Headlines can be deceiving

Here’s the headline: “Judge admits mistake in kicking whites out of court.” Upon reading that headline, I assumed that this was going to be the familiar story about some crackpot anti-white judge who issued a ruling, a la the Jeremiah White mode of thinking, that blacks can’t get a fair trial with whites around. Instead, the story is much deeper and sadder.

The story behind the headline is about an African-American judge in Georgia named Marvin Arrington who is profoundly disturbed by the fact that, in his criminal court, “I came out and saw the defendants, and it was about 99.9 percent Afro-Americans.” He wanted to give these defendants a lecture — not a “the white man is out to get you lecture,” but a “you’ve got to start taking control of yourselves” lecture. He was embarrassed, however, to give that lecture with whites present:

“I didn’t want them to think I was talking down to them; trying to embarrass them or insult them; be derogatory toward them, and I was just saying, ‘Please get yourself together,'” Arrington said.

To help these defendants listen to him without becoming humiliated by having successful white people around, the judge dismissed the whites and gave the lecture. He’s since realized that the lecture would have benefited everyone or, at least, not offended anyone:

“In retrospect, it was a mistake,” Judge Marvin Arrington told CNN. “Because my sheriff said to me, ‘Judge, that message should be given to everybody’ — ‘Don’t violate the law, make something out of yourself, go to school, find a role model, somebody that will help you advance your life.'”


He said he would open his court doors to everyone on Thursday and “I am going to give the same identical speech: ‘You’ve got to do better.'”

Judged Arrington’s handling of the situation may have been a bit inept, but he has the right idea:  he saw a problem, and he addressed it, not with speeches about victimhood and demands, but with a speech about personal responsibility, made to those who need to hear it most.  Good for him!  I sincerely hope that he doesn’t experience any career fallout from this particular decision.