Last week I blogged about the incredibly stupid and racist comments of the Department of Justice’s Voting rights section chief John Tanner. (“minorities don’t become elderly the way white people do: They die first.”) I thought at the time that this insult would be lost in the fog of information that surrounds us all.
I was wrong.
First off, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) publicly called for Tanner to be sacked based on those remarks.
Now comes the “please don’t fire me!” Mea Sorta Culpa…
I want to apologize for the comments I made at the recent meeting of the National Latino Congreso about the impact of voter identification laws on elderly and minority voters. I understand that my explanation of the data came across in a hurtful way which I deeply regret. The reports of my comments do not in any way accurately reflect my career of devotion to enforcing federal laws designed to assure fair and equal access to the ballot. I am honored to have the opportunity to do this work, and I am honored to serve with the dedicated employees of the Voting Section who, day in and day out, work hard to protect the rights of all Americans under the Voting Rights Act.
It’s worth noting that Tanner does not actually retract his conclusion that voter ID laws discriminate against whites, he just sort of wishes people had not gotten so worked up about it– that’s all.