You’ve lost that Loving feeling

An incredible story in today’s news:

A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

“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.”

Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.

It’s 2009, the Obama era, and some folks (a JP!) still haven’t gotten the memo on Loving v. Virginia. Mind-boggling.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Olga Wayne says:

    For late 2009 this is quite a story. What worries me here, in addition to Mr. Bardwell’s behavior, is that it comes up at a time when the country is experiencing a fundamentalist revival of sorts, or at least a resurgence of ultra-conservative, reactionary populism. This is evidenced by some of the slogans paraded by the tea-party-goers as well as the sentiments espoused by the more colorful Fox news pundits. This is exactly the kind of climate that could conceivably celebrate Mr. Bardwell, further exposing the dark and unhealthy underbelly of conservative extremism. A related concern is that rather than calmly reminding everyone why Loving v. Virginia was decided the way it was in the first place in order to diffuse the tension that would inevitably arise should Mr. Bardwell’s cause receive any glory, instead, the liberals will strike out in blind rage, further elevating the tension and deepening the divide between the right and the left. After all, news outlets these days do exhibit a distinct preference for exploiting tensions, especially the tensions associated with visceral prejudices and steady political leanings.

    Lawyers should team up with social psychologists to figure out a smart way to address this. A great deal remains to be taught about Loving v. Virginia and somebody has to take up this cause.