Sunday, October 18, 2009

Justice of the Peace proves racism still prevalent

A couple in Louisiana last week wanted to do something many couples in love do: seal their relationship through vows of marriage. So they sought the Justice of the Peace in their parish and informed him of their intentions.

However, their dreams of marriage were dashed temporarily when they were informed that the Justice of the Peace refused their request. His reason? He doesn't perform interracial marriages.

Keith Bardwell has been the Justice of the Peace within that parish for over 30 years, dating back to the days when interracial marriages were illegal in many states in the south. Today, however, such restrictions on marriage are unheard of, relics of a racist past that most want to leave behind.

So when Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay sought out a marriage from Bardwell and heard of his own personal restrictions on marriage, their jaws dropped. How could a public official in this day and age still cling onto such sentiments? How can they still see so narrowly, still judge a person based on the color of their skin?


Keith Bardwell's racism is one example of how bigotry is still prevalent in America today. Bardwell himself claims he's not a racist -- but his actions clearly prove otherwise.

In America today, we see this type of "quiet" racism the most. It's rare to see someone come out and admit they're a racist. But there are people who are still racist by their actions. This isn't illegal, and while it's unfair, a person has the right to base judgments on race.

However, when a public official acts out in a racist way, it's detrimental to society. Everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law, regardless of race; and if someone is planning to serve the public in a position within the public sector, they better be prepared to put their prejudices aside in order to treat everyone fairly.

A public official should resign from their position if they can't protect or serve everyone equally under the law.

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