By David Williams
I was recently preparing to hit the ball was on the first tee of a local golf course when one of my golf buddies said, “David, you need call to Judge Moore and tell him…”
I stopped in mid-swing.
“That’s not the way it works,” I replied. “I don’t have the judge’s number.”
My friend stared in disbelief.
I started to remind him that we play golf together once a week and I didn’t have his phone number, either, but it was irrelevant. What mattered was that I once worked for Judge Moore and that we’re friends. It also should be noted that my views often place me in the political crosshairs.
“Well he shouldn’t done…” my golf buddy tried to continue.
I cut him short and looked toward my cousin Virgil, a former softball teammate of Roy’s. Virgil is also Roy’s friend and only knows him in that context. The man wouldn’t allow the team to take the field without them first having prayer.
“Listen,” I said. “Forty years ago, I was in middle school in Germany. I don’t know anything about what the judge was doing or what you were doing 40 years ago. What I do know is that he is man of faith and a man of morals. When I worked for him in Montgomery when he was a Supreme Court Chief Justice, he appointed or hired more minorities then anyone in the history of the Supreme Court. The former head of the courthouse security was African-American. This individual eventually became the first Africa-American police chief of the Montgomery police department. He left that job to accept a political appointment from President Obama as a federal marshal.
“Judge Moore also hired a former naval officer to work in judicial college, as well as an African-American female to be part of the Administrative Office of Courts legal staff. Judge Moore promoted the first and only minority to be head marshal of the supreme court. I know all of this because I was there for 10 years as public information officer.”
Now, as a fellow African-American, this should have been enough to halt the conversation, but it was not. So the discussion continued as others in our group either waited or impatiently hit their tee shots.
“Well, he shouldn’t have done what he did to those women,” my buddy replied.
“Allegedly,” I countered. “Listen, here’s my problem with the quick-to-judge double standard. President Clinton had relations with Monica Lewinsky. They have DNA on a dress.”
“And he settled with Paula Jones,” Virgil added.
“Right,” I continued. “He settled with Paula Jones. I don’t see the outrage regarding his proven wrong actions.”
“Clinton should be given a parade,” my golfing buddy remarked.
“See that’s the problem,” I said. “We can’t give some a pass and persecute others simply because we don’t agree with their politics.”
I stopped for a moment while he thought this over.
“You’ve got me there,” he replied. He actually he said something more colorful, but my articles for this newspaper are rated G.
“That’s not my goal,” I said. “Why can’t we all agree that wrong is wrong and right is right? Why can’t there be a standard that holds individuals accountable, regardless of race, gender or political affiliation? Perhaps if we had a consistent standard of accountability across religious, political and racial lines, leaders of similar standards would emerge as our representatives.”
It was at that point that he either agreed with me or he was ready to play some golf, because that’s what we did.
That sort of thing happens to me quite often. I’ve learned, however, not to allow someone’s negative perception of me to be my reality.
Contact David Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.