Robert Mueller recently impaneled a grand jury in the Trump-Russia investigation. Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz observed that impaneling the grand jury in the District of Columbia gives prosecutors an advantage. After all, more than 90% of D.C. voted for Hillary so the chances of pulling jurors sympathetic to Trump are far lower there than in neighboring Virginia where the vote was more evenly split. This should not be in any way a controversial analysis…unless you’re crazy Maxine Waters who decided that Dershowitz spoke out of racism.
Waters had said it was “absolutely racist for Dershowitz to assert that special counsel Robert Mueller impaneled a grand jury in Washington, D.C., because it has a “solidly Democratic” and “ethnic and racial composition” not favorable to President Trump.
“What he is saying is all of those black people are there and they don’t like Trump and so he’s not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn’t be there to begin with. I don’t like that, and I’m surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that,” Waters told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Friday night.
“We will not stand for it. We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist,” she added.
I’m not sure who the “we” is in that statement, but Waters has been a frequent sideshow on Hayes’ show since she became the leading anti-Trump conspiracy theorist in the Democratic Party.
Dershowitz was having none of it though.
“She tosses around that term so promiscuously that it dilutes the term. She hurts her own cause because she’s crying wolf,” the prominent attorney and constitutional law scholar told Laura Ingraham, who was filling in for Tucker Carlson on Fox News. “If everybody’s a racist, then no one is a racist. If I am a racist, then what is she going to call real, real racism?
“I marched in the South, I was involved in the civil rights movement all of my life,” he continued. “Being black does not give you a license to call someone a racist just like being Jewish doesn’t give you a license to call people anti-Semites unless they actually are racists or anti-Semites.”
People accused of racism like this often choose not to push back because there is a false perception that the accuser’s ethnicity actually does grant them the authority to convict others of bigotry. On the left there are people who implicitly believe one’s race makes them an authority on racism and there are people who cynically wield that perception to their political advantage. I still haven’t figured out to which group Maxine Waters belongs. Maybe both.