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Monday, July 27, 2009

Lessons in Racial Politics both "wise" and "stupid

By Dr. Mustafa Ansari
Chief Justice, Indigenous African American Reparations Tribunal

Last week was a lesson in racial politics. The confirmation hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayer and the arrest of Professor Gates was a racial spectacle. It appears for one, that America is not in a post-racial era, and two, white conservatives are extremely sensitive these days. For the life of me I cannot see anything wrong with Judge Sotomayer's statement about a "wise Latina" would usually rule better than a white male, especially in the case of a person arrested in his own house for saying "What could I expect when a white woman calls about a black male.

Again for the life of me I cannot see how that is disorderly conduct, but then again I am still trying to find some fault in Reverend Wright's denunciation of America for being racist. In any case, I "stupidly" thought that Professor Gates had the 'liberty' to say this under the First Amendment.

This loose adherence to the right to expression under the First Amendment bothered me so much, I just had to look up disorderly conduct in Massachusetts.

A disorderly person is defined as one who:with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, orrecklessly creates a risk thereofengages in fighting or threatening, violent or tumultuous behavior, orcreates a hazard or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose.To me, the disorderly conduct law is mischarged because Professor Gates was in home rather than in a 'Public place" causing annoyance or alarm or recklessly creating a risk of Public annoyance or inconvenience etc fighting.

This is probably why the charges were dropped and this has not been discussed in the media. I remember when I was in Law school and the professor told me that the law was both law and facts, and that if I had the law on my side argue the law, and if I had the facts on my side argue the facts.

I wonder how Judge Sotomayer would rule on the 'facts' of this case, if this case came before her.

Moreover, I wonder how Justice Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, Alito, would have ruled.
If I was a betting man I bet you they would rule "stupidly".

Dr. Mustafa Ansari Chief Justice, Indigenous African American Reparations Tribunal
Author, "Defining Change" A Reparations Guide
Plebiscite and African Reconciliation Project

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