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Obama Hates Whitey, Loves Black Panthers

So the right-wing is up-in-arms about a case involving a couple of Black Panthers, Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson, caught standing outside a polling location in Philadelphia on Election Day 2008, apparently to intimidate voters.

First of all, if you type the name “Samir Shabazz” into Google, every single hit on the first page comes from right-wing blogs. The first actual “news” source you come across is Rupert Murdoch’s Washington Times, followed by FoxNews.com, which reports:

The Bush Justice Department brought the first case against three members of the group, accusing them in a civil complaint of violating the Voter Rights Act. 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.

The inherent allegation is that Obama, who is deeply sympathetic to the Black Panthers due to his secret anti-white radicalism, personally stuck his hand in the case to get his justice department to drop the charges.

Erick Erickson wrote a piece recommending that republicans should tie Samir Shabazz to Obama just like they tied Willie Horton to Michael Dukakis in 1988—an ad campaign that many believe put George H.W. Bush in the White House. There’s nothing like a dangerous black man to turn voters against a politician.

Good luck with that, republicans. This is a complete non-story, and nobody outside of the political right is going to bite. Barack Obama, tool of corporate America, friend to Wall Street, constant panderer to conservatives, just doesn’t strike us as the kind of guy who is going to actively intervene to deny justice to black defendants.

But it fits perfectly well with the right-wing narrative, which paints Obama as a secret racist who got elected in order to destroy the country out of revenge for crimes against his race. And if you spend all your time in the conservative media bubble, you might get enough stories like this to feel like this perception is justified.

The fact that the rest of the media hasn’t paid any attention to this ridiculous non-story might be proof that they’re liberal and in bed with Obama, but it might also mean that it’s just a non-story. Like the ACORN-prostitution scandal, this is something blown way out of proportion by FoxNews and the rest of the right-wing media in the hopes that it will gain some traction, rile up the conservative base, and do more political damage to Obama.

The irony is that there are so many good reasons to criticize Obama—so many legitimate, fact-based allegations to be made against him—that these media outlets could do serious damage to him if they wanted, but it doesn’t fit with their narrative of him being a radical socialist reverse-racist terrorist-sympathizer who is deliberately destroying America as punishment for slavery. So they constantly latch on to this kind of bullshit, which isn’t helping anybody but a few republicans who need help getting out the vote.

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