You Might Be a Racist If…

…you’re a justice of the peace who refuses to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples.

Keith Bardwell, who has been a justice of the peace for 34 years in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, says he always asks couples who call to inquire about marriage if they are interracial, and if the answer is yes, his answer is no. Louisiana law, of course, makes no mention of race. It requires only that the parties present their birth certificates, Social Security cards, and $35 (and proof of divorce if either was previously married).

Bardwell, bless his heart, invokes the “black friends” defense:

“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. “I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.”

And he further defends himself by pointing out that he treats all interracial couples the same:

If he did an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said.

“I try to treat everyone equally,” he said.

So he doesn’t discriminate in his discrimination. Or something. And, hey, it’s not like he keeps those couples from marrying. They just have to go elsewhere. It’s just like pharmacists who use “conscience” clauses to refuse to dispense legally prescribed medications. No harm, no foul, right? He only wants to protect The Childrentm.

“There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage,” Bardwell said. “I think those children suffer and I won’t help put them through it.”

Seriously, did I just stumble through a temporal rift? I thought this was 2009, not 1959. Mr. Bardwell, I believe it’s time to retire. You can spend your golden years going to Klan meetings and pining for the good old days of racial purity.

4 Responses to “You Might Be a Racist If…”

  1. Songbird says:

    I felt the same way–”what year is this?”

  2. Del says:

    I think it’s undeniably true that there are people in “both groups” who are against mixing “races.” The question is whether these people’s beliefs should be catered to.

    I don’t know what it takes to remove the powers of JP from someone in Louisiana, but I sure hope they do it. You’re right, Kathy, Mr. Bardwell needs to hang it up, poor old fella. The times have passed him by.

  3. Kathy says:

    Del, you’re right, and Mr. Bardwell has every right to hold that opinion, repugnant as it may be. The problem, of course, is when he brings it to work as a public official. The ACLU has requested review by the LA Judicial Committee. We’ll see what happens.

    Songbird, maybe it’s Mr. Bardwell who fell through a temporal rift. That could explain his, um, confusion.

  4. twodogs says:

    I applaud Mr.Bardwell for having the intestinal backbone to stick by his beliefs. I feel that interracial mixing is a cancer on the American society,that is costing the taxpayer millions,due to domestic crimes,social services.We as a society should support equality of all people without mixing the races.there is nothing wrong in being different.we all can contribute to the world if held to the same equal standard.we all work in a chosen job,pay taxes and live within what ever means we can afford.This is not the case with interracial mixing that I have ever seen as a whole,usually it is a social problem creating more social problems.I am proud of being a white American,I have raised my children not to mix,not to hate anyone but birds of a feather flock together.When people mix with other races it spits in the face of every ancestor they ever had. There are many who feel the same but are afraid to voice it due to so-called political correctness that throws words Like Raciest to quell any protests of policy..

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