When “N#gg!r§”* Rise

Bird fleeing cage
Equity, inclusion, and justice within the legal profession are under attack and it’s time to fight back.

*Warning: This word — the actual word — is a prominent part of the article below. It has been somewhat sanitized in the title because, I understand, it’s a word that can shock, cause discomfort, and shut down readers before they even get to the substance — but please understand, as a person of color, as an African American and as a gay black woman, I encounter this word and its accompanying degradation every day; hopefully that truth is even more shocking and uncomfortable.

Equity, inclusion, and justice within the legal profession are under attack and it’s time to fight back. The legal profession is not the place for racist individuals, biased laws, and hateful rhetoric, yet they continue to find space to flourish.

People of color, underrepresented groups, and allies at all stratums within the profession are under assault. The stories are consistent and the experiences are a microcosm of greater society. Since the beginning of colonization, conquered, oppressed and marginalized individuals and groups have been working to create an equitable landscape. The overarching response from those in power — predominantly, but not limited to white males — reveals the lived core values of our country.

From sports brands to coffee machines, anyone who reveals an allyship or affinity for the development of equitable laws and opportunities runs the risk of being attacked. Our country is politically polarized, and the divisiveness has reached an all-time high. The racist history of this country is real and it is still in full effect. When “niggers” rise in any capacity, the status quo is challenged and racism strikes back. With every generation racism has taken on a new form and required a different response to educate the ignorant, combat the effects, mitigate its growth, and strive for its obliteration.

The legal profession is not immune. Case in point: On Aug. 17, 2017, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Helen Whitener organized a one-day workshop called The Color of Justice as a way to address the “gavel gap.” The goal of this workshop was to encourage young women of color between the ages of 11 and 18 to consider a career in the legal profession and more specifically, to learn more about becoming a judge.

The event was an amazing opportunity to build awareness, encourage growth, and be involved with the community. KING5-TV covered the story and showcased the young women and judges who participated. It was a beautiful sight. Young women of color were galvanized to make their dreams a reality and to rise above the oppression that characterizes so many of their lives.

Some reactions to Judge Whitener’s effort were filled with hate. She received a number of responses that underscored the reality that most people of color, expressly African Americans, are familiar with:

Racist social media response...

Racist social media response...

The individual who sent these images to Judge Whitener did not identify themselves, but a white supremacist website is named as the origin. They actually took the time to create the images and language and sent them to Judge Whitener. Clearly the author is tracking events — or at least paying attention to news — about the legal profession.

Negative responses like this underscores why the Washington State Bar Association is invested in advancing diversity, inclusion and equity. The response also underscores the continued need for allies to not only speak up but to step up their own personal and collective efforts in advocating for systemic change across the legal profession. No more talking without walking. We need to take action.

I am not surprised or put off by the response to Judge Whitener’s event. I expect it. I have developed this expectation based on the history of race relations in our country. I have personally experienced enough overt racism and not so subtle microaggressions to understand there are still plenty of people who believe that black people are “niggers” and all the stereotypes associated with it.

The use of the word “nigger” written in this context seems to be an attempt at demeaning the person and the event. Instead, what it does is reveal a truth many of us would like to ignore and forget; we live in a society that assigns the value and worth of a person based on the color of their skin. The word “nigger” is meant to oppress. The word “nigger” is meant to marginalize. The word “nigger” is meant to cause emotional and intellectual harm. People like me have learned to reject the harmful intent and to use that intent as an impetus to continue rising.

There are open and covert racist legal professionals practicing law. There are also powerful, awake, and astute people of color and their allies working to dismantle the laws and policies that underpin the acceptance and display of racist behavior and decision making.

It’s time to choose a side and it’s time to get to work. Silence will not protect you or the status quo. Are you on the side of inclusion, equity, and justice? Or are you paying homage to the support of racist ideology in practice and word?

There are a plethora of opportunities that exist to combat overt racist behavior, implicit, and explicit bias, and microaggressions within the legal profession. From joining anti-racist efforts to engaging in training or partnering with local community organizations and education, the opportunities are boundless.

The fundamental principles of the Washington Supreme Court’s Rules of Professional Conduct state that “The continued existence of a free and democratic society depends upon recognition of the concept that justice is based upon the rule of law grounded in respect for the dignity of the individual and the capacity through reason for enlightened self-government.” This opening statement is clear; justice is up to us and our capacity for enlightenment and the respect we hold for others are direct influencers. As “niggers,” we will continue to rise with Judge Whitener and thousands of other legal professionals in the pursuit for justice and equality for all people. We challenge you to join us by speaking up and taking action.

In the words of Maya Angelou:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise…

32 thoughts on “When “N#gg!r§”* Rise

  1. Pingback: When “N#gg!r§”* Rise – R.I.S.E.

  2. Christopher Swaby

    i was born and raised in DC, moving to the TriCities when i was 40. i loved the TriCities and am still hooked into the Black community. i can assure you, there are many Black folks living in that community who could tell you stories of having encountered racism. many more Latinx folks could share similar stories. and it has been my experience that African Blacks often have a different experience with racism in America than do American Blacks – why, i dont know.

    that your wife didnt experience the sort of racism in the TriCities doesnt mean the author hasnt experienced the racism she describes in her article. i dont understand why anyone would challenge her personal experience, any more than one would challenge your wife’s.

  3. Christopher Swaby

    i dont believe that your experience with racism in the Seattle area informs the author’s experience with racism. that your your family and friends appear not to have experienced racisim here in the PNW is a great thing. i know i have. not daily but enough times in the 17 years i have lived in WA to make me believe that my experiences are not “outlying cases.” yes, it has usually taken different forms than it did when i experienced it in the South but racism all the same. it doesnt help in the discussion of racism in America to make “hateful” generalizations. nor does it help to dismiss the experiences of others.

  4. Pierce County Chapter of Washington Women Lawyers

    The Pierce County Chapter of Washington Women Lawyers is saddened and alarmed that a member of our organization, of our Bench, and our community would be disrespected in the fashion described in the WSBA Sidebar Blog Article published on 12/14/17. As a group, we stand behind Judge Whitener and support her efforts to bring young women and young women of color into the legal field, despite the obstacles that unfortunately still exist. We hope that bringing light to this event will continue the dialogue about the issues that affect women in the legal field and the work to still be done.

  5. edward

    Response to Ms. Carisson –

    Thanks, I am pleased to hear that you are married to a black person. This allows you to provide first-hand observations about how black people are treated in Seattle, or where ever.

    The author states:

    “…, as a person of color, as an African American and as a gay black woman, I encounter this word [N******] and its accompanying degradation every day;”

    My spouse does not encounter this word, and I have never encountered this word while out with her in any public setting. Is your spouse’s experience and yours more like my experience, or more like what the author has described in the above quotation? It would be interesting to hear a report from someone in similar circumstances.

  6. Laurie Carlsson

    It is both, Edward Hiskes. Your wife’s experience is absolutely valid and so is Ms. Williams’. they are not mutually exclusive. People of color do not have one common experience, nor do white people, queer people, disabled people, etc. I’m asking that you don’t only listen to those people of color who validate your viewpoint of the world. I am also married to a woman of color. And though I hear a lot about what it’s like from her perspective, as a white woman I will never be able to speak to what it’s like. I can only listen and advocate for others to do the same.

  7. edward hiskes

    I find use of the term “white folks” to be racist and offense. You have no right to lump everyone into some artificial category that you call “white” and to then imply that they are racists, by suggesting that they need to come up to your level of wisdom and virtue. This amounts to arrogant bragging about your own virtue.

  8. edward hiskes

    Response to Laurie Carlsson –

    Your statement is contradictory — On the one hand, I am not supposed to listed “to the one person of color in my life who has not experienced discrimination”, but on the other hand it is my “first job to listen to and believe people of color when they tell us what they’ve experienced”.

    Which is it?

    I reported what my wife has experienced, and you feel entitled to dismiss her experience out of hand, because it does not fit in with your pre-conceived notions. You also attempt to minimize her experience by suggesting she is just “one person of color”. On the contrary, she is a part of the larger black and African community, with friends, relative, and business associates in Seattle. You have no right to be so dismissive.

  9. Dave Lundgren

    You pose a question that would require a long and complex answer. I would refer you to BLACK SPOKANE: THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE IN THE INLAND NORTHWEST, by Dwayn A. Mack, an excellent book on the subject. (https://www.amazon.com/Black-Spokane-Struggle-Northwest-American/dp/0806144890/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513723617&sr=8-1&keywords=black+spokane) I, too, lived in the DC area. Having gone to law school in NW DC, near Malcom X Park, and having lived for a short time with a low income family in an all black neighborhood, I never had a problem with racism directed toward me while living there. But that incredible experience helped me to understand and appreciate to a small degree what it’s like to be different than everyone else.

  10. edward hiskes

    Some people always have to have bad guys, against whom they may contrast their own virtue. Thus the continual need for “deniers”. It seems like someone who presents actual evidence contrary to their beliefs is a “denier”. This is a lazy way to avoid considering the actual truth, while signaling one’s own virtue at the same time.

  11. edward hiskes

    What changes to you propose? Can you propose any specific change to the court system that would promote racial justice? I would live to hear about it and look forward to helping you implement it.

  12. edward hiskes

    Please indulge my curiosity — can you provide the last half-dozen examples of racism you have seen in Seattle or in the legal profession?

    As for WSBA members themselves, they have voted for and elected black candidates for the Board of Governors for the past 40 years, which Governors have also gone on to become WSBA presidents. If WSBA members were racists, this would not have happened.

  13. edward hiskes

    Response to Dave Lindgren –

    My wife and I have had the chance to live in both Washington DC, and in eastern Washington, so I have direct experience concerning the environment for black people in both places.

    Washington DC is, of course, majority black. My wife liked it there, but she was puzzled by one phenomenon: In the middle of entirely black neighborhoods, one would sometimes see long lines of people, with virtually all people in line being white. Why? These were lines outside of theaters or concerts, which, it seems, were presenting artistic work that simply did not interest people with a non-European cultural background.

    My wife is simply not interested in ballet, or orchestra music, or hockey. If she does not show up at these events, it is no cause for embarrassment on your part. She is not enthusiastic about snowboarding either.

    As for eastern Washington, we lived in Richland for several years, rented apartments and bought a house, traveled extensively about the region, etc. There was no racial animus whatsoever. On the contrary, many people went out of their way to be friendly. For example, my wife sometimes wore Ghanaian native dress when walking about town. She says passing drivers would honk, smile, and wave and that people in stores would make complimentary remarks. She was connected with the black community in Pasco, for shopping, hair appointments, etc., so if there was any kind of over racism going on, she would have heard about it, just as she would now in Seattle. So, I think the author’s reports about daily racial harassment are not based in reality.

    I don’t want to paint an entirely rosy picture, since there was one incident in Pasco that impacted my wife’s civil rights. She imported a container-load of wooden voodoo dolls from Ghana, which she was selling at mall kiosks and fairs. However, when she took the dolls to a printer in Pasco to be photographed for a catalog, he refused, saying that these were heathen idols, which violated one of the Ten Commandments, pertaining to the making of “graven images”. This was a clear case of religious bias, but probably not racial, unless you want to make a disparate impact argument.

    I would be curious to know what “institutional barriers” prevent blacks from gaining housing in eastern Washington.

  14. edward hiskes

    In response to Mr. Evers-

    The author states .”.. but please understand, as a person of color, as an African American and as a gay black woman, I encounter this word and its accompanying degradation every day; hopefully that truth is even more shocking and uncomfortable.”

    Based upon my experience, I assert that the author does not undergo “degradation every day” because she is black. The experience of my wife in Seattle, our children and grandchildren, her black friends, etc. does not support the author’s statement. Nor is one random internet posting, that could have been posted by attention-seeking trolls, or by some psychotic person, etc. evidence of anything, much less a “racist backlash” . I am sure there are anti-black racists around who are capable of this. But I am just as sure there are anti-white racists. But as a practical matter, they have no impace. A few outlying cases prove nothing, and do not justify the author’s sweeping, and in my view, race-bating, hateful generalizations. Such hateful generalizations do real damage to society.

  15. Laurie Carlsson

    Thank you for this poignant post Ms. Williams. I am grateful that no matter how many times us white folks call into question their validity, people of color continue to tell their truths. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be. Your experiences echo what I’ve heard from so many folks of color and I am reminded once again of my responsibility to reach out to my fellow white folks and implore them to let down their defenses and listen. There’s so much work to be done, but this is the first step toward recognizing the injustice that has to be righted.

    White folks: If you don’t think that overt racism exists in your profession, in your families, in the grocery store, on public transportation, in all of the spaces that we move in together, I ask you to please simply listen to the experiences of those around you. Not the one person of color in your life who has not experienced discrimination, who allows you to maintain your position, but the one who challenges you to think differently about the world. Lawyers are not often asked to show humility or admit when they might not have the right answer, but I believe that the best ones do. It is so often our need to be right that keeps us from growing into better humans. Try leaving that need at home even if it’s for just one day. No one is trying to hold you personally responsible for systemic racism, so take that chip off your shoulder. Our first job is simply to listen to and believe people of color when they tell us what they’ve experienced.

  16. Andrew Biviano

    Thank you for this piece. It is critical to keep telling these stories, as the deniers prove.

  17. Andrew Biviano

    Ms. Petersen models her law practice after the wonderful parable of the starfish (one can’t save all the starfishes on the beach, but can certainly make a difference to the ones that can be saved). It is so great that she stands up for victims of wrongs, especially wrongs committed by oppressive power structures. Which makes it all the more stunning and sad that she does the opposite in this case. For as long as there has been racism, its existence has depended on people denying it exists. It depends on people actually being offended about an article discussing a racist attack, but not offended by the attack itself. Ms Petersen doesn’t appear interested in the introspection needed to fix this, but it is incumbent upon all of us to do this work and be part of the solution.

  18. Alex Doolittle

    Thank you for writing, and publishing, this article. “No more talking without walking. We need to take action.” I look forward to the changes that we will work together to make within the legal profession and the structures that are built to create and deliver justice so that the benefit can be seen and experienced.

  19. Jamie Clausen

    Thank you for this article. I find some of the early responses that deny the existence racism in Seattle and the bar baffling. I have seen plenty of evidence of racism in this city and profession. It makes me wonder who those commenters explain the lack of diversity and equity in the legal profession. If they don’t think it is caused by discrimination, what explanation do they have?

  20. Jennifer Werdell

    I am grateful to know Ms. Williams and eternally appreciate her courage – and the courage of so many colleagues of color – to speak openly and honestly about her experiences working within the justice systems. Those of us who have the privilege of moving about our daily life without fear of being attacked (whether by physical violence, rhetoric, or invalidation and disbelief) because of our identity and lived experience have the responsibility to listen, acknowledge, speak up, and do better.

    Though we work with the law and justice systems, we should not need signed affidavits and witnesses or require repeated painful testimony to believe the words and experiences of our colleagues. But nonetheless, even while living and working in what many call a progressive city, I regularly hear from colleagues whose experience mirrors what has been described by Ms. Williams and Judge Whitener – from hateful words and images, to threats, to hostile work environments, to daily invalidation. Recently we did an exercise in a program that I work with, where the (15+) participants of color were asked to share a comment or question that they hope to never hear again from their white colleagues. Each participant had so many stories and examples of interactions to share in response to that prompt, some directly hostile, many not intentionally so, all hurtful. And meanwhile we continually see racial disparities across communities and factors like wealth attainment, incarceration rates, health and educational outcomes, and more.

    As professionals working with and upholding the law and justice systems we have the ability and responsibility to promote fairness, equality, and equitable outcomes for everyone. The Washington Race Equity & Justice Initiative (REJI) (http://waraceequityandjustice.wordpress.com), a statewide network of justice system partners seeking to more effectively and collaboratively work toward eradicating racially biased practices, policies, and systems, recently shared the following statement in support of Judge Whitener, and it seems fitting to include here:

    We are humbled and inspired by the courage of Pierce County Superior Court Judge Whitener. As you know, someone associated with a white supremacist organization used hateful, racist rhetoric to single out and attack Judge Whitener’s fitness to serve as judicial officer based solely on her inherent human characteristics—and not on her capability and qualifications. It is beyond dispute that a diverse range of lived experience reflective of the communities and public-at-large served by our law & justice system in fact strengthens the rule of law, as well as public trust and confidence in that system.

    Judge Whitener – the Race Equity & Justice Initiative strongly supports you, your family, and all who are engaged in the struggle for race equity & justice. We reject the hateful racist remarks made about you, just as we reject any such remarks applied to any person. Your courage in making known what has happened, despite the toxic and hurtful intention behind it, inspire us to redouble our efforts. We are privileged to have you as part of our equity & justice community, and stand in solidarity with you.

    We recognize how much work remains to achieve fairness, equity, and dignity for all those who work within or come before the justice systems, and to that end we welcome any and all partners in our ongoing learning efforts.

  21. Kirsten Barron

    Kudos to Ms. Williams. I appreciate her perspective and experiences. I am grateful to know about J Whitener’s good work. And, however upsetting, I am grateful to be reminded of the reality that white supremacists continue their vile work – if I forget, I cannot do anything about it. In my experience, we do better when we listen to each other and remain open to understanding the other person’s truth before we decide to elevate our own truth. Thanks for sharing your truth and giving us the opportunity to listen.

  22. Carrie Blackwood

    Thank you for this powerful call to action and for providing practical, accessible, and relatively easy steps that I can take right now to uproot racism in my own heart, in my profession, in my community, and in our legal systems.

    The devastating effects of deep-rooted institutional racism in our legal systems results in disproportionate incarceration of people of color “POC”, a lack of proportionate representation of POC in the legal profession, and countless other ironic daily injustices within the halls of justice.

    This is a forceful reminder of my professional responsibility to uproot and dismantle all barriers that separate POC from the opportunity for justice.

    As Joy bravely portrays, the time for words has passed. Now is the time for meaningful action and change.

    This reminds me of the Eustace Conway quote, “What you do stands above you and shouts so loudly that I can’t hear what you are saying”. For the legal system to have any integrity there must be alignment between our call to justice and our actions.

    It is time for each of us to decide whether we are going to perpetuate injustice by supporting what is, or instead, work with in integrity towards creating alignment between our espoused values and our actions.

    Joy, I know which side I want to be on and I thank you for the support you offer.

    For others: https://youtu.be/9XEnTxlBuGo

  23. Paige Hardy

    As a mixed-race Asian American, young, queer, female attorney, I can recount numerous occasions where one or all of my intersecting identities have made me question whether I am a “cut out” for this profession. These experiences run the gamut from daily encounters with microaggressions to blatantly ignorant statements from colleagues, supervisors, and even faculty at law school. When speaking with other attorneys who come from other minority communities, I know that my experiences are not unique.

    As Ms. Williams highlighted in her article, hearing about the racist comments and images received by Judge Whitener are sadly not surprising. Although, as a non-black person of color, when I see those images I am not directly impacted by the historical trauma associated with the anti-black racism that our country is founded on. But, I am so thankful for the bravery of Judge Whitener and other leaders like her, who have created the space and opportunities for young women of color, like me, to help us survive and thrive in this community. I think of all my mentors, all women of color, who have stood by my side to ensure that I have a place here. In part, I think this is why events such as the “Color of Justice” or even minority bar associations exist. They create a safe space for attorneys of varying minority groups to seek community within a largely white, heterosexual, male dominated profession.

    Recently, there was a tangible moment where I really saw solidarity amongst the minority bar associations. Spearheaded by Aimée Sutton from LBAW, minority bar leaders came together (with impressive speed and commitment) to draft a statement in response to the heinous acts of violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville. It was a moment for me, as a young minority bar association member that I realized there was hope. That maybe I really do have a place in this profession. But, it is important to highlight that this response was initiated by attorneys of color, as is often the case, the burden to lead and speak out is placed on marginalized communities–those of us who are directly impacted by these oppressive actions.
    After reading Ms. Williams’ article, it really empowered me to be more vocal in this profession, because she is right, “we need to take action.” I refuse to stand idly by and not address these moments.

    To my colleagues that refuse to acknowledge the existence of racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, and all the other forms of oppression in the profession—I hope that you will listen. Listen to your colleagues when they say that these are experiences are true. Our experiences are valid.

    Have changes taken place over the years to increase diversity across racial, gender, and other marginalized lines? Yes, of course. But, can there be more done? Absolutely. Do I think WSBA is perfect in all the ways in has handled issues surrounding racism? No, there is still a long way to go. But, as a young attorney who is still trying to find her place in this profession, it gives me hope.

  24. Joseph Evers

    Can I ask why you feel this is a personal attack against you? Also, just because your small circle hasn’t shown signs of racism, how do you figure it doesn’t happen? Isn’t that a small sample size in comparison to a medium-sized city such as Seattle?

  25. Joseph Evers

    I can see you’ve come into contact with a lot of first hand situations that might make you overlook a deeper, more overarching problem. I think it’s important to notice—in these situations, as well as any other that affect a large group— that your personal experiences, while not illegitmate, can’t provide a full picture. Racism (or any other societal problem) can’t be said to be dead simply because one person does not face it often. In other words, your wife’s experiences don’t delegitimize Judge Whitener’s.

    The word “nigger” is not something you have to analyze deeply to find racism in. If your own wife was sent an email calling her “nigger,” would you not be offended? How then, can you say that Judge Whitener should stay “circumspect” in the face of unobjectionably racist backlash?

    Note that I’m trying to see your view here. Not trying to change your mind. I just want to understand your reasoning.

  26. Inez Petersen

    Stevens County is small with a population of about 43,500. 89% are white; 5% Am. Indian; Hispanic 2%; mixed and other 4%; Asian and Black 1%. Perhaps these stats can ease the discomfort for those who live there and are suffering from white guilt. Jobs are the key; and education is the stepping stone to jobs. Regardless of race, it takes dedication and sacrifice to get that education. Institutional barriers? Is that really the problem? I seem to recall reading about the prevalence of lawyers who couldn’t make a living being a lawyer. Do we really need more lawyers regardless of race? Sometimes I feel like articles are written on this blog just to fill the space.

  27. Dave Lundgren

    Thank you, Ms. Williams, for sharing what was obviously a difficult article to write. Those of us in Eastern Washington are insulated from such overt acts of racism simply because the general community is largely white, let alone the legal community. Not only do we in Eastern Washington need more efforts such as Judge Whitener’s to encourage people of color to join the ranks of the bench and bar, we need more people of color to move to our communities.
    Frankly, its uncomfortable for me as a white guy to go to community events such as concerts, hockey games, and even CLEs, and see nothing but white people. It seems un-American, and certainly does not reflect the diversity of this country. Institutional barriers continue to prevent people of color from gaining employment and housing in Eastern Washington, and the members of the bar are in a unique position to help remove those basic barriers as well as those that exist in our profession.

  28. Inez Petersen

    More victimhood; I’m so sick of it. I don’t believe this racist atmosphere actually exists in Washington State. I don’t know any racists. I don’t know any persons who use the N word. I do, however, hear it on TV but by the race referring to itself. It is OK for them to call each other the N word. If there ever was an organization promoting exclusion it is the WSBA with all its various sub-bar associations. And victimhood appears to be the model for articles on this blog. What if a judge held a similar workshop for white females? I tell you it would never happen. I consider this sentence a bunch of BS: “There are open and covert racist legal professionals practicing law.” It insults me; and I hope there are those among the silent majority out there who are equally insulted.

  29. edward hiskes

    My wife is from Ghana. I met her in Seattle, and we have been together since 1982. She is not a lesbian, but she is about 100x times blacker than the author, so one might expect that her experience of anti-black racism in Seattle would be comparable to the “daily” abuse claimed by the author. In fact, it is not. Since I am a WSBA member, who associates with other WSBA members, I can also report on the prevalence of anti-black racism among at least some fellow WSBA members. My experience is that they are not racist. I think the author, a WSBA employee, should post actual facts that substantiate her position that “there are open and covert racist legal professionals practicing law”. I am particularly interested to hear about how she has learned about the existence of “covert” racists. Is the WSBA wiretapping our telephones?

    My wife and I have experienced only one incident of overt racism in Seattle, which occurred at the Tai Tung restaurant in the International District, about 25 years ago. There, a waiter was extraordinarily rude, banging plates as he put them on the table, etc. However, he spoke approximately zero English, and was probably a new arrival from Asia.

    My wife does tell an interesting story. dated from a few years before we met. At a black hair salon on Madison Street, people said that a certain restaurant in Ellensburg was rude to blacks.
    Hearing this, she drove to Ellensburg and ordered dinner at the restaurant. She was extremely disappointed: everyone was perfectly friendly, displaying no signs of discrimination whatsoever.
    So, she drove around Ellensburg stopping at 7/11 stores and other shops, looking for racists. But, alas, she made the trip for nothing.

    On the other hand, I have experienced racism from blacks on several occasions. For example,
    on my way to the courthouse in Seattle, a young black man walked up to me and said: “Look at you, pretty white boy, in such a nice suit.” He looked kind of down on his luck, so I gave him $20.

    But the worst racism comes from do-gooder whites. For example, I took my grandson for a surfing lesson in Westport. We filled out the rental forms and went surfing. Meanwhile, the do-gooder surf-shop owner concluded that an old, white, gay had kidnapped a young black man. So, he located my wife from information on the rental form, insisting that she should call the police so an Amber Alert could be issued. She says it took 15 minutes to talk him out of it, since he refused to believe a white guy could have a black grandson.

    As for the author’s conclusion that white racists must have posted the anti-black material on some website, I can only suggest that she be more circumspect, in view of the Duke Lacrosse case, and the Tawana Bradly slander. Anti-racism is big business and good politics, so people who make a living from it, or who want votes, are always anxious to find racism somewhere.

  30. Barbara A. Peterson

    Please realize that the outstanding majority of thinking persons are not racist and are disgusted by the pathetic cartoons such as those mailed to Judge Whitener by the 3rd-graders who come up with such nonsense. Only insecure people engage in such evil. How in the world does one equate superiority or inferiority to characteristics beyond their control? I’m guessing the Designer of “niggers” will have something to say about those who go about abusing his work product…Get real. Pity them.

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