I will be honest and say that maybe since the issue hits so close to home I should be offended, annoyed, outraged, enraged and all those other superlatives, but in reality I am feeling somewhat indifferent about the issue. Not indifferent enough not to talk about it but indifferent enough that it didn’t ruin my day when I read about it and indifferent enough that I actually laughed when I read the article.
I was too busy reading it and trying to wrap my mind around the man’s logic to be able to get pissed off and weeks later I am still not angry at him. See the problem with this guy isn’t that he is racist; his problem isn’t that he is close minded, mean spirited or cruel. I don’t know the man, I don’t think any less or more of him because of his stand. I do not understand why he “worries about the children” of such unions and I truly don’t give a flying fuck. Why I do care about is the fact that he took it upon himself to decide not to marry this couple. The description of his job as a justice of peace isn’t to decide who marries whom; it doesn’t include deciding someone else’s future because of personal misgivings. As a government official he should do what the job requires regardless of how he feels about interracial marriage or the future of the possible offspring. When gay marriage happens all over the U.S. (Don’t bitch, is happening) Justice of Peace like him won’t get to decide to marry a gay couple or not. They shouldn’t be protected by their personal feelings, religious inclination or their inability to grasp why a man would want to marry another man. They should get the job they are being paid for done. They should perform the job and move on to the next couple who hopefully to them will be a man and a woman of the same color that will keep their need for uniformity satisfied.
The problem isn’t that Keith Barthwell refused to marry this couple. The problem is that the Parrish that hired him allowed this to happen before, since by his own words he has refused to marry interracial couples before and referred them to someone else. The problem is that the Parrish that hired him didn’t do a good job at doing check on the man and weren’t aware or didn’t care about his prejudice. He isn’t require to think, feel, ANYTHING he should be blind to anything else but the law who states "the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."
See that is a thing that happens here in the U.S. that doesn’t happen back home. Back home when a black man marries a white woman or vice versa there is not going to be a Justice of Peace who gives enough of a damn to “take a stand” and not marry them because of their skin color. First people wouldn’t give a damn and second if they did they still wouldn’t care enough not to do it. Indifference works wonders in such cases. Back at home people do not think their inclinations, preferences, racist bias etc, should be respected enough to do something like that. We do not think that because this is what we feel, because this is what our conscience tells us, then the state, the country need to respect it. Citizens in this country feel the country needs to respect whatever brain fart comes out of their mouth which works in some cases and in others simply doesn’t.
I harbor no resentment toward Mr. Barthwell, first because he is an old, set on his way bigot who is not going to change his mind so why bother getting pissed off, and second because the poor man is obviously slow since he doesn’t even recognize his actions and words as racist when he says: “I'm not a racist," "I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house” Well bless his generous heart for being so open minded as to allow the darkies in his living room.
The man is a closed minded fool to be pitied and ignored. Instead he is being sued by a couple who saw an opportunity to make some money out of the situation. If they were truly interested in justice they would sue the Parrish for hiring a racist and allowing him to refuse to marry interracial couples. Instead they are seeking unspecified damages claiming “emotional distress as a result of the incident”.
Give me a fucking break. I don’t think is right that this couple had to be reminded of the narrow mindedness of people the day of their wedding when it should’ve been a happy day for all involved but if all it takes is that to cause emotional distress then I wonder if this emotionally fragile couple should marry at all instead of being institutionalized until they are balanced.
This man was given free reign by the Parrish to decide on his own accord based on his personal beliefs who to marry and who not marry. The Parrish should be the one held responsible for not monitoring this man who abused his power and got away with turning interracial couples away for two and half years. The thing is he is right. He has the right to choose what to believe in. It stinks that what he believes in is stupid, backwards and ignorant, but he is entitled to those beliefs. I don’t like them but since he isn’t riding in the night (as far as I know) in a white hood burning trees and stoning people then I say he is a pretty harmless old bigot like there are all over the world. What he did was wrong disgusting, but he righted that wrong by removing himself from the position that gave him the opportunity to excert his bigotry on other people. I do not believe his stupidity and ignorance means he has to pay the rejected couple any money.
This couple have the opportunity to open the eyes of many in that Parrish of Louisiana, they have the opportunity to bring light to a problem that we all want to believe is gone, but is in reality alive and well all over the country, and instead of choosing to turn this opportunity into something good, they are victimizing themselves and looking for monetary compensation for something that was wrong, annoying, insulting, hurtful but hardly traumatizing. They should, as someone who has been touched by this issue, make sure that the Parrish does a better job at hiring unbiased individuals that won’t put their personal beliefs before the job. Instead they choose to go after a guy who is no longer working as a Justice of Peace in the Parrish and therefore holds no power to repeat his abuse in the future. The Parrish however, holds the power to choose to hire as many bigots as they please. This couple seem to be aware of the fact that is easier to get money from a civil suit to an individual than to sue the government. If justice is what they were after instead of money, they would make the Parrish and the whole freaking State of Louisiana pay for their negligence and indifference. Instead they rather make a few bucks of the dumbass who already quit.
I have nothing else to say on the issue aside from: Mr. Barthwell you needn’t worry about any of the mixed children I may or may not have with my blue-eyed, lily white husband. I assure you any children I have with him will be incredibly smart, bilingual, culturally rich and hot as hell.
To the couple who is suing Mr. Barthwell instead of the Parrish: Shame on you for ignoring justice for the sake of some cash.
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