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Judge C. Victor Lander Jr. / Justice Thurgood Marshall
Dallas Don't Touch That Judge!!!
Free Speech "Bullying" is Mitch Rasansky's Mess
"Free inquiry requires that we tolerate diversity of opinion and that we respect the right of individuals to express their beliefs, however unpopular they may be, without social or legal prohibition or fear of success." - Paul Kurtz
DALLAS- Bullying an African-American judge and pinching his free speech is cause for great concern and likely to stir a whirlwind of controversy in Dallas City Hall.
Dallas Municipal Judge C. Victor Lander is being challenged to quit by City Councilman Mitch Rasansky over his remarks about “Cleaning Up White Messes”, but African-Americans are clear about their message to that Free Speech Bully and the rest of the city council is: “Don't Touch That Judge”!!!
Respected Dallas activist and former Dallas District 8 City Councilman Al Lipscomb supports Lander and said the idea of threatening and silencing another prominent Black leader in the city of Dallas over a nonsense is ludicrous.
“I and a cadre of members from the human family will stand with Judge Lander at the city council and defend his right to free speech,” Lipscomb said. “The man expressed himself and in doing so told the truth honestly. Where is the wrong in doing that in a free country?”
Lander, who has served for 12 years on the court, is under fire by critics who want his resignation over his column claiming statements about cleaning up white messes was racially motivated.
Part of that column include a statement that said, “it is clear that the more mess that has been made by
others, the more it is up to us to clean it up. But black folks have been cleaning up white folks’ messes for hundreds of years, so why should we expect any different now?”
Despite his true cutting edge journalistic prowess in the piece, he has apologized to Rasanksky and others for any misconstrued ideas or harmful messages it may have sent. However, the free speech bully rejected Lander's apology and is calling for his head on a plate.
According to Lipscomb, Lander hit the nail on the head offering a raw look at the fight for freedom and justice up close and personal.
“He told the truth. We have been cleaning up messes for years,” said Lipscomb, who has been at the heart of many struggles to bring fairness and equality to Dallas. “It is indeed a fact that on many occasions, we have always had to go to court to fight bigotry, single-member districts, to preserve basic rights and to clean up messes in government and education.”
Lipscomb added that the real issue is that Rasansky is part of the Old Dallas Guard that refuses to accept change and will do anything to control Black people and keep their grips on power.
“This issue has been overblown and overstated by those who do not want him on that bench. However, he should not resign and we will stand with him and keep him there,” said Dallas NAACP president Dr. Juanita Wallace. “We believe in the principles of free speech and this man is an American citizen and used that right without any malicious intent to hurt anyone. He can and should be able to speak freely without bullying, fear or censorship.”
So far, Rasansky is the the only Dallas councilman to speak out and raise objections to the Lander column.
Lipscomb said the Lander issue and struggle remind him of those who attacked former Supreme Court Justice and African-American Thurgood Marshall.
Before taking a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, Marshall was a very principled fighter and trailblazer for justice, fairness, civil rights and equality during a time when free speech bullies worked diligently to stop the mouthes of those fighting to right the wrongs of the old South and open doors for Black people.
Thurgood Marshall was the child of an activist black community that had established its own schools and fought for equal rights from the time of the Civil War.
His own family, of an interracial background, had been at the forefront of demands by Baltimore blacks for equal treatment.
In Juan Williams biography on Marshall, Williams describes Marshall as a man who led a civil rights revolution in the 20th century that forever changed the landscape of American society.
He goes on to point out the impact of Marshall working through the courts to eradicate the legacy of slavery and destroying the racist segregation system of Jim Crow and ended legal segregation in the United States.
The Baltimore native grew up witnessing civil rights violations and grew up to fight and win Supreme Court victories breaking the color line in housing, transportation and voting, all of which overturned the 'Separate-but-Equal' apartheid system in America.
It was Marshall who also won the most important legal case of the century, Brown v. Board of Education, ending the legal separation of black and white children in public schools.
Later, as the nation's first African-American Supreme Court justice, Marshall promoted affirmative action -- preferences, set-asides and other race conscious policies -- as the remedy for the damage remaining from the nation's history of slavery and racial bias.
He built a structure of individual rights that became the cornerstone of protections for all Americans and succeeded in creating new protections under law for women, children, prisoners, and the homeless. Marshall died in 1993
Like Marshall, Judge C. Victor Lander Jr.'s civil rights roots run deep in the city of Dallas.
His mother and father spent their lives fighting for social and civil rights and justice and it is that commitment to truth, justice and righteousness that is seen when Lander dons the judicial robe and has to rule.
From one case to another, his actions in the courtroom are a reflection of lessons in wisdom, discipline, impartiality and love for service and community that flowed naturally from his parents to him.
Anthony Bond, founder of the Irving Branch of the NAACP said Lander has nothing to be ashamed of and need not quit his post.
“Judge Lander has already apologized to any and all who felt offended by his words.” Bond said. “I will always defend his right to say what he wants as an American citizen like anyone else. Everyone says that he rules fairly and justly in his court. To me, this is the most important aspect of this public outcry. We in the Black community know very well how valuable a" just " judge is... I agree with Dallas City councilwoman , Angela Hunt, that Judge Lander has now done the appropriate thing to deal with this matter. ”
John F. Kennedy once said. “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is afraid of its people.”
One has to wonder whether that free speech bully can handle the truth or face the truth about the messes that have been created over the course of American history.
Free speech must be free, available to all and must remain a market untampered with and never influenced by the likes of “Free Speech Bullies” like Rasansky.