Barack Obama’s stealth appointment of Debo P. Adegbile as a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is a last-minute slap in the face to police by a president who has already spent eight years demonizing cops and encouraging violent agitators to lash out at law enforcement.
Because Adegbile cannot be removed from the Commission for six years except for “neglect of duty or malfeasance in office,” the slap is intended to leave its mark long after Obama has left office.
As an attorney with the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, Adegbile defended unrepentant cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who enjoys celebrity status on the Left. In 2014, Adegbile’s association with Mumia got him voted down by the Senate after Obama nominated him as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice.
This time, Obama needs no congressional approval. Nevertheless, the NAACP and George Soros-funded Media Matters for America have both tried to distance Adegbile from Mumia in recent years.
“Almost 25 years after Mr. Abu-Jamal’s trial and conviction in state court, LDF chose to support Mr. Abu-Jamal’s federal court jury selection challenges, and later to represent him,” was the official demurral in 2014 from the NAACP’s Sherrilyn Ifill. The same year, Media Matters published a “Myths and Facts” sheet claiming that Adegbile was merely participating in “the finest tradition of this country’s legal profession” by filing endless appeals on behalf of Abu-Jamal.
And in case you were wondering, Mumia is most certainly a cop killer, regardless of the bizarre conspiracy theories his supporters have spun over the years.
“The question of Abu-Jamal’s guilt is not a close call,” journalist John Fund has written. “Two hospital workers testified that Abu-Jamal confessed to them: ‘I shot the motherf***er, and I hope the motherf***er dies.’ His brother, William, has never testified to his brother’s innocence even though he was at the scene of the crime. Abu-Jamal himself chose not to testify in his own defense.”
As police officer Daniel Faulkner tried to arrest Abu-Jamal’s brother during a traffic stop, Abu-Jamal shot the policeman once in the back and then stood over him and shot him four more times at close range, once directly in the face. Multiple eyewitnesses saw it happen.
John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police slammed Adegbile’s appointment as “Obama’s goodbye present to police across the nation.”
“That’s just the old kick in the teeth to the cops,” he said. “This guy was Mumia’s sugar daddy through the appeal process—he did everything and financed the whole thing.”
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) also condemned Adegbile’s appointment.
“In 2014, a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate agreed that Debo Adegbile was not fit to represent the people of the United States in enforcing Americans’ civil rights,” Toomey said.
“Mr. Adegbile did not simply defend a client,” the senator said. “He supervised an effort to lionize unrepentant cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal, who cold-bloodedly murdered Philadelphia police officer Danny Faulkner 35 years ago.”
“Mr. Adegbile supervised the effort to spread misinformation about the trial and evidence, fabricate claims of racism, malign Philly police, and organize rallies across the globe that portrayed this brutal cop-killer as the victim,” he said. “A Democrat-led U.S. Senate evaluated the facts and agreed that Debo Adegbile is not fit to represent the American people as an enforcer of civil rights.”
But evidence has never mattered to Mumia’s supporters.
The “Free Mumia” movement has never really been about proving Mumia’s purported innocence, or about ending the death penalty. “Free Mumia” is a cult. Mumia is the cult’s holy leader only because he killed a cop, and Adegbile is preparing to ascend to the Commission on Civil Rights only because he defended a cop killer.
Defense attorneys who spend their careers representing truly hapless, low-level criminals who bumble their way into small crime and might actually merit some measure of leniency from the system don’t end up on U.S. Commissions of Anything. To rise to the level of federal commission chairman, or Ivy League constitutional law professor, or cable news talking head, or celebrity lawyer featured in a miniseries or biopic, you have to represent the truly reprehensible.
And in the hate-filled cosmology of the hard left, that means not only killing a cop, but killing a cop after you advocate for killing cops and continue to advocate for killing cops after your conviction. That level of commitment narrows the pool to a few aging Black Panthers and the handful of Black Liberation Army murderers not already fled to Cuba or pardoned by Bill Clinton.
Mumia is the undisputed king of this elite group. In order to be permitted the honor of defending Mumia, the plum job of the hard left, a lawyer must be a true believer in the Cult of Mumia and by extension, the cult of cop killing.
One need look no further than Mumia’s own “career” to understand that.
Before he gunned down officer Faulkner in cold blood, Mumia was just another job-deficient wannabe thug and activist on Philadelphia’s streets.
Killing a cop changed all that.
Before he killed a cop, Mumia was fired from a public radio station in the Philadelphia market because of the way he talked about violence. But after he killed a cop, Mumia was given his own show on public radio to talk about violence and cop killing, and his radio shows are broadcast internationally.
Before he killed a cop, Mumia never got around to finishing either high school or college: after he killed a cop, colleges and universities showered him with honorary degrees, PEN showered him with literary awards, and he has been the graduation speaker at numerous colleges.
Before he killed a cop, the former Wesley Cook was a taxi driver. After he killed a cop, Mumia became an honored “citizen of the world.” The cult of Free Mumia celebrates his birthday at events in major cities that draw a Who’s Who of professional leftists, elected officials, academicians, and writers. Dim bulb celebrities take out full-page paeans to Mumia in the New York Times. Twenty-five cities around the world, including Paris, Montreal, Palermo, and Copenhagen have made Mumia an honorary citizen. A street, Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal, in a suburb of Paris, France is named after him.
And now the cult of Free Mumia has snagged a six-year seat on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Amazingly enough, Debo P. Adegbile is not yet the worst appointment ever made to the Commission on Civil Rights: Carter appointee Mary Frances Berry currently holds that honor.
Berry’s strange Washington career says much about the tarnished history of the Commission. First appointed to serve as Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education, Berry was known for carrying Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book around in her purse. She embarrassed President Carter by praising China’s totalitarian schools. He moved her over to the Commission on Civil Rights, where, apparently, believing in re-education camps is less a political liability.
While on the Commission, Berry issued the statement that “Civil Rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of white men and do not apply to them.” After she made that assertion, President Clinton elevated her to Commission Chair. She served until slinking back to academia in 2004, after sowing a quarter-century of virulently anti-white politics through the very federal board designated to investigate and report on discrimination.
To say that President Obama has sullied the Commission on Civil Rights by appointing a member of the cult of Free Mumia to serve there neglects the Commission’s recent, radical history under Mary Frances Berry, who is arguably an even more rabid Mumia supporter.
But Adegbile’s appointment, and the churlish back-door behavior of Obama in elevating him against the wishes of Congress presents an opportunity to expose a major fault-line in American politics: the divide between ordinary people who oppose killing cops and the small-yet-elite group of leftists who consider cop-killing to be a calling in service to the revolution.
After all, the purpose of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is to research and report on civil rights violations, and what could be a more urgent civil rights cause than rooting out the cultural cesspools where virulent cop-hatred festers, in a year when fatal shootings of police are up 72 percent? Perhaps a sane member of the Commission, such as Gail Heriot, might sponsor such a report.
To provide balance to the Commission, Congress may want to fill the empty seat that is its privilege to appoint. In my opinion, a member of the Fraternal Order of Police or the widow of Daniel Faulkner would be a good choice.