Monday, October 19, 2009

Interracial Marriage and Dating

Hey y'all. I'm in Bozeman, Montana. I just joined up with my band's tour (Broadcast Live). What this means is that now I'm on tour for the rest of the challenge. I'm not sure exactly how many posts I have left to make, I'll look up all of that info and get back to you. Regardless my posts now will be at random times, not my typical midnight or so. Although this one might come to you around that time. But to me it's 9pm Mountain Time. That's right I said Mountain Time. Anyway on to a post.

So yesterday I mentioned briefly that Judge Keith Bardwell from Tangipahoa Parish's 8th Ward in Louisiana, denied a marriage license based on the fact that the couple in question was an interracial couple. As a child of an interracial marriage, I couldn't help but chuckle a little. You just want to find the judge and say "What planet are you on?" I've never been as concerned with overt racism as I am with more subtle forms of discrimination. It's easier to call out overt racism and hold the perpetrators accountable. Or maybe I'm wrong. The outcry over this action has spurned calls from as high up as Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu calling for the removal of Bardwell's license. The problem is that it turns out to be quite difficult to punish a judge like this and it can take as long as a year. You can read about it here. The obvious question is: What or who else does this Judge have authority over? I will look into it. But if he does more than just marriage licenses than there are much bigger concerns. I know I wouldn't want to be in front of him facing any legal issue whatsoever. The thing is, he's been a judge for 30 years. How many cases has he presided over. How many people has he sent to jail? That's what I want to know. And it's nothing to chuckle over.
However to make clear that it is also not funny to discriminate against interracial couples, I will quickly revisit the case of Jack Johnson. He was the first heavyweight champion. He also dated white women sometimes. Well today thanks to Senator John McCain(believe it or not), President Obama is considering pardoning Johnson posthumously for his 1913 conviction for dating a white woman. I'm not sure why Obama is stalling, I assume it's just to make a proper announcement. For now Johnson still has the conviction on his record. Johnson had to leave the country to escape prison from the conviction. He also served 10 months in jail. It literally ruined his career. It's a very disheartening story and a reminder of why we need to take situations like the one in Louisiana very seriously. It's not a joke at all.

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