The Obama administration initially pursued the case
, winning a default judgment in federal court in April 2009 when the Black Panther members did not appear in court. But
then the administration moved to dismiss the charges the following month after getting one of the New Black Panther members to agree to not carry a "deadly weapon" near a polling place until 2012
In otherwords, a plea bargain was reached, but you have to ask yourself why wasn't this case pursued to the fullest extent of the law? Well, consider that:
a. No one was hurt.
b. No voter was denied their right to vote.
c. It's the individuals protected right to free speech; the only knock is he happen to make such a vile statement outside a polling place on the night of the Presidential election.
Although there apparently is evidence that this wasn't the first time this has happened in recent history w/the New Black Pather party, there hasn't been any evidence to my knowledge (that has been made publicly atleast) that shows that any white voters were denied their right to vote. In fact, according to atleast one website that has covered this incident, some eyewiteness to the Philly account have stated that they saw white voters laughing at the individual who spoke. Clearly, no one was intimidate by his words, and that's the key here, folks.
Before responding to this thread, I did some research and no better commentary as to how insignificant this issue is can be summarized better than the words from Abigail Thernstrom, the Republican vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who not only called this incident "small potatoes, but also considers it to be a "manufactured controversy" by his own party.
In the grand scheme of things, I'd have to agree with him. Again, I understand how polarized this incident has become; whites in particular want "tit-for-tat" justice, but really how does this compare with the voting rights denied of African-Americans since before the 15th Amendement, the Civil Rights Act and the Voters Rights Act were all passed? Believe me, I understand where many whites (and Conservatives) are coming from because as an African-American, I've been on that side of racial injustice. But when you really take the racial and partician blinders off, what real harm has this small trio of racially bias individuals done other than communicating a threat and uttering hate speech?