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Comeuppances

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Mississippi circuit court Judge Robert “Bobby” DeLaughter is going to federal prison.

In 1994 DeLaughter, then a Mississippi prosecutor, tried 73-year-old Byron de la Beckwith, who suffered from high blood pressure, heart problems, and other ailments, for the 1963 murder of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) official Medgar Evers.

Two previous prosecutions failed to convict, so de la Beckwith was tried a third time—three decades after the event, “despite dead or missing witnesses and evidence” in the approving words of a Jewish writer for the New York Times. This time a jury of eight blacks and four whites declared the defendant guilty and sentenced him to life in prison.

The young assistant prosecutor parlayed his trial-generated fame into a Reader’s Digest article, a book, a Mississippi judgeship, and Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), a Hollywood movie co-produced by Jewish director Rob Reiner, in which DeLaughter was heroically portrayed by Alec Baldwin. Reiner, the son of TV comedian Carl Reiner, gained fame as “Meathead,” Archie Bunker’s liberal son-in-law, in Jewish producer Norman Lear’s pioneering anti-white TV series, All in the Family.

Byron de la Beckwith died in prison in 2001. A year later Bobby DeLaughter was appointed a Circuit Court Judge for Hinds County (Jackson, Mississippi), and six years after that, in March 2008, was suspended from the bench by the state Supreme Court for suspicion of bribery, improper communications outside court, and willful and prejudicial misconduct.

In November 2009 DeLaughter was sentenced in federal court for the crime of obstruction of justice “in a case that ended his career and toppled some of Mississippi’s most powerful lawyers.” In sentencing DeLaughter, U.S. District Judge Glen Davidson told the Hollywood hero: “You have brought shame and disgrace to the legal community and the courts.”

* * *

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension offers two strikingly dissimilar courses on race in America.

The first is “The Jewish People and America.” In gushing language befitting a public relations puff piece the university writes:

Learn about the extraordinary relationship between a wandering people and a golden land. Discover the lessons it teaches us about the evolution of the Jewish people from hopeful immigrants seeking a haven to esteemed citizens who found a home. This program documents remarkable achievement in the face of obstacles and ingenuity in creating opportunity in a new land. This story about Jewish hopes and the realities of the American promise provides penetrating insight into how an immigrant people forged liberating New World Jewish identities across the American landscape in commerce, arts and culture, sciences, law, higher education, medicine, entertainment, and more.

The second is “Understanding Whiteness in American History and Culture: Deconstructing White Privilege for the Reconstruction of an Anti-Racist White Identity.” Here the approach is quite different:

Eurocentric American history often masks the saliency of how the formation of Whiteness ultimately supports mechanisms of race and racism. This course outlines the historical development of Whiteness and critically analyzes the sociological results that stem from its birth. The course provides a historical framework of the birth of Whiteness; explores Whiteness (namely, White Supremacy and White Privilege) and how they impact people of color and uphold racial hierarchy to engage in a REconstruction of anti-racist white racial identity.

It is perhaps not surprising that a lawsuit, according to conservative gadfly Andrew Jones, charged the university with first amendment and civil rights violations, and with fostering an anti-white environment. “White students [at UCLA] are denigrated on a daily basis,” Jones declared in a televised appearance on Hannity & Colmes (Fox News Channel, September 8, 2006).

The university’s catalogue bears him out.

TOQ Online, December 6, 2009

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