Lawsuit Alleges Discrimination Against Whites in Mississippi
By Jake Tapper and Avery Miller
Wednesday 28 December 2005
For the first time, justice department alleges voting disenfranchisement against whites.
Macon, Miss. – In overwhelmingly black and Democratic Noxubee County, Miss., everybody knows local Democratic Party chairman Ike Brown.
Officials at the U.S. Justice Department know Brown too; they’re suing him. Using the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the government has alleged that Brown and local elections officials discriminated against whites. It is the first time the Justice Department has ever claimed that whites suffered discrimination in voting because of race.
“When I read the letter, it was junk, you know, bogus,” Brown told ABC News.
The Justice Department says Brown and local elections officials disenfranchised whites – challenging their voting status, rejecting their absentee ballots and telling voters to choose candidates according to race.
Brown says he has merely tried to keep white Republicans from voting in Democratic primaries. He says the lawuit is all political – an attempt to discredit him because the Democratic Party in eastern Mississippi has been doing so well at bringing new voters to the polls, which may mean someday soon that Mississippi, a red state, could turn blue.