In latest DOJ smear, right-wing blogs distort New Black Panther video

Blog ››› ››› SEAN EASTER

The right-wing media have made discredited claims about a case of alleged voter intimidation involving two members of the New Black Panther Party at a Philadelphia polling location on election day, 2008, in order to attack the Obama Justice Department as racially biased. In reality, the Obama DOJ obtained an injunction against one individual who was carrying a night stick at the polling location. Charges against the second member at the polling location, the president of the party, and the party itself were dropped due to lack of evidence.

Now, right-wing blogs are pointing to a video that they claim, falsely, contains footage of the NBPP president admitting to a coordinated plan to intimidate voters. The video appears on, headlined "President of New Black Panther Party Admits to Plan to Intimidate Voters," with rollover data reading, "Malik Shabazz incriminates himself in black panther case." The headline of the post on Big Government states, "New Black Panther Party President Admits to Philadelphia Voter Intimidation." The post on Freedom's Lighthouse reads, "In newly uncovered video Malik Shabazz incriminates the Black Panthers by admitting they went to polling stations to intimidate voters." At Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft wrote: "In a newly discovered home video, Malik Zulu Shabazz states to a crowd of Panther members that the activities that occurred in Philadelphia in Nov '08 were indeed done to intimidate voters."

These assertions are simply false. In reality, nowhere in the video does Shabazz describe a plan to orchestrate voter intimidation. Instead, he says that the NBPP planned to respond to perceived efforts to prevent "black people from coming to vote." From the video as seen on

SHABAZZ: We decided that on election day, that we would go out to the polls. Because of what? Because they said they was going to be stopping black people from coming to vote. We knew that they didn't want a black man in office and there were strong intelligence indicators that there was going to be some trouble at the polls and we wanted to make sure the police were not harassing our people, so we wanted to go out and do what we could. [Abrupt video edit] It's just that sometimes the New Black Panther Party, sometimes, whatever we do we just tend to do it kinda strong. You know what I mean? [laughs] Sometimes whatever we do, we just do it, real strong. And sometimes it can even be too black and too strong.

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