The Racists of Tangipahoa Parish

Oct 18 2009 Published by under Misc, Politics

You would think that it would be hard to find a statement more outrageous than hopefully-soon-to-be-former-Louisiana Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell's attempt to prove that he's not a racist:

"I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

For that matter, you'd think it would be hard to find conduct more outrageous than Bardwell's repeated refusal to marry interracial couples. Unfortunately, this turns out not to be the case. It's almost painfully easy to find both more outrageous statements and more outrageous conduct. All you have to do is look at what other Tangipahoa Parish officials have said and done when confronted with the blatant racism of Keith Bardwell.

For more outrageous words, see Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess, as quoted in a recent AP article:

Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess said Bardwell's views were not consistent with his or those of the local government. But as an elected official, Bardwell was not under the supervision of the parish government.

"However, I am certainly very disappointed that anyone representing the people of Tangipahoa Parish, particularly an elected official, would take such a divisive stand," Burgess said in an e-mail. "I would hope that Mr. Bardwell would consider offering his resignation if he is unable to serve all of the people of his district and our parish."

For more outrageous deeds, we have a second Tangipahoa Justice of the Peace - Terri Crosby. Crosby is the Justice of the Peace who eventually carried out the marriage that Bardwell refused to officiate. Bardwell referred the McKays to Crosby for the wedding, as he has done with other interracial couples in the past. Crosby, by the way, has a granddaughter who is mixed race, and told CNN that she doesn't think that the area is racist.

I'm not so sure about that.

There can be little doubt that Keith Bardwell is an out-and-out racist who is mentally unequipped to cope with the demands of life in the second half of the 20th Century. He is a pitiful creature - one of the more pathetic examples of humanity to make the news in recent weeks - but it is not remotely fair to paint him as the only villain in this case - or even as the main one. After all, it's not entirely his fault he was put in the position to do such damage - he is, after all, an elected official.

Crosby, Burgess, and the other politically active people of the parish lack Bardwell's poor excuses. They may think of themselves as not being like him, but they condoned his behavior. They knew - there's no way that they couldn't have - about Bardwell's idiocies, but they did nothing.

Crosby married the couples that Bardwell wronged. She undoubtedly knew that he had refused to do his job. Yet she did nothing about that. She raised no fuss, filed no complaints, and left him free to insult the next innocent interracial couple. She has failed in her duties at least as much as he did.

Burgess may be disappointed that there are now people around the world who believe that he runs a parish populated by racist hicks. He may want Bardwell to go away now. But it boggles the mind that he was ignorant of Bardwell's views. You don't get to be a political power anywhere by being ignorant of what the other politically active people around you do or think. Yet not only has Bardwell been repeatedly elected to his job, he's never even had to run against an opponent.

The absolute best that can be said for the officials of Tangipahoa Parish is that they did not care about what Bardwell was doing. They might want to think of Bardwell as an anomaly, and they probably want to believe that they're all doing fine when it comes to race relations. But they're not. The problems that Tangipahoa Parish has with race go far beyond the despicable actions of Keith Bardwell.

36 responses so far

  • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Latest comments from the (in)Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell (source:USA Today)
    “Everybody hates me,” he tells reporters. “Really. I don’t know why. I treat people, I figure, equal. I have one problem with mixed marriages and that is the offspring.”
    Another fine example of logic from a Republican constitutionalist. One would think he could answer the mystery of why everyone hates him by meditating on his last comment regarding interracial “offspring”. I suppose an interesting question that should be asked is how a person this stupid ever got this position in the first place? Bobby Jindal’s effort to have this person dealt with is as slow and feckless as Bush Jr.’s leadership during the Katrina disaster. Did I forget to mention Bardwell refuses to resign?

  • Anonymous says:

    If it is important to protect and preserve the rights of every race, then it is implicitly equally important to preserve each race from destruction. Both the black race and the white race should be entitled to self-preservation. It would not be difficult to prove that the right to self-preservation is guaranteed under the Constitution. This in no way implies that one race is better than another.

  • fu says:

    Anon, if the government ever forces you to take a spouse against your will, then the Constitution will be relevant to your racist paranoia.

  • Brian says:

    Give me a break! There is nothing outrageous in Gordon Burgess (1) pointing out that Bardwell's behavior is outside his jurisdiction as Bardwell is an elected official, followed by (2) an explicit statement that he disapproves of Bardwell's stance, (3) that it is divisive, and (4) that Bardwell should resign. Apparently Mike Dunford has a bone to pick, and the Bardwell incident is a convenient opportunity to get to picking that bone.
    Then Mike says that JP Crosby saying that she doesn't think the area is racist is another an example of an outrageous deed. This is not an outrageous deed. (She is not quoted as saying that Bardwell's actions are not racist...) This is akin to an alcoholic asserting that anyone who says they do not have a problem with alcohol is -- by virtue of that statement -- shown to be an alcoholic.
    Mike says, "There can be little doubt that Keith Bardwell is an out-and-out racist..." But I think there is room for doubt. It IS clear that Bardwell expects to see racist behavior on the parts of others (those who would make the kids' lives hard), but that doesn't make him out to be a racist. After all, everyone who is calling him a racist expects to find that anyone who holds a malodorous position on a issue involving race is a racist; does that make all of his detractors racists? (Of course not!)
    I do think Mike is onto something in his allegations against the rest of the parish officials who have let this man continue in his position as a JP while making this refusal repeatedly. It does not condemn them all (as Mike is wont to do), but it certainly condemns some (including Crosby).
    Sir Magpie De Crow: You have no business calling Bardwell "a Republican constitutionalist." His behavior shows him to be far removed from any such description. Further, he has been roundly condemned by any number of constitutionalists. Bardwell switched from being a Democrat to being a Republican. This certainly shoud show that there is at least a possibility that his political stand(s) is/are not very firmly established in his mind, as is not the case with most constitutionalists.
    His position on the issue at hand, wherein he feels he must supervise the activities of others, is much more in keeping with the mentality of one who supports the nanny state, hardly a constitutionalist sentiment.

  • Brian says:

    Anon, races do not have rights. MEMBERS of races have rights. This being the 1st point in your chain of reasoning, the whole chain breaks down.
    You say, "then it is implicitly equally important to preserve each race from destruction." (This is actually a non-sequiter, even if your 1st point were valid...)
    There is no reason to hold that it is important to preserve any race from destruction, if you mean the race fading from existence through assimilation, mixing, etc. (Of COURSE it is important to protect races from active destruction, such as racial cleansing!)
    If any given member of one race wants to have children with a member of a different race, then there is nothing that makes that something that should be guarded against, disapproved, disallowed, or any other consideration that would not hold for two members of the same race.
    The only rights of self preservation that can be made from the Constitution are the right of the individual to self preservation, and the right of the state to self preservation against outside attack. (The state has no right to self preservation from within -- if the people want to abolish it, then it is their God-given right to do so.)
    But even so, Bardwell is not operating from a racial-preservation position in the first place, only a position of avoiding the creation of children who will have a tougher time of life than might otherwise be the case (a position with which I disagree -- I don't think things would be harder for them; and which I think is not Bardwell's call to make -- even were the law silent on this point).

  • fu says:

    Mike says, "There can be little doubt that Keith Bardwell is an out-and-out racist..." But I think there is room for doubt. It IS clear that Bardwell expects to see racist behavior on the parts of others (those who would make the kids' lives hard), but that doesn't make him out to be a racist.

    Brian, why are you defending a racist?

    His position on the issue at hand, wherein he feels he must supervise the activities of others, is much more in keeping with the mentality of one who supports the nanny state, hardly a constitutionalist sentiment.

    Your right-wing libertarianism is incoherent, and your mindless recitals of propaganda slogans like "nanny state v constitutionalism" do not accord with reality. The real world is not so clear cut.
    Do you believe the federal government should or should not have outlawed segregation in the South? If you think they should have, then you support "the nanny state." If you think they should not have, then you oppose black people's individual liberties.

  • Brian says:

    FU2,
    I am not “defending a racist,” I am questioning whether he IS one or not. Refusing to sign marriage certificates for racially-mixed couples is insufficient reason to be solidly on one side of the issue or the other. His motives are the whole issue, and I cannot ascertain his motives sufficiently from this one issue. No one can——more information is required.
    Hey! Tone it down on the labels: You're going to hurt my feelings! (The corollary is: if you disagree, try making a case for your disagreement instead of attacking the person with whom you disagree -- if you can, that is...)
    I do not believe the federal government should have outlawed segregation——it was already unconstitutional. They should have upheld the constitution in the 1st place.
    If New York, for instance, had passed a segregationist law, then the proper procedure is for someone to bring suit, take it to the Supreme Court, who then should strike down the law, ending that episode of segregation, and setting precedence.
    Passing laws to "enact" what is already in the Constitution cheapens the Constitution and puts lawmakers in a position of doling out to the citizenry rights that they already are intrinsically endowed with. This is a bad situation, in my opinion.
    Now, if the Constitution is amended to institutionalize segregation, then it will take an additional amendment to rectify that wrong, and the federal government (with the states, as is required) should additionally amend the Constitution to reestablish the liberty that was embodied therein prior to that segregationist amendment.
    So: I do not support the nanny state, while I do support the liberty that blacks, whites, yellows and reds (and greens and purples, if we can find them) are recognized by the Constitution to possess as a gift from their Creator.
    One of the legitimate role of the government is to protect the liberties and property of the citizenry from crime and tyranny within (the legislature, the police and the court system) and from without (the armed forces). Government fulfilling its legitimate goal is not an example of the nanny state. Though you seek to paint me as hypocritically supporting the nanny state if I support the government fulfilling its legitimate function, I reject that. You are mistaken.

  • fu says:

    I am not “defending a racist,” I am questioning whether he IS one or not.

    By pretending that his behavior might not be racist, you are defending a racist. If you are so unfamiliar with the tropes of white supremacy that you don't recognize the historical "concern for the children of interracial marriages" among them, then you are unequipped to even have this conversation. But in any case, please stop defending this racist.

    Hey! Tone it down on the labels: You're going to hurt my feelings! (The corollary is: if you disagree, try making a case for your disagreement instead of attacking the person with whom you disagree -- if you can, that is...)

    Don't be a dumbass. An ad hominem fallacy is of the form "you are an asshole, therefore you are wrong." There is nothing fallacious about the fact that "you are wrong, and you are an asshole."

    I do not believe the federal government should have outlawed segregation——it was already unconstitutional. They should have upheld the constitution in the 1st place.

    So a privately owned cafeteria which had a private policy of serving only whites was violating the Constitution?
    I have never heard a right-wing libertarian argument for how that could be so. Please explain yourself.

    Passing laws to "enact" what is already in the Constitution cheapens the Constitution and puts lawmakers in a position of doling out to the citizenry rights that they already are intrinsically endowed with. This is a bad situation, in my opinion.

    You really are an idiot. You have no idea how the law or the Constitution works. Have you never heard of enforcement legislation? There is a reason why the Fourteenth Amendment ends with the words, "The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."
    One reason is that the Constitution itself is too broadly worded for individual officials to constantly interpret for themselves. What constitutes "unreasonable search and seizure?" The decision can't be made over and over separately by every single law enforcement officer and judge in the nation. That's why there are specific laws enacted which make the government's limits and the people's rights explicit, sometimes in tedious detail, which officials can follow instead of the whims of their personal, idiosyncratic interpretations. It is these laws which in turn are subject to oversight and rejection by the Supreme Court.

    Though you seek to paint me as hypocritically supporting the nanny state if I support the government fulfilling its legitimate function, I reject that. You are mistaken.

    You didn't even understand, let alone answer, the question.
    Most segregation in the south was private policy. So was a privately owned cafeteria which had a private policy of serving only whites violating the Constitution?

  • Brian says:

    Well ,your to smart for me...
    But let me ask you this, because it occurs to me, and I would be interested in your answer. (I'll just ignore the profanity and vulgarity...)
    Is there a constitutional issue with the sign (and policy) in an establishment, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”? Feel free to expound.

  • fu says:

    So that's your way of saying you would prefer to allow private segregation.
    Even though that would have made life intolerable for black folks in southern towns, and they would have been denied the opportunity to shop, work, and live normal lives.
    You believe the federal government has no authority to ensure equal opportunity to all citizens.
    I still haven't met a right-wing libertarian yet who wouldn't make excuses for racist segregation.

  • Brian says:

    Listen dimwit: I'm not _SAYING_ anything!!!
    I am curious about what you would say about the topic——As I explicitly stated!
    As I contemplated my answer, that situation occurred to me, and I found myself in a quandary between "we reserve the right to refuse serve" and my hearty approval of prohibiting segregated lunch counters and buses. I wanted to hear your take on it.
    If you knew how to participate in a discussion rather than attempting to pummel the person who would otherwise be discussing with you, you would be a lot more successful in winning people to your side, and you might accidentally learn something. I accidentally learned that I hold a dissonant view between the refusing of service, and the prohibiting of segregation. I learned that even though you are trying to hit me with a flamethrower with every post. Man!! Up yours, pal!
    If you weren't trying my patience so, just think what you might have accomplished. But now, really, I don't think I give a rat's rear end what you have to say any further. Grow up!

  • Vince Whirlwind says:

    Fu is not engaging in any fact-gathering and analysis - all we have from that quarter is the usual post-modern leftist dogma in the form of cries of "racist!, racist!".
    I've read this marriage celebrant's justifications and I suppose his motivation might be clearer if you actually look at fact (just imagine that, fu!) and juxtapose a few statistics:
    1/ The social well-being and health outcomes of mixed-race children:
    http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/fryer/files/MR%20KIDS%207.1.08.pdf
    "As one might expect, on a host of background and
    achievement characteristics, mixed race adolescents fall in between whites and blacks. When it
    comes to engaging in risky/anti-social adolescent behavior, however, mixed race adolescents are
    stark outliers compared to both blacks and whites. We argue that these behavioral patterns are
    most consistent with the “marginal man” hypothesis, which we formalize as a two-sector Roy
    model. Mixed race adolescents – not having a natural peer group – need to engage in more risky
    behaviors to be accepted."
    2/ The rate of break-up of families with black fathers. (>60%). It really beggars belief. It's over 80% in London.
    3/ The negative effect on children from growing up in a fatherless household. These guys have collected a load of references, at least some of which may are probably true:
    http://www.photius.com/feminocracy/facts_on_fatherless_kids.html
    eg, "85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)"
    So you can write this southern hick off as a "racist", or you can engage with the data and actually understand this guy's motivation.
    Either way, what he's doing is pointless: the same paper in 1/ points out how unlikely it is that parents of mixed-race children actually get married in the first place. What he's doing is probably making things worse. Maybe. Now I'm just making things up like fu does.

  • fu says:

    Waaaa. Apologist for racism is offended. Hint: don't defend racists like Bardwell, and you'll more likely be treated with respect.
    I don't need to "win you over to my side." My "side" already won this battle decades ago. It's over.
    What is the purpose of the United States? Do we not hold that all people are created equal? The goal and intent of the nation is stated clearly in the Preamble to the Constitution:
    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
    If the government acts for other than these goals, then it can be said to be grasping beyond its purpose. But merely ensuring that all people are afforded equal opportunity toward a decent life and the pursuit of happiness, without discrimination based on those properties like skin color which are beyond anyone's control, is obviously to the purpose of promoting the general welfare and securing the blessings of liberty. The elimination of segregation did no more than allow people of color to participate in the same American opportunity that white people already benefited from.
    The doctrine of "states' rights" which informs your right-wing libertarianism was founded in white supremacist resistance to desegregation. Consequently, even though you be no white supremacist, you are not equipped to find an interpretation of the Constitution that does not support racism. This is less a personal fault of yours than a failure of your equipment; however, at some point your determination to use inadequate tools must reflect upon you.
    Thankfully for the rest of us, as I said, your doctrines have already lost the day, and do not hold sway among the judiciary.
    But if you'd like to know how it's possible to ban racial segregation without endangering a business owner's right to put up a sign saying "no shirt, no shoes, no service," I'd invite you to look at the legal concepts of strict scrutiny and suspect classification.
    People can put on shoes and shirts. People cannot put on new skin. Specific individuals can be ejected from a place of business for behaving like assholes. There is no equivalent justification for barring classes of people based on skin color. Consequently, a law banning racial segregation does not create an unreasonable burden upon business owners, while a law banning the ejection of shirtless people would create an unreasonable burden and does not further the government's purpose of ensuring equality of opportunity and promoting the general welfare.
    If your response is waaaa you don't care what I said because I was rude to you, that's not my problem. Your reprehensible political views are your problem. If you're going to fix them, you're going to do it just because it's the right thing to do, not because I was pleasant toward you.

  • Vince Whirlwind says:

    " Do we not hold that all people are created equal?"
    Gee-whiz, fu, you are even more deluded than I thought. Of course people aren't "all created equal". What a stupid thing to say.

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    I've read this marriage celebrant's justifications and I suppose his motivation might be clearer if you actually look at fact (just imagine that, fu!) and juxtapose a few statistics:

    I'd like to point out that the same paper points out that black students are significantly more likely than white students to be suspended or expelled. If an official were to discourage blacks from marrying because their offspring tend to have disciplinary problems and underachieve in school, could that also just be passed off as reasonable and fair-minded concern based on empirical data?
    The position, "Black people shouldn't breed because their children make our schools worse off" couldn't possibly be considered racist if it's just calling out the data, could it?

  • fu says:

    Oh waaaaaaa, Vince is offended too now. Look, fuckwit. Bardwell made his justification perfectly fucking clear:
    "I just don't believe in mixing the races that way."
    You have to deliberately overlook this to pretend that he is anything but a racist.
    Brian is willing to consider the possibility that he's been lied to. That's at least indicative of a skeptical mind. But you, Vince, you appear eager to keep spreading the lie. Why are you defending a racist?

    Of course people aren't "all created equal". What a stupid thing to say.

    I'm not surprised that an apologist for racism is also anti-American, but equality is one of the foundations of this great nation:
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

  • Vince Whirlwind says:

    Well,
    a) we *aren't* all equal, no matter what your 18th-century french-inspired socialist revolutionary politicians chose to believe,
    and
    b) there's no such thing as a "Creator", so "one of the foundations of this great nation" is a backward middle-eastern myth. Nice one.
    In any case, I made no claim to being "offended" (perhaps you have me confused with some of your fellow lefties, for whom the taking of offence is a favourite activity?), I merely pointed out your non-factual incoherence.
    As for "I don't believe in mixing races that way" - *why*? Why does your yokel not believe in it?
    I think Troublesome Frog was exploring the issue in ways you seem incapable of....

  • fu says:

    Vince, you stupid piece of racist shit. Troublesome Frog's question is for you. Why don't you answer it?
    Your own logic leads to the conclusion that black people should not be allowed to have children. Are you going to leave it there?

  • Vince Whirlwind says:

    Well done, fu, looks like you're getting somewhere - so it looks like the bumpkin celebrant was confronted by an ethical dilemma - should he bear responsibility for children being brought into the world who are almost inevitably going to face serious difficulties, or should he do his best to prevent that from happening?
    Remind me what many parents who have a mentally-disabled daughter do when she reaches puberty?
    What about expectant mothers who discover at 25 weeks that their foetus has Down syndrome? Remind me what many of them do, despite the viability of a 25-week foetus?
    Be brave - leave the lefty dogma and try thinking for yourself for a change...

  • fu says:

    So you are in fact saying that black people should not be allowed to have children.
    That's what I suspected.
    You are a proud white supremacist.
    There is no point in engaging with white supremacists. You are not fit for this century.

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    Well done, fu, looks like you're getting somewhere - so it looks like the bumpkin celebrant was confronted by an ethical dilemma - should he bear responsibility for children being brought into the world who are almost inevitably going to face serious difficulties, or should he do his best to prevent that from happening?

    I'm still not clear on what makes this a more noble cause than, "We'd be better off without certain problem races, so I'll do my best to discourage them from breeding." The only difference I can see is that the "race" we're (altruistically) trying to eliminate (for their own good) isn't a "pure" race.
    Do he get a "not a racist" pass on his eugenics proposal if he's dumb enough to sincerely believe that it's something less sinister? If so, then I suppose the posters here are being unfair. Then again, all this sounds like more of a rationalization than anything else. It's like being against gay relationships because you're "pro family."

  • Vince Whirlwind says:

    I'll read that spectacular mountain of unwarranted assumption and unsupported assertion as an abject surrender on your part.

  • Vince Whirlwind says:

    It's not about it being a "noble cause", it's about actually understanding a motive rather than simply applying a pointless and uninformative label of "racist!".
    I think it is generally accepted that ethnocentrism is normal behaviour:
    "Ethnocentrism is a special, but almost universal (LeVine and Campbell 1972) example of in-group favoritism and out-group hostility."
    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~axe/research/AxHamm_Ethno.pdf

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    It's not about it being a "noble cause", it's about actually understanding a motive rather than simply applying a pointless and uninformative label of "racist!".

    I don't think it's usually very productive to shout, "Racist!" at people. That being said, the label exists, and it describes a certain set of attitudes and behaviors. The only reason I can see to think that the label is inappropriate here is that the guy isn't being malicious about it (or rather, he's too dim-witted to realize that he is). I suppose that if we're civilized enough not to execute retarded murderers, we can find a nicer way of saying that his thought processes and conclusions are those of a racist person.

    I think it is generally accepted that ethnocentrism is normal behaviour.

    I think you're confusing "normal" with "acceptable" in this case.

  • fu says:

    I'll read that spectacular mountain of unwarranted assumption and unsupported assertion as an abject surrender on your part.

    It must be frightening to be a white supremacist these days, Vince, seeing the world passing you by and discarding your ideas as decrepit. I can understand why you might have to comfort yourself by imagining that the world isn't passing you by, but in fact surrendering to you. You have my sympathy.

  • fu says:

    I don't think it's usually very productive to shout, "Racist!" at people. That being said, the label exists, and it describes a certain set of attitudes and behaviors. The only reason I can see to think that the label is inappropriate here is that the guy isn't being malicious about it (or rather, he's too dim-witted to realize that he is).

    Intent certainly means something, but it doesn't make racism into non-racism. Racism can be and often is justified to the racist by a dogma of paternalist beneficence.
    Bardwell and Vince seek a final solution to racism: they won't have to be racist anymore if people of color no longer exist.

  • Katharine says:

    I see Bardwell has forgotten about our president.

  • Matt Penfold says:

    I see Bardwell has forgotten about our president.

    He changed his declared party affiliation on 1st Jan this year, from Democrat to Republican. Strikes me is very aware of your new president.

  • becca says:

    Dude, just when I thought:
    Wow, how refreshing. Somebody so racist we don't have to have the "oh you lefties, always pulling the race card. We can all agree this guy is nutso and shouldn't be a judge.
    And yet... I think I have lost any faith in humanity I had left. Thanks Vince.

  • I can understand why you might have to comfort yourself by imagining that the world isn't passing you by, but in fact surrendering to you. You have my sympathy.

  • rnb says:

    One thing that bothers me about all this, having had parents who married across "racial" boundaries:
    People seem to be ignoring how shabbily mixed race people have been treated until recently. .

  • Brian says:

    rnb,
    I don't know that that is an accurate allegation. That has actually been brought up a couple of times, but has been bashed down by some of the more viscious posters here.
    Really, there has been a lot of people treating people badly in all kinds of categories. Mixed race individuals face problems, non-mixed race individuals have faced problems from racists in all camps not-their-own, those with differences face problems form those who have no axe of their own to grind but who anticipate problems from others, and on and on. People who are too young, too old, different religions, differing politics. Really, any category that is identifiable has been used to illegitimately find offense.
    I have no idea the solution. If Bardwell's words are to be taken as 100% accurate (for the sake of argument) -- that he is not a racist and that he is only concerned about the challenges the kids would face -- his "solution" is no solution. You don't solve the behavior of racists against mixed race children by making sure that there are none... I mean really! The idea!
    Perhaps it will make the difference, turn the corner, for those of us who recognize that no skin color is a "problem" to make personal choices to enhance the acceptance of others who we see being mistreated. If we are selling a house, sell it to someone who might be having trouble finding a house. If we are an employer, give the job(s) to qualified individuals who are having difficulties finding employment for reasons other than their qualifications (or potential). They say charity begins at home. Well, perhaps so does the actions that will improve our society through playing the roles we can to tear down the barriers we see.

  • rnb says:

    Brian,
    Your point is correct. Nowadays.
    The judge's actions almost certainly have no point nowadays.
    But the question of how a I, a woman I liked, and any children we might have had would be treated stopped me dead in my tracks almost 40 years ago. And it wasn't my imagination, I saw how my parents were treated. To me, it wasn't an imaginary issue.

  • Brian says:

    It is grievous that the actions (anticipated as well as observed) of others made you feel you had to do that (and I suspect accurately, at that). Would that it had not been so.
    The vanguard fights are not for everyone; only those wh are called to it should participate. Those not called to be on the forefront, putting themselves in the line of fire, must render what support we can to those fighting on the front lines -- we all benefit from their gains.
    On a slightly different tack: just as the kids of missionaries have a harder time of things for their parents choices, just so the kids of mixed-race marriages have a harder time. Those fighting the fight (mixed-race couples, missionaries, et al.) certainly must meditate on whether their call to the battle lines are sufficient to support the tribulations their kids might face. If not, they must not enter that part of the battle. And my saying that they should not enter the battle if their heart is not in it to that level is not derougatory in even the slightest sense. People are always better off, and cotribute more richly, when they are doing what they are best equipped to do. I am certainly not implying that 40 years ago you were shirking, because I do not believe that.
    Given who you are, and how you felt, you almost certainly would have been a "casualty," and would not be playing a fruitful role now.
    But none of us can legitimately make these decisions for others (or for their children). Many would like to make lots of different kinds of decisions for others, but it is harmful to the function of society as a whole for them to. This JP has harmed the progress of his community every time he has refused to sign marriage certificates as a result of making judgments for others. (When he wouldn't sign them because he believed one or the other to be still married, for instance, that was not wrong...)
    I'm sorry you had the experiences you did 40 years ago. It hurts a lot for the future you might have had with a love to be brought to futility. I still ache painfully for Cindy, Jenny, Connie, Mary Jean. I loved them so, and am not with them now. I know how it hurts, and it is worse when it is because of the rottenness of others outside the relationship.

  • rnb says:

    I was talking about this on a private board, and heard from someone who claims to have a 19 year old niece, with black and white parents,
    Says the niece is rejected by both blacks and whites, and accepted by hispanics until they find out her parentage.
    It's only one report, but I have to wonder if I haven't been mistaken in how much this country has changed.

  • Sigmund says:

    My son is mixed race. Our next door neighbors have mixed race kids and three or four children from my son's class of 30 are also mixed race. I haven't noticed any problem. Then again this is not the USA, its Sweden, and the USA, from a European perspective, does seem remarkably resistant to mixed race relationships - (or at least some 'mixtures').