Administrative Municipal Judge Makes Racially Tinged Remarks in Dallas Weekly Column
Anti-white racism is alive and well, but nobody cares…
Administrative municipal judge makes racially tinged remarks in ‘Dallas Weekly’ column
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
By RUDOLPH BUSH / The Dallas Morning News
The lead judge of Dallas’ municipal courts has come under heavy scrutiny at City Hall for a racially charged column he wrote for a southern Dallas newspaper earlier this month.
In a column about Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins’ efforts to reform that office, Administrative Judge C. Victor Lander wrote in the Dallas Weekly that “black folks have been cleaning up white folks’ messes for hundreds of years, so why should we expect any different now?”
The column, published in the March 4-10 edition, has set off a storm of criticism and led to at least one City Council member’s call for Lander’s resignation.
“I am extremely offended and hurt by these unwarranted comments,” council member Mitchell Rasansky wrote in a letter calling for Lander to step down.
Lander, who like all municipal judges is appointed by the City Council, apologized Tuesday for the comment but said he does not plan to step down.
He said his column was intended to point out the hard work done by Watkins, who is also black, and does not reflect on his judgments from the bench or his work administering the city’s municipal courts.
“This is a very diverse city, and I try to look at the city with colorblindness not color-consciousness,” Lander said.
Council member Angela Hunt, who led a council committee that selected the city’s municipal judges, said she was troubled by Lander’s comment but said she wanted to speak with him before drawing any conclusions.
She praised his handling of a number of issues facing the courts he manages, which deal largely with traffic citations and other violations of city ordinances.
“He’s new to this job and new to having this much focus on his words. He needs to be more thoughtful in the future, and I’m hopeful he’ll clarify his statement,” Hunt said.
Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway came to Lander’s defense, saying he should not step down.
“Society has changed. People are able to put more on the table and discuss it without feeling like they’re being slapped in the face,” he said.
Mayor Tom Leppert declined to comment until discussing the issue with Lander.
Though Lander has been the court’s administrative judge for only about 10 months, he has served as a municipal judge for 12 years. And he has written for Dallas Weekly since 2004 or 2005, he said.
In that time, his column – tailored to the black readership it primarily serves – has pulled few punches when it comes to politics and race.
In a Feb. 28 column about the political dust-up over President Barack Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright, Lander wrote, “I wanted to make sure that you who read this and other African-American newspapers know that the only place you will get the truth is from your own people, and you should be forever suspect of the mainstream media …”
In the same column, he also warned the black community against blaming others for its troubles.
Recalling a series of murders allegedly committed by minorities, he wrote, “What has happened to our community when our young people can even think about doing things like this, and we can only apologize and blame someone else?”
In a series of political columns, Lander has been relentless in calls for the prosecution of former President George W. Bush and members of his administration.
He has also called for prosecutions in Dallas of former district attorneys and assistant district attorneys who might have knowingly sent innocent men and women to prison.
“I, too, can [in the spirit of Christianity] forgive George W. Bush and the others for what they have done – but not until they are tried and convicted. It’s only fair,” he wrote in the Jan. 1-7 Dallas Weekly.
In an interview Tuesday, Lander said he separates his column from his work on the bench.
“While we do serve as judges, we maintain our independence. We are still members of the community, and we are persons who have a duty and a responsibility that if you see wrong, you try to right it,” he said.
Lander also said he considers his column more educational than political.
“I try desperately to educate the people … I really have a responsibility. God gave me a gift to be able to articulate things,” he said.