Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Judge's Joke and What a Knee Slapper It Is

"Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards it was a bit touching. I want all my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine."

from an email sent by Federal Judge Richard Cebull

His Honor was forwarding along a joke to six of his friends. It goes like this: A little boy said to his mother, Mommy how come I'm black and you're white? His mother replied, don't even go there Barak! From what I can remember about that party you're lucky you don't bark."

Oh yes, quite touching. But only if your heart is genetically identical to that of a rabid hyena.

Cebull doesn't consider himself prejudiced, they never do, at least not openly. "I don't think I've ever demonstrated racism. Nobody has ever even implied it," he is quoted as saying.

Guess what judge. You've demonstrated it now and there are plenty of people not only implying it, but screaming it to the heavens.

Cebull is the chief federal district judge in Montana and was appointed by our old pal George W. Bush. He is busy trying to kiss and make up for the email right now, saying things like, "I apologize to anybody who is offended by it and I can obviously understand why people would be offended." The honorable judge went on to say, "I didn't send it as racist, although that is what it is. I sent it because it is anti Obama."

Obviously the joke itself is hatefully over the line, however the most frightening part of the email was all that, touched my heart, hope it touches yours too, bull shit that he started with. In those lines you witness the true and ugly soul of a racist.

Don't think there aren't plenty of them out there. And they aren't necessarily burning crosses either.  Back in the day when I used to hang out at a couple of different cigar store lounges this sort of mind boggling  poison was spewed privately all the time. When you are white and pushing toward social security, a lot of other old white guys just assume you are on their side. Things are said that are straight out of Mississippi circa 1959. Everyone laughs. Everyone shuts up when a black customer comes in. Everyone treats him with perfect courtesy. Everyone denies they are racist.  Then it is all repeated time and time again.

You scratch the heart of about ninety percent of those tea party yahoos who pour out onto the streets and you will find the same thing. As they hold a sign depicting the president as a 1930's Hollywood caricature of an African witch doctor, bone through the nose, wearing an ostrich feather head dress, they will look you square in the eye and say they aren't racist. Don't believe them.

That is what is ultimately at the rotten and hysterical core of the "birther" movement. Barak Hussein Obama is black and  his name sounds foreign, therefore he isn't one of us.

And now, according to a federal judge appointed for life, he is lucky his mother didn't screw a dog.

Sometimes I fool myself into thinking we've turned the corner on race relations in this country. In some ways I suppose we have. Of course, then something like this comes along to remind me all the stupid savagery is still here. You can change the laws, but apparently you can't change hundreds of years of prejudice until multiple generations go the way of the Dodo.

One of the last things the learned jurist said was, "It was not intended by me in anyway to become public."

I bet not. There is more than one closet out there. Richard Cebull just came tumbling out of his. Good luck the next time an attorney with a black client and half a brain appears in your court, judge. Can you say the words, "recuse and appeal?"

How long oh Lord, how long?


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