A black judge says he was wrong to evict whites from his courtroom so he could deliver a stern lecture to black defendants, but says he meant no harm.
“I wanted to have a fireside chat,” Fulton Superior Court Judge Marvin Arrington said Thursday. “And my grandmother said years ago that if you’re going to fuss at black people, you don’t need to do it in front of white people.”
He added, “I probably made a bad judgment call and I probably won’t do it again. It was not ill-intended. My heart was in the right place.”
Last Thursday — sentencing day in his courtroom — Arrington asked all white people to leave the room before he lowered the boom on the defendants, telling them that bad behavior in poorer black neighborhoods drags down black advancement.
He delivered a similar message at this Thursday’s sentencings, only with no race restrictions. TV news crews were on hand because of the controversy generated by Arrington’s move last week.
One of my favorite moments in the movie “Next Friday” is cousin Day-Day shooing away his ‘white slave’ Roach from a discussion about a property tax problem by telling him, “This is black problems. You don’t know nothing about it.”
Judge Arrington basically pulled a Day-Day here. He decided that the message he had to deliver belonged to a single set of people. So, let’s see… He cleared the courtroom, based upon their race, and then he ranted all over the folks he kept in the courtroom, again based upon their race. Hmmm. Methinks that might not have been a smooth move.
I love that he said he “meant no harm”. What he’s really saying is “I just committed not one but two racist acts in a court of law, but it’s all good because…well, because I’m in charge.”
When are people going to get the concept that fractionalizing according to race only deepens the divide? The problem isn’t race-based, it’s socio-economic! If you’re going to talk about “poorer black neighborhoods”, put the focus on “poorer” because that’s the real driver here that’s defining the culture in those communities. Men like MLK worked their asses off to break down the color barrier and people like this judge & Al Sharpton keep trying to re-build the wall! Culture and race are not necessarily the same thing.