Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Justice after the Justice's injustice!

Woot woot! Saw this today on my headlines and loved it. I could go on and on again but I won't. Just a note that I think letting him resign was to nice.


  1. Wifey (theotherryans wife)November 4, 2009 at 1:58 PM

    I agree with you, but at least he can't do any more harm. That's something.

  2. Explain to me, please, how Bardwell, one of many resources in his parish, differs from other racial bigotry abuses in the news.

    Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor comes to mind. This is a woman belonging to a radically racial, pro-Hispanic organization. She has stated that being Hispanic and female gives her better judgment than white men - clearly a bigoted racial stand.

    Obama frequently labels (libels?) opponents as racist - throwing a heinous label almost glibly.

    Look what Bardwell did. He did *not* ban interracial marriage; he refused to do it himself, referring couples to other resources.

    Compare that to Orange County, CA, where the sheriff refuses to grant mandated and obligatory concealed carry permits.

    Bardwell didn't tell couples, or anyone, that interracial marriage was wrong. Nothing reported even hints at bigotry or hatred.

    If the community he lives in refuses to accept the children of mixed marriages, why blame Bardwell for alerting future parents to the problem - and refusing to make a community failure even worse.

    So far, no one has reported scads of residents of the community or parish that contest the view that children of mixed couples aren't accepted.

    Did he abuse his office? Try to serve his community the best he could? Maybe.

    Remember that this former Justice of the Peace shares headlines with B. Hussein Obama. Obama, the one that browbeat Buddy Moore (Campbellsville, KY shoe store owner) into making up a number of jobs saved or created - for an order for nine (9) pairs of boots for the Army Corps of Engineers. Heck, a 10 year old kid in Guatemala probably made the shoes in two weeks. Obama, the one that dictated salaries for 175 executives, because he decided to. Obama, the one that cut benefits at Delphi parts maker plants - except for union workers, that he made GM cover.

    At least Bardwell apparently understood what his community wanted, and didn't enforce his views on anyone.

  3. "If the community he lives in refuses to accept the children of mixed marriages, why blame Bardwell for alerting future parents to the problem - and refusing to make a community failure even worse."

    While some of your points are valid, this one I disagree with. There are several children in my very small community that are a product of interracial marriages. One of them is my oldest sons best friend.
    No one has treated those children any different than anyone else. They are dark skinned kids in a community that is almost completely white.
    As long as we as parents teach our children to accept people of any race, color or disability, they will be better off. They will get along with others and have more friends. They will not bully kids who are different than them, they will stand up for their friends when others who havent been taught treat them badly.

    I seriously don't see the problem here.

  4. @ Gracie,

    And that was my point. I don't know your community, and neither does Bardwell. Bardwell, after 36 years, seems to know his community, or at least believes he does.

    He applied his judgment, about the prospects of children of mixed couples, to the community he saw around him.

    As I noted, there weren't any apparent protests, from anyone in the community, that Bardwell was mistaken about whether such children were treasured as children should be. Just going by what was reported, and what was not, I tend to side with Bardwell's conclusions, if not his actions.

    My feeling is that if Bardwell had been serving your community, he would not have objected to cross-racial marriages.

    This whole affair seems to me to be victim-think reaction - if two races are involved, it must be a hate crime and bigotry must be rampant. What I see instead is a cultural conflict that no one is addressing.

    I recall that the NAACP, the National Association for Colored People, was established not for those of African descent, but for people "of color" - those born to mixed marriages. Such people faced different obstacles and hardships then. I don't think that distinction still exists, about NAACP membership or goals, but at one time the same conflict - rejection by both parent cultures - was a significant problem. If Bardwell claims that is still an issue in his parish, that is the call to arms. The problem is whether children of mixed racial couples are accepted, and I think Bardwell is likely disappointed that victim-mentality money chasers want to "shoot the messenger" instead of addressing the real, ugly, underlying problem of cultures that don't accept their children.

  5. See my problem is not that he is apparently racist, or making a choice for his community as you seem to think. It is that he broke the law. It was not his responsibility to judge who should or should not be married. His job was to apply the letter of state law to the legality of marriage. He let his personal opinions influence his fulfillment of the law. I have an issue with people who do not respect others for bigoted reasons but the core of this issue is that an official of the law did not abide by that law.

  6. @ Lila,

    I have found that every official has a screening function. They have a responsibility to *not* perform their office if they find an error in paperwork, if fees aren't paid. Sometimes, even when all the details of what they are permitted to consider, they refuse to perform their function. I am thinking here of the Orange County, CA, Sheriff that refused to issue concealed carry permits to qualified applicants who had met every requirement set by law - the Sheriff just didn't think the law requiring her to issue those permits was good for the community.

    The pastors, even the magistrate that I have been in contact with regarding requests for marriage, have had a list of checks. One pastor refused, because of a prior divorce. The magistrate I am thinking of didn't care - and still asked a few background questions. Even though the process is routine, there are still reasons that an official might delay or refer a matter else where.

    What should stop a marriage? That varies. I would say that if a couple started seeming more like brother and sister, if one or both partners are too incapacitated to walk in the door, if either are acting aggressive and hostile toward others, creating a public nuisance or recklessly endangering someone. Anyway, these are all value judgments that might legitimately interfere with a request to be married - I doubt that Louisiana law lists those causes that should stop or delay a ceremony, and what cannot be considered. And I point out - even when Bardwell refused to perform the ceremony, he did not prevent it from happening; he even offered referrals to officials that would perform the ceremony. I believe a creative perspective might be that he fulfilled his office by referring applicants.

    I mean, referring instead of treating works for some emergency rooms, based on social standing (ability to pay). Just ask Valerie Jarrett and Michele Obama about patient dumping at the University of Chicago, when they were on the hospital board there.

    I think Bardwell was likely an asset for his community. I think he perceived an injustice in his community, and had no way to address it - the fact that children of mixed couples weren't accepted by either community.

    His refusal to marry mixed couples is indistinguishable from civil disobedience. But he isn't being lauded for refusing to make a bad situation worse, nor is he being thanked for bringing to light a sad community's contempt for some children.

    And still, no one is addressing that point - that children of mixed race couples are not accepted in his community. That is where I see bigotry and racial prejudice and racial hatred. That is the elephant in the sitting room, that no one is talking about. The children. The hatred children of mixed race couples face from blacks and from whites. That bigotry. That hatred. And it has nothing to do with the Justice of the Peace that had no way to correct the problem but refuse to participate in making it worse.

    If former Justice of the Peace Bardwell was committing civil disobedience, if he indeed failed in some part to perform the functions he swore to perform, then there will likely be legal consequences.

    But please, please, don't overlook the community that left him hanging with a horrible dilemma - that blacks and whites both hate the children of mixed race couples.

  7. Brad, what era are you living in!? I know you are saying that his community is different than mine, but I just have a hard time believing that children of any race or color are hated. Just because there weren't huge protests in this particular community doesn't mean the children are hated. There should have been a HUGE public outcry and there was. It has been all over the news and everyone knows about it. Maybe the community unrest got lost in all of the national publicity.

  8. Ok that last statement was a bit niave, I know there are INDIVIDAULS that hate children that are mixed races. But I can't see a reason why they should be discouraged from having children just because ONE man sees a "problem" amd decides to "fix" it. I can't imagine a whole community racist enough to hate these kids.

  9. Gracie,

    I spent seven years in the US Navy, serving in schools on both coasts and North Chicago. I served on ships out of Norfolk, VA, and Jacksonville, FL, school in Millington, TN, and Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, TX. My work since then has taken me to TN, MN, CA, CO, PA, AZ, and I currently live in Oklahoma. And I can envisage a community that is quite capable of deciding to hate people that are "different". And take out their "unacceptance" in grotesquely unfair and vile ways. Remember the gay-bashing out West not so long ago? It takes a community to let individuals feel that strongly, and maintain that level of passion.

    I think Bardwell was frustrated at the problem he saw, the hatred, but I don't think he had any intention or expectation of fixing anything.

    I do know that in the aftermath of Katrina, a local business man was invited to Louisiana, to haul away rubble. He liquidated his truck sales business, invested in drivers and trucks and equipment - and went bankrupt, because the locals only hired suitably local people. Mr. Evans had both the wrong skin color, and the wrong relationship with local power brokers.

    I know for a fact that a Louisiana company doing pipeline work here at the Philips Conoco refinery in Ponca City did shoddy work, hired a few local people, but repeatedly rewarded people from Louisiana and punishing non-Louisiana workers for their mistakes.

    My intent here is not to bash or criticize anyone. I am just saying that I believe the words the man says, that there is a community problem. I can understand that many preachers, even today, would hold and teach the same belief, that children of cross-race couples are a problem.

    I accept that there are communities that hold unreasoning hatreds and contrary beliefs. I think the oldest, and most isolated communities hold onto old prejudices the longest, and Louisiana definitely has a very old, old culture. Their French traditions started out earlier, and were already older when they were established, than most of America. Recall that the Louisiana Purchase capital was in Louisiana, and was a robust city before westward migration into the new territory began.

    Just because I don't want ignorance and hatred to be strong factors in any community, does not mean that it works out that way. The bumper sticker on the side of my refrigerator states that "Hatred is not a family value." The fact that something like that has to be said is a revelation that there are times and places, still, it must be said.

    And perhaps I think the slippery slope leading to such hatred of children of mixed race couples is so very easy to stumble over.

    Blessed be.


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