Anything <em>but</em> colorblind
Attorney J. Christian Adams' five years in the U.S. Justice Department's Voting Rights Section ended with his 2010 resignation over Justice's dismissal of a Philadelphia voter-intimidation case despite video showing a New Black Panther Party member brandishing a nightstick at a polling place. Now, he lays out a broader indictment in his new book "Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department" (Regnery).
Discussing that Philadelphia case and others, Adams writes that Justice is now dominated by left-wing "racialists" drawn from the "civil rights industry" who believe in enforcing laws only to benefit traditional minorities -- even laws intended to be race-neutral, even when it's whites whose rights are at stake. Following are excerpts from the Trib's phone conversation with him.
On his deep commitment to race-neutral law:
There is no part of the Constitution that was purchased with more blood than the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. Those were the Civil War amendments. And it didn't stop at the Civil War -- I mean, there were people dying in Selma, Ala., in 1965 for those same principles. ... The stakes are also enormous, because race has dogged this country. ... Going back to 1620 or 1619, when the first African slaves were imported to Jamestown, we have never known normalcy about race. And finally we fight a bloody Civil War, we get these three constitutional amendments, which say the law must treat everyone equally, must be race-neutral. But even a hundred years later, it still doesn't work out, and then finally, in 1965, we pass the Voting Rights Act, and finally, for the first time in this nation's history, the law treats everybody equally when it comes to voting. And so if you think back -- I mean literally, we're talking hundreds of thousands of people died in places like Antietam, Gettysburg ... (and) Selma, for these principles. And so it's as important as anything in this country. ... I mean, you can't go to any other country in human history ... and find another place on Earth where the law said everybody is equal when it comes to race. And so it's as exciting to me as the Founders in 1776 coming up with their revolutionary ideas -- and it doesn't get as much attention.
On "racialist" vs. "racist":
The law doesn't punish hatred -- the law punishes using race as a tool, as a criterion, as a decision point. And so that's what "racialist" is. "Racist," on the other hand, is somebody who has hatred for the other race. And it's hard sometimes to know where the line is ... .
On the "civil rights industry":
I debated (the head of the Massachusetts NAACP) and he actually said that (cases) like the (New) Black Panther case turn the spirit of the Voting Rights Act upside down. So it's funny how people in the civil rights industry, like the NAACP, will act as if the Black Panther case wasn't dismissed for racialist reasons, but when they ... start talking to you in smaller crowds without television cameras, they defend the idea that the Voting Rights Act should only apply to black people. I mean, it's an astonishing sleight of hand by these groups. ... There was a time when the NAACP had a great moral authority -- in the 1920s, when they opposed lynching; in the 1950s and '60s, when they opposed Jim Crow, and they were on the right side of history and the right side of right vs. wrong at that time. But instead ... they have become a venomous racialist organization that exists primarily to extract racial spoils in the law, whether it's preferential hiring, whether it's using the Voting Rights Act to leverage racial advantage, whether it's entitlement programs. I mean, it has become an industry rather than a cause ... .
He delivered -- literally
Long before "Injustice" author J. Christian Adams was making news, he was delivering news -- in the form of the Trib -- to neighbors' homes in his native Westmoreland County:
"I was in the heyday of paperboys ( laughs ). I was a ... paperboy probably from, I'd say '77 to maybe '80, right when the Steelers were winning Super Bowls and the Pirates were winning (the) World Series, so I got to deliver all those Super Bowl papers. ... And you know, they would throw in an extra paper sometimes, so I have all of those World Series and Super Bowl Tribune-Reviews downstairs ... . Yeah, I kept them all.
"Actually, there's a picture of me, probably in, I'd want to say, October or September of '84 in the Trib, when I got my Eagle Scout award. ... I think it might even have said he's a former paperboy. ... Anyhow, it was a long time ago."
NEW PAGES TO TURN
The Thomas Sowell Reader
by Thomas Sowell
This volume collects writings by Thomas Sowell -- some complete, some excerpts -- spanning a half-century on topics that range far beyond politics and economics and come from newspaper columns, letters, books and articles written for both scholarly and popular publications. Now a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, Sowell organizes these dozens of pieces by topic, devoting sections of the book to social, political, legal and educational issues, economics, race and ethnicity, and random thoughts, plus a couple of brief biographical sketches. For any reader intrigued by Sowell's newspaper columns, this book's sweep offers an opportunity for fuller immersion in the author's outlook, with its wide range of topics helping illuminate the fundamental principles that Sowell applies to so many aspects of life. Ultimately, what's revealed by "The Thomas Sowell Reader" -- beyond specific stands on particular issues -- are the workings of a deft, orderly mind that belongs to a man who surely ranks among the great thinkers of his lifetime.
Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?
by Patrick J. Buchanan
(Thomas Dunne Books)
The themes of Pat Buchanan's first book published during the Obama administration will be familiar to readers of his newspaper columns: America, which began as what the publisher terms "a Western Christian republic," is disintegrating in the face of that faith's loss and resulting moral, social and cultural collapse, becoming "a multiracial, multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic stew of a nation" without successful precedent. The author of six New York Times best-sellers expounds at length on how Americans increasingly have less in common and fight more among themselves over social and political issues while government that values above all "diversity" and equality of outcomes fails at such basics as securing borders, balancing budgets, educating children and fighting wars. But all is not lost -- at least not yet. Buchanan urges rolling back federal power, a renewal of "economic patriotism," "a retreat from empire" and a return to first principles as cures for what ails the nation. Otherwise, he warns, America's fate will be grim indeed.
SHELF LIFE: FOOL ME ONCE ...
Make-believe can be harmless fun -- witness Halloween -- but sometimes has serious consequences, as it did 73 years ago today, when Orson Welles' radio dramatization of "War of the Worlds" panicked many listeners.
Add intent to deceive, often abetted by media outlets where desire for scoops and audiences outweighs "watchdog" duties, and make-believe can be downright dangerous, even criminal. History is replete with frauds and hoaxes in art, science, media and beyond -- think "The Hitler Diaries," Clifford Irving's "authorized" Howard Hughes biography, Bernie Madoff and 2009's "Balloon Boy."
Make yourself less likely to be fooled by learning about past frauds and hoaxes from the following titles selected especially for A Page of Books readers by manager Karen Rossi and her staff at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Downtown & Business branch.
The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-bats in Nineteenth-century New York
by Matthew Goodman
(Basic Books, 2008)
A Colossal Hoax: The Giant from Cardiff that Fooled America
by Scott Tribble
(Rowman & Littlefield, 2009)
Fakes & Forgeries: The True Crime Stories of History's Greatest Deceptions: The Criminals, the Scams and the Victims
by Brian Innes
(Readers Digest Publishing, 2005)
The Forger's Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century
by Edward Dolnick
The Great Dali Art Fraud and Other Deceptions
by Lee Catterall
(Barricade Books, 1992)
by Clifford Irving
Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World
by Eugenie Samuel Reich
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Impostor
by Mark Seal
A Page of Books, written and compiled by Alan Wallace, appears on the last Sunday of each month.