Bush DOJ Official Said He Liked His Coffee “Mary Frances Berry Style–Black And Bitter”

Posted by | January 15, 2009 20:03 | Filed under: Top Stories

John Tanner, the former head of the Department of Justice’s voting rights section, told a colleague in an email in 2004,   “I like my coffee Mary Frances Berry style–black and bitter.”  At the time, Berry was the chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  Now that it’s come to light, Tanner has sent a letter of apology to Berry.

He says he used “a very poor choice of words” which were “flippant” and “ill-considered.”  He said he used the term because he had just attended “a highly contentious civil rights hearing,” and had recently been in a coffee shop where he heard an African American woman order coffee “black and sweet, like me.”

Then — in kind of a stretch — he further explains: “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.”


Earlier this week, word came out concerning another part of this investigation concerning the behavior of  DOJ official Barry Schlozman, who discriminated against liberal job applicants.  As Republicans jump all over Eric Holder to try to muck up his confirmation hearings, it’s instructive to keep in mind what the Obama Department of Justice will be replacing.

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Copyright 2009 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.

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