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Former DOJ Civil Rights Official Apologizes For Racist Email

As we wrote earlier this week, the most recent inspector general’s report on the politicization of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department reminded everyone just how big a joke the department had become under the Bush administration.

Now, someone has apologized, but even the apology is a farce.

In a short letter to Mary Frances Berry, John Tanner, the former head of the voting rights division, apologized for his remark saying that he liked his coffee “Mary Frances Berry style- black and bitter.” The insult was revealed in an email to Brad Schlozman, former head of the Civil Rights Division, cited in the IG report.

Tanner sends his “deepest apology” to Berry and says the the comment was “flippant” and “ill-considered,” which seems quite an understatement. From the letter:

I assure you that my offhand, careless comment was not meant to be disrespectful of you [...] The term “bitter,” of course, meant no sugar in the coffee, and was not meant as a reflection on you or your attitude towards a challenging situation.

Riiiight.

If Attorney General-nominee Eric Holder is confirmed — as appears likely — he’s got a heck of a job ahead of him.

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