting in applying the law neutrally to prefer to take his chances with the outgoing  administration rather than the incoming one. The evidence thus far indicates that events have unfolded in a way that would vindicate that judgment, if indeed such a judgment was made.


On the case cited by AAG Tom Perez on default judgment requirements.  Ooops.

Shields v. Zuccarini, 254 F.3d 476 (3d Cir. 2001), is not even a default case, so it is not clear why it was cited.


Heriot’s pen is mighty:

Few Americans can tell you exactly what members of the Italian Black Brigades wore, just as few can tell you exactly whether an organization like the Black Beret Cadre of Bermuda even existed. But that doesn’t mean they will look at two men wearing black berets, military-style boots, New Black Panther Party insignia, black pants, shirts and jacket and a night stick and not realize that they are looking at menacing thugs emulating the dress of paramilitary and similar organizations of the past. Americans are not fools. No one mistook King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson for a pair of existential philosophers on their way to sip coffee at a sidewalk café in Paris.


This is just one of many vile evil statements by the founder of the NBPP:

Khalid Abdul Muhammad, national chairman of the New Black Panther Party until his death in 2001 and considered by some to be the father of the movement, once told a cheering crowd: I said if we’re going to be merciful we give ‘em [whites] 24 hours in South Africa to get out of town by sundown. I said if they don’t get out of town; we kill the men; we kill the women; we kill the children; we kill the babies; we kill the blind; we kill the cripple; we kill the crazy; we kill the faggots; we kill the lesbians; I said goddamnit, we kill ‘em all.


Michael Yaki falsehood:

Communications between J. Christian Adams and Republican operatives reveal that, less than two weeks before the creation of the J Memo, the trial could not establish even a basic outline of the events that took in Philadelphia. (Nonsense, this pertained to identifying who a certain poll watcher was.  The “basic outline of events” was well known).


Error in Yaki footnote 83

We find it noteworthy that, as with other statements made by AAG Perez, the Report completely fails to mention the fact that the relief was extended. Rather, the Report claims that AAG Perez's statements about this highly-relevant topic were merely generalized and often non-responsive. This assertion is pure fallacy.  (Error – nothing whatsoever was “extended.”  That motion has not been granted.)


Error throughout Yaki dissent, and footnote 64:

“ . . . Mr. Adams’s use of ‘deploy’ is puzzling. Mr. Adams seems to use deploy in its proper way, as an action that a commander (in his imagining, Malik Zulu Shabazz) performs on their troops.”

(A jmemo is signed by multiple parties as author, not one party as Mr. Yaki implies.)


Wow! How does Michael Yaki know this; what DOJ official would dare say ideology drove their hostility to the case.  Actually, this isn't a hard question to answer:

Lastly, due to the extraordinary politicization of the Civil Rights Division during the Bush Administration, the long-time veteran career staff who were the acting-heads of the Division were properly suspicious of those hired or promoted during that period of politicization.


To the boats! Commissioner Yaki spies his white whale on page 197:

“as opposed to being simply ‘true members’ of the von Spakovsky/Schlozman Team.”

Of course there are other errors by Commissioner Yaki, but I'll leave that to some good reporters to find. 

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