Andrew Breitbart wants you to know that he doesn't think President Obama is “a secret member of the New Black Panther Party.” But he's more than willing to hide the truth in order to conjure up the ridiculous smear that sometimes, they hang out.
Under the headline “Shock Photos: Candidate Obama Appeared And Marched With New Black Panther Party in 2007,” Breitbart reports that at a March 2007 march in Selma, “then-Senator Obama was joined by a group of Panthers who had come to support his candidacy.”
Breitbart is providing some publicity for charges that New Black Panther Party fabulist J. Christian Adams leveled at the president in his new book Injustice: Exposing The Racial Agenda Of The Obama Justice Department, which comes out tomorrow. Breitbart provided a blurb for the back of the book, and in the acknowledgements Adams thanks Breitbart, whom he describes as his “soul brother and pied piper.”
In claiming that Obama was “joined by” the Panthers, “appeared and marched with” them, and “shar[ed] the same podium” with them, Breitbart carefully avoids explaining just what the event in question was. References to Obama campaigning “in Selma, Alabama in March 2007” and a mention of how “then-Senator Hillary Clinton and Al Sharpton were also in Selma at the same event” do more to confuse the readers than explain it to them.
What Breitbart is trying to avoid acknowledging is that several thousand people “appeared and marched” with the New Black Panthers that day. The event in question was the 42nd anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma, which ended when the civil rights marchers were attacked by law enforcement at Edmund Pettus Bridge. The Birmingham News reported:
Former President Bill Clinton and presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama locked arms with civil rights icons Sunday and marched through thousands of wellwishers, crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge to cap the 42nd anniversary Right to Vote and Bridge Crossing Jubilee.
It wasn't Obama's event. It wasn't the Panthers' event. They were all in Selma for an annual celebration of an historic civil rights moment. During that event, Obama and New Black Panthers leader Malik Zulu Shabazz gave speeches from the same podium, and both were part of the crowd that then marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Breitbart says that the Panthers “explicitly came to Selma to support Obama,” and basically establishes that they followed Obama around that day. For Breitbart, this constitutes “an association between a vile racist organization and a future President of the United States.”
Breitbart provides this photo, which he says shows that the Panthers and Obama “departed together for the main march itself”:
But a less-cropped version of the image and the YouTube video Breitbart pulls it from shows Obama walking several feet ahead of the Panthers in the middle of a crowd of people:
Looks a little different in context, doesn't it?
In an attempt to further prove Obama's “association” with the Panthers, Breitbart claims that “Obama's own campaign website would post an endorsement by the New Black Panther Party in March 2008,” later asking, “Who posted the Panthers' endorsement on the Obama campaign's website, and at whose instructions?” As a matter of fact, the Washington Times reported the answer to this question three years ago: the website, my.barackobama.com, allowed users to set up their own blog pages, and the Panthers themselves put up the endorsement. When the campaign became aware of the post, they took it down.
Breitbart also raises the specter of the New Black Panthers leader receiving invitations to the Oval Office, writing:
I have been calling for the White House to disclose which Malik Shabazz visited the private White House residence on July 25, 2009, two months after the DOJ voter intimidation case was dismissed. So far, the White House has refused to do so, leaving open the question of which “Malik Shabazz” appears in visitor logs released to the public.
But whichever Shabazz visited the White House, the administration has made clear that it was not the New Black Panther Party leader.