As you’ll see in the video below, things got hot and heated at Reseda High School when Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) held a town hall meeting in his 27th District. A constituent addressed the congressman on the subject of how the Justice Department dropped a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) for purely racial reasons. Sherman dismissed the incident as something just made up on the Internet. He claims he had never heard of the allegations made by former DoJ attorney J. Christian Adams. Later, in a written statement below, Sherman blames his ignorance on the subject because of the Main Stream Media.
During the town hall meeting July 11th, Sherman attempted to assure the constituent that “I am extremely sure we do not have a policy at the Department of Justice of never prosecuting a black defendant when the victim is white.” He went on to say “As to the Black Panther Party case, I’m simply not aware of that case.”
Congressman Sherman blames the Main Stream Media for his ignorance. He said that there had been scant mention of the Black Panther case in local newspapers and other media sources he actually follows. “In contrast,” Sherman writes, “Fox News covered the issue repeatedly.” He adds “I will soon send a letter to Attorney General Holder regarding the importance of allegations of voter intimidation, and the Philadelphia incident in particular.”
Indeed, the Main Stream Media has ignored the dismissal of the NBPP and the claims by J. Christian Adams. When they do report on it, they provide misleading information. For example, The Atlantic repeated a claim by Adam Serwer that the DoJ “dismissed” the case while George W. Bush was still president. This was also picked up and repeated by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. The very next day, however, Serwer back-tracked his claim, and now admits that during the Bush Administration, the DoJ only “downgraded” the case to civil charges and that the case was indeed dismissed during the Obama Administration.
The Main Stream Media also is not showing the original video of the incident outside a Philadelphia polling location where two members of the NBPP were intimidating voters. Nor video from 2006 where the one member who has holding a police nightstick, King Samir Shabazz, addressed a crowd telling African-Americans that if they want freedom they must kill “cracker babies”. Shabazz was the only one of the four members of the NBPP who was actually reprimanded in a default court judgment and banned from any polling locations in Philadelphia for two years. Barely a slap on the wrist.
Perhaps we are too hard on Congress Brad Sherman for being ignorant of the New Black Panther Party case? After all, he apparently does not watch Fox News. If a story is not in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or on ABC, CBS, NBC MSNBC or CNN, then I guess in Brad Sherman’s view, it never happened. On the other hand, he is a member of Congress, a paid servant of the people. I would suggest that the folks in California’s 27th Congressional District find themselves somebody else more informed to represent them in Washington.