Anyone who thought that the election of President Obama signaled we were entering a post racial world only had to look at the news stories this past week featuring Judge Richard Cebull and Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Judge Cebull, who has apologized to the President, thought he was circulating a joke privately to some friends. I guess one of them was grossed out (as everyone should be) and outed the Judge. Politico.com reported
The chief federal judge of Montana has apologized to President Barack Obama in a letter after admitting to sending an email containing a racist joke about the president that made a reference to a dog.
“I sincerely and profusely apologize to you and your family for the email I forwarded. I accept full responsibility; I have no one to blame but myself,” Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull wrote in a letter dated March 1. “I can assure you that such action on my part will never happen again.”
He added, “Honestly, I don’t know what else I can do. Please forgive me and, again, my most sincere apology.”
Cebull landed in hot water this week when it was revealed that he had forwarded a racially charged joke about Obama to six others from his court email account.
“A little boy said to his mother; ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?’” the joke in the email said. “His mother replied, ‘Don’t even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!’”
I don’t think an apology is sufficient. What else can you do, Judge Cebull? You can resign immediately. The Ninth Circuit is taking steps to investigate, but even if they discipline him, how could a person who is not white feel confident they will get a fair trail if they come before him. This man is not very smart what with using his court email account and thinking anything is private.
And then the crazy Sheriff from Arizona made a little news. The conservative blog Fellowship of the Minds complained that it wasn’t covered enough, even by the conservative media. The story was picked up by the Telegraph in London this morning.
A tough-talking Arizona sheriff, already embroiled in a Justice Department bias investigation and other woes, waded deeper into controversy on Thursday with an attention-grabbing assertion that a probe by his office found President Barack Obama’s birth certificate was a forgery.
Most Republican critics of Obama have given up pursuing such widely discredited “birther” allegations. But the investigation by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, carried out by what he described as five-member volunteer “posse,” was prompted by a request last August from a group of conservative Tea Party activists in the Phoenix valley.
The White House has had to deny repeated claims that Obama was not born in the United States. In April, 2011, Obama released a longer version of his birth certificate to try to put to rest the speculation within some Republican circles that he was not born in the United States.
“A 6-month long investigation conducted by my cold case posse has led me to believe there is probably cause to believe that President Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate … is a computer-generated fraud,” Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told a news conference.
I think the Sheriff is forgetting about the birth announcement that appeared in the Honolulu papers when the President was born. I would think that would be hard to forge. What the Sheriff and the other birthers allege would require a wide-ranging conspiracy with a lot of people keeping quiet. As with the Judge Cebull email, someone would have talked by now.
A federal judge circulating a racist joke and the birther theory that won’t die are two examples that show we are still living an a racist society.