One can be forgiven for wondering what level of New Black Panther Party (NBPP) thuggery is sufficient to warrant the attention of Florida law enforcement officials or, seemingly, the most myopic U.S. attorney general to ever head the Department of Justice. On March 24th, New Black Panther Party leader Mikhail Muhammad offered a $10,000 bounty for the “capture” of Zimmerman and publicly stated that Zimmerman “should be fearful for his life.” Fellow Panthers distributed wanted posters calling Zimmerman a “child killer” and offering that bounty “dead or alive.” And in a mind-boggling rant during a conference call, Michelle Williams, Chief of Staff for the Tampa, FL branch of the NBPP, told Party members to get ready for a “race war.”

Willams was just warming up. She got far uglier:

I just wanna say to all the listeners on this phone call if you are having any doubts about getting suited, booted, and armed up for this race war we in (sic) that has never ended, let me tell ya somethin’–the things that’s about to happen to these honkies, these crackers, these pigs, these pink people, these mother-f**ker (inaudible) people, it has been long overdue.

What constitutes a criminal action in Florida? Florida Code 787.01 makes it a felony to “Commit or facilitate commission of any felony,” or “Inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person.” Florida Code 777.04 considers it a “criminal conspiracy” if a person “solicits another to commit an offense prohibited by law and in the course of such solicitation commands, encourages, hires, or requests another person to engage in specific conduct which would constitute such offense or an attempt to commit such offense,”  or if a person “agrees, conspires, combines, or confederates with another person or persons to commit any offense.”

How serious are the Panthers? On March 24th, Hashim Nzinga, 49, a high-ranking member of the party, also announced on CNN that the NBPP would offer a bounty for Zimmerman, even as he noted that in this particular case, “we letting (sic) Attorney General Eric Holder–who clearly I know Obama and Eric Holder will be on our side–this case need (sic) to be a murder case, and it need (sic) to be a murder case quickly, or we gonna do what America been doin’ for many, many years–a citizen (sic) arrest.” On March 27th, Nzinga himself was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

Has Attorney General Eric Holder, as Mr. Nzinga seems to believe, chosen sides? On Monday April 9th, George Zimmerman’s family sent a letter to Holder, asking the Attorney General how it’s possible that “a group of people in the United States put a bounty on someone’s head, circulate Wanted posters publicly, and still be walking the streets?” Mr. Holder has not responded, and DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler did not respond to a request for a comment on the issue by The Daily Caller.

Two days later, Mr. Holder appeared at the opening of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) convention–and heaped praise on the racial arsonist “for your partnership, your friendship, and your tireless efforts to speak out for the voiceless, to stand up for the powerless, and to shine a light on the problems we must solve, and the promises we must fulfill.” That would be the same Al Sharpton who publicly advocated for a “full blown occupation of Sanford with tents and everything over Easter weekend” as well as a threat that his is National Action Network would “move to the next level” if George Zimmerman was not arrested in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

At the conference, Holder also promised to “examine the facts and the law. If we find evidence of a potential federal criminal civil rights crime, we will take appropriate action. And, at every step, the facts and the law will guide us forward.” That promise was made with respect to George Zimmerman. The implication here is that if Zimmerman is found innocent in Florida, the DOJ will continue to pursue a case. What did Holder have to say about the NBPP and their overt threats against Mr. Zimmerman’s life? Not a word.

Mr. Nzinga may be correct about where the president’s sympathies lie as well. Mr. Sharpton was invited to the White House for its Easter Prayer Breakfast, despite his long and public record of fomenting racial discord and violence. And Mr. Obama also became the first president ever to appear at the same NAN conference attended by the Attorney General.

Thus, the two highest-ranking law enforcement officers in the nation have aligned themselves with a race-baiter. And lest anyone think they were alone, Sharpton’s conference was also attended by U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson–all of whom gave speeches. Hilda Solis was as effusive regarding Sharpton as Attorney General Holder. “I am proud to march with him on any occasion,” she gushed.

One can only wonder if such “occasions” would have included the 1991 march in Crown Heights that fomented three day of black violence against Jews, or the 1995 demonstrations against a Jewish store owner in Harlem that precipitated the murder of eight people, not long after Sharpton promised protesters that a black record store owner wouldn’t have his rental lease terminated “so that some white interloper can expand his business on 125th Street.”

As for Holder, this is not the first time he has demonstrated a calculated lack of concern regarding lawlessness by the Panther Party members. The DOJ dropped an already won case of voter intimidation against three men who showed up armed outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008, and shouted racial threats at voters. The defendants failed to respond to a DOJ lawsuit, and a federal court in Philadelphia entered a default judgment against them. Despite this, the DOJ dropped charges against two defendants and barred the third man from displaying a weapon near a Philadelphia polling place for the next three years.

The ginning up of racial animosity (where no evidence of any exists) by the NBPP and NAN achieved the desired outcome. Mr. Zimmerman was indicted for second-degree murder by Special Prosecutor Angela Corey last Wednesday, even as she promised that she and members of her team would be “seekers of the truth.” One can only hope. Ms. Corey had ample chance to present her findings to a grand jury prior to indicting Zimmerman. She passed, despite the fact that only the prosecutor presents evidence at that point in the process. This is a possible indication that Ms. Corey might have been concerned that the evidence she would have presented was insufficient to warrant an indictment.

Attorney Alan Dershowitz thought so. He accused Corey of grandstanding for political gain, and contended the indictment was “unethical” because “nothing in the charging instrument … suggests probable cause to believe Zimmerman had a ‘depraved mind regardless of human life’ when he shot Martin,” required under Florida law.

Whether Dershowitz is right or wrong remains to be seen. What apparently will not be seen is any pursuit of charges against the New Black Panther Party, who crossed the freedom of speech line when they put a bounty on Zimmerman’s head. Nor does it seem we will get anything in the way of a statement from President Obama, telling the NBPP and or Al Sharpton and his National Action Network to back off.

That’s what a president who once said, “Our goal is to have a country that’s not divided by race,” would do. But that was long before the administration’s dismal record of first-term accomplishments necessitated changing tactics to deflect attention away from that record. Thus, courting even the tiniest of potential constituencies, even those who align themselves with racist agitators like Al Sharpton and the NBPP, becomes necessary.

Yet his silence regarding the NBPP and his embrace of Al Sharpton demonstrates something else as well: given a choice between being president or a community organizer, Mr Obama reflexively opts for the latter job description.


Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to, and He may be reached at

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