A May 22 article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram exposes the smugness, bigotry, racism and arrogance of the Republican stranglehold on Tarrant County, Texas.
The article recounts the experience of a white couple with a black lawyer, Nuru Witherspoon, in a car crash case before County Court-at-Law Judge Brent Keis. Witherspoon filed a complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct regardings Keis' conduct during a pretrial hearing.
Witherspoon reported that Keis told him "that he thought slavery and the Middle Passage made my people better athletes. Judge Keis further stated that we are bigger and stronger athletes because weak slaves were thrown overboard and never made it to the Americas." This candid expression of racism, to a black man.
Keis also told the attorney's clients - who are white - that Tarrant County is made up of Republicans who think like him, and compared the risk of continuing with the case instead of settling to "Betting on Black." Another expression of overt racism.
Keis asked Witherspoon about his first name. It is an African name. Witherspoon explained that he is from Georgia, USA. Another instance of bringing racism into a court of law, where the law forbids racism. Doesn't matter to Keis, after all, he's a privileged Republican.
The commission ordered Keis to complete an eight-hour course covering the topics of racial sensitivity and diversity, including the perceptions of litigants and their clients regarding comments made by and with the apparent authority of a trial judge.
What Judge Keis was telling this attorney and his clients is that it is obvious to him that they couldn't possibly be Republicans, being white people who have stooped to hiring a black lawyer and that not being Republicans, they don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting fair and impartial treatment, much less winning a case, in his Republican court.
Does anyone think that eight hours of counseling is going to turn this Republican judge around and make him racially sensitive, unbiased, fair and impartial to people who are not perceived to be Republican? Does anyone think the lifetime of the universe would be time enough to do it? No? I don't think so, either.
Keis never asked and never knew whether the attorney and his clients were Republicans or Democrats. Didn't matter to him, since they were not bald headed white fat f**kers, like him, (think Karl Rove) they couldn't possibly be a member of the Republican eite.
I can only imagine how this attorney and his clients must have felt, being dressed down by a judge, being humiliated about their choice of attorney, being made to feel inferior and being told that they have no chance with this judge, before the trial has even begun.
This is the state of what is call the dispensing of justice in Tarrant County, Texas. The sad part of it is that Judge Keis is right about one thing; Tarrant County is made up of and run by Republicans who think like him. If you can stretch it far enough to call it thinking.
The title of this article is a version of signs I have seen years ago posted prominently on entering some towns here in Texas. The word Democrat is substituted for the racial slur that was on the original signs, and Fort Worth is representative of whatever town used the signs.