Back in November, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach took a call on his weekly radio program from a listener who was worried that if Latinos became a majority in the U.S., they would embark on an “ethnic cleansing” of whites. Rather than simply refute the caller’s suggestion, Kobach – a leading anti-immigrant voice in the GOP — responded by saying that President Obama was eroding the rule of law so while he didn’t “think it’s going to happen in America” he did “wonder what could happen.”
After we reported on the exchange, Kobach claimed that his remarks had been “ripped out of context” and that he was simply trying to be “polite” as the caller presented his paranoid predictions about the consequences of changing demographics.
So we weren’t entirely surprised this week when Kobach was presented with another paranoid prediction of whites as the victims of a government run by people of color and decided to go along with it too. As we reported yesterday, Kobach took a call from a listener who suggested that the Obama administration might be on the verge of declaring an end to the criminal prosecution of African Americans “regardless of the crime.” Kobach responded that while he thought it was “unlikely,” “it’s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws” and “I’ve learned to say with this president, never say never.”
Now, Kobach is being forced again to defend his comments, and this time is standing by them, citing the Obama Justice Department’s decision to drop voter intimidation charges against the Fox News villains of the New Black Panther Party. Despite the claims of right-wing activists, there is no evidence to suggest that the Justice Department dropped the case against the small-time radical group because of the race of its members.
Kobach told the Wichita Eagle that the New Black Panther Party case shows that the Obama administration has already fulfilled the caller’s nightmares “in one limited context”:
Kobach dismissed criticism.“My point was to bring attention to the Obama Justice Department’s position that some civil rights statutes can’t be enforced against people of color,” Kobach said. “For example, one of the Obama administration’s first actions it took in 2009 was to drop the slam-dunk charges against the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation.”Kobach said the Justice Department dropped the charges specifically because of race, a claim that has been disputed.…“The point is the Obama administration has already done what the caller suggests in the context of voting civil rights statutes,” Kobach said Thursday. “So it’s already happened in one limited context. No, I don’t think it will happen in other contexts. I made it clear I don’t think that’s likely to happen.”
Correction: This post originally misidentified the newspaper that Kobach gave his response to. It was the Wichita Eagle, not the Kansas City Star.