Anger at Interracial Marriage Denial

Liberal pundits offer deadpan reactions after an interracial couple is denied a marriage license

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Rush Limbaugh's NFL bid brought with it a particularly intense week of partisan stone-throwing over race. By the time Friday came along, many pundits seemed fed up with the "no, you're the racist!" debate. So when news hit that an interracial couple was denied a marriage license by Keith Bardwell, a white justice of the peace in Louisiana ("I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," the justice reportedly said), they took a different tack.

  • "Of Course Bardwell Isn't a Racist. There Aren't Any Racists in America," Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote at The Atlantic.
  • Only Liberals Can Be Racist, Silly Adam Serwer said at The American Prospect. "Ta-Nehisi Coates writes, 'There aren't any racists in America.' Well that's not true. What about Sonia Sotomayor, or the people who opposed Rush Limbaugh owning the Rams? The first rule of racism is that there are no racists, the second rule of racism is that all racists are liberals."
  • Before You Call Bardwell a Racist, You Should Know That He Has Black Friends Andrew Belonsky jokes at Gawker. "You see? The days of 'whites only' bathrooms are over! Civil rights have without a doubt been won -- and then some. Now, everyone stop getting so uppity."
  • Think About the Children When Bardwell said interracial children "suffer" and are not accepted by blacks or whites, he was simply looking out for the couple's best interest, Steve Benen sarcastically assures his readers at The Washington Monthly. "What a good point. The societal stigma on kids from mixed-race couples is so overwhelming, those kids would never have an opportunity to, say, grow up and someday seek the presidency of the United States."
  • At Least It's Not Too Much of an Inconvenience Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy is one of the few conservative pundits to weigh in on the story. He says justices of the peace should do their jobs "without discrimination based on race -- or religion or political ideology or some other constitutionally forbidden category." But, he says, he "should note, as a practical matter, this isn't much of a burden on the couples, since they can easily find a different Justice of the Peace to issue the license. (Apparently Bardwell's wife, whom the couple had called about the license, even referred them to another Justice of the Peace.)"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.