Saturday, October 22, 2005

EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT POST over at Shakespeare's Sister, by Patrick -- a crosspost from Yelladog.

It's about the Ku Klux Klan, and how mainstream it was in the South for much of the last century. It was not a fringe movement at all.

The average Klansman was a real pillar of the community. Make no mistake -- the Klan was made up of the men who sat on the Chamber of Commerce by day -- bank presidents and business owners, like *ahem* exterminators and car lot owners -- and who rode around at night enforcing their concept of Civil Order. They also cloaked their daytime "respectable" quest for Order with various euphemistic aliases.

In case that one went over your head, or you don't know about the House Majority Leader's job history, Patrick is talking about Tom DeLay there. And that's the hook that makes this piece so strikingly good. Patrick is not just remembering the bad old days in the South here. He's making an analogy; and it's one that had not occurred to me.

How dare Tom DeLay complain that he can't get a fair trial because the prosecutor and the judge gave money to the Democratic Party?

...I think it's important to note that the concept of a "fair trial" for a significant portion of the population of America was a meaningless abstraction until, oh, well, in some places it probably still is. For most of the last century, when an African-American defendant stood in the dock anywhere in the South, especially Texas, he or she knew that the man in the black robe in front of them had another colored robe in [t]he closet at home.

If thousands of black defendants in the United States can sit for trials in courtrooms in this country where the judge was a member of the Klan, then Tom DeLay can be tried in a courtroom where the judge might have given some money to one of the two official political parties of the United States, doncha think? I think it's time Tom DeLay got a taste of Texas-style justice. If he's so goddamned innocent, then that bright, shining fact should outweigh any mild bias that is alleged to exist in Travis County.

I think that's a damn good point.

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