Kentucky Judge Rips Into “Racist” Toddler
From time to time, someone will wonder idly why there really isn’t a market for conservative political comedy. Why isn’t there a right-wing equivalent of Jon Stewart, for instance? And when someone does pop up, why aren’t they able to really break into the mainstream?
It’s an interesting question, but the answer may be a simple one. Good satire relies on being able to make piercing observations sprinkled with just a touch of exaggeration. With the right comic sensibilities, you gently nudge the absurd into the outrageous. Nudge too far, and it veers into stupidity. Nudge too little, and the comedy loses its edge. But when everything you have to work with is already outrageous, where is there to go?
How do you make this funny, for instance?
Kentucky Judge Olu Stevens, himself a black man, decided recently to use his judicial power to launch into a disgusting tirade against the racism of a three-year-old victim of armed conflict. Stevens was presiding over a case in which two armed black men (not to be confused with the unarmed variety we hear so much about) broke into the home of Jordan and Tommy Gray in March 2013. The men – Gregory Wallace and Marquis MacAfee – found the Gray’s toddler watching Spongebob Squarepants on TV. That didn’t stop them. They wielded their guns, robbed the Grays under threat of death, and escaped. They were arrested weeks later, and MacAfee was sentenced to ten years in the clink.
Wallace, however, is another story, and it was during his sentencing phase that Judge Stevens took exception to something the Grays wrote in their victim impact statement.
“Whenever we are running errands, if we come across a black male, she holds me tight and begs me to leave,” wrote Jordan Gray. “It has affected her friendships at school and our relationships with African-American friends.”
In other words, as one might expect, this little girl’s encounter with a life or death situation has had a significant impact on her psyche.
But no, says Judge Stevens, that’s not the problem. “I am offended,” he said at Wallace’s sentencing hearing in February. “I am deeply offended that they would be victimized by an individual and express some kind of fear of all black men.” He went on to slam the parents for “accepting that kind of mentality and fostering those type of stereotypes.” Putting the cherry on top, he let Wallace off with probation.
Not certain that he had gotten his point across, Judge Stevens took his ill-advised rant to Facebook. “Do three year olds form such generalized, stereotyped and racist opinions of others?” he wrote online. “I think not. Perhaps the mother had attributed her own views to her child as a manner of sanitizing them.”
Surprisingly, this is not even the first time this year that a black person of note has accused a toddler of racism. Just last month, Indiana Democrat Vanessa Summers took to the floor of the State House of Representatives to insist that her colleague’s 18-month-old was scared of her because of her race. “I have told Representative McMillin I love his little son, but he’s scared of me because of my color,” Summers mused. “And that’s horrible.”
We’ve traded common sense in this country, built up through thousands of years of civilization, for politically-correct, pop psychology nonsense. It was one thing when that crap was fodder for the Oprah Winfreys and Tumblr users of the world. Now, though, it has come to darken our classrooms, our politics, and even our courtrooms.
And even the world’s most gifted comedian would have a hard time seeing anything funny about that.