Share This Page

The Adegbile nomination: Rejecting race-baiting

| Thursday, March 6, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

The unvarnished truth for Debo Adegbile was that he had engaged in a blatant case of race-baiting. And that was too much for even seven Senate Democrats — among them, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania — who joined with every Senate Republican — led by Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey — to block the nomination of Mr. Adegbile to lead the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

Adegbile supervised an NAACP legal team that argued that the 1981 murder conviction of Philadelphia cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther, was tainted by racism. The black nationalist's death sentence was commuted to life in prison.

Now, it's one thing to represent a client to the best of your legal ability. And we would expect no less. But it's quite another to recklessly fan the flames of racism where none exists. And that's exactly what Adegbile did. Mr. Abu-Jamal is neither the hero nor political prisoner he was painted as and he certainly is no victim. He is a ruthless and unrepentant murderer.

At least one Democrat, Tom Harkin of Iowa, called Adegbile's rejection a racist act. President Obama defended the indefensible actions of Adegbile, calling his qualifications “impeccable,” saying he “represents the best of the legal profession” and that his defeat “runs contrary to a fundamental principle of our system of justice.”

“(T)hose who voted against (Adegbile's) nomination denied the American people an outstanding public servant,” Mr. Obama said. No, Mr. President, they stood up for common decency.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.