If you'll excuse a political post...
...I have to comment on this line from the Justice Department (from this Washington Post article) -- not so much for the sake of the politics as to show the linguistic game that's going on:
“The Voting Rights Act was passed because people like Bull Connor were hitting people like John Lewis, not the other way around,” said one Justice Department official not authorized to speak publicly, referring to the white Alabama police commissioner who cracked down on civil rights protesters such as Lewis, now a Democratic congressman from Georgia.
Now isn't this really the crux of the difference between Left and Right here? I, and fellow non-liberals, agree that the Voting Rights Act was passed because people like Bull Connor were violating the rights of people like John Lewis, not the other way around. But we believe that you judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Ike Brown is a person whose character is that of Bull Connor (in that he used nefarious means to disenfranchise those not of his own color, though I hasten to add that he at least wasn't murderously violent about it), and whose skin color is that of John Lewis. Conservatives think the thing that matters about a person is the content of his character, and therefore we believe that when Ike Brown abused his power to keep white people from voting purely because of their skin color, Ike Brown disenfranchising innocent white people was precisely a case of a person like Bull Connor disenfranchising people like John Lewis.
But to a lot of the careerists at Justice (and to Brown himself), what matters about people is their skin color and nothing else. So to them, Ike Brown cannot be a person like Bull Connor -- the skin color is wrong, and the character is irrelevant. To them, it is self-evident that the whites whose right to vote was stolen from them cannot possibly be people like John Lewis -- the skin color is wrong, and the character is irrelevant.
In other words, they are racists.
Is Ike Brown like Bull Connor? Yes, if you look at his character; no, if what matters to you is skin color.
And now we know what matters to a lot of the career lawyers in the Department of...hm, perhaps "Justice" is not the right word. I begin to be reminded of the joke in which the President of Kazakhstan, the Politburo having denied his request for funding for a Ministry of the Navy on the grounds that land-locked Kazakhstan has no ships and no access to the ocean, replies, "So what? You guys have a Ministry of Culture, don't you?"
And we in the U.S. have a Department of Justice.