Monday, October 19, 2009

Proof of Progress on Race

A Louisiana Justice of the Peace named Keith Bardwell refuses to marry a mixed-race couple.
"I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves. I feel the children will later suffer."
Yes, they could grow up to suffer the slings and arrows of being President of the United States.

Bardwell is entitled to his opinion but when it comes to dispensing the duties of his public office he is not free to pick and chose based on the race.

In Louisiana, justices of the peace are the equivalent of notary republics. They have little responsibilty or actual power. Still, his actions in this matter are clearly illegal. Louisiana's Republican governor Bobby Jindal is working, as well he should, to have Bardwell removed from his little office.

The couple who sought to marry are reportedly considering a lawsuit, but to what point? All they have to do is go to the next town over and they will find a JOP not so eager to lose his JOB. Bardwell will be stripped of his duties soon enough.

The universal condemnation of Bardwell's action is proof of the progress our society has made on matters of race. The prevalence of attitudes like his are on the wane, even in backwaters like Louisiana. When they are acted upon, even by small-town office holders they are stigmatized and quickly punished.



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