• Dog Day Afternoon.

    For some reason, plenty of people don't believe that proper office decorum extends to the cyberspace realm of the workplace. To wit, most people know it's not a good idea to spend your downtime surfing porn or forwarding Goatse pics to one another on Exchange. Such behavior would get most people a talking down to and a trip to Human Resources. Or a lovely little pink slip. Conservatives have this thing about passing forwarded emails around like a good toke: they take a puff, savor the smoke and after they've gotten their high off of it, pass it around to other good friends with similar tastes.

    One fine afternoon, Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Frank Cebull of the District of Montana forwarded an email to six of his dearest friends from his official email account. Normally, this wouldn't be something anyone would give two shits about unless it had unencrypted instructions on how to raise Osama Bin Laden's spirit from the beyond. Unfortunately, it contained the following text:

    "Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

    "A little boy said to his mother; 'Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?'" the email joke reads. "His mother replied, 'Don't even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!'"

    Here we have a joke that manages to kill three birds with one large, bleached stone:

    • It insinuates that Barack Obama's mother was a loose whore with little to no morals. Only a whore would dare to be so loose with herself and only a whore would have mixed offspring.
    • It suggests that blacks are in the same league as or possibly lower than four-legged animals when it comes to how well-regarded they are.
    • It denigrates those of mixed parentage, especially those of both black and white heritage. Such couplings are considered "unnatural" by the unreconstructed and their fellow faux-reconstructed hangers-on.

    The joke touched Cebull's heart so much that he had to forward it to his friends. That was some good stuff he was toking and he had to pass the joint around the room.

    The judge acknowledged that the content of the email was racist, but said he does not consider himself racist. He said the email was intended to be a private communication.

    "It was not intended by me in any way to become public," Cebull said. "I apologize to anybody who is offended by it, and I can obviously understand why people would be offended."

    Cebull said his brother initially sent him the email, which he forwarded to six of his "old buddies" and acquaintances.

    He admitted that he read the email and intended to send it to his friends.

    So he's not a racist, but he does enjoy racist jokes now and again and furthermore, he apologizes that it somehow got in the wrong hands. Yep, it's all being blown out of proportion.

    It's A Bad Thing™ for a federal judge to engage in activity that potentially colors otherwise impartial decision making in a courtroom setting. A man who finds a crude, racially-charged 3-for-1 joke about the president's heritage may also have no problem with being biased against a black American standing before him. He may also be willing to push said person towards the harshest sentences possible regardless of the crime and possibly disregard evidence and testimony pointing towards an acquittal or a lesser charge. By virtue of engaging in color-aroused activity, he's put a clean shot through his own credibility as far as most people are concerned.

    This is why people are standing up and taking notice. That and the fact the judge made no attempt in sugarcoating or P.R. spin. He simply said "Why yes, that was incredibly racist........but I'm not a racist." Like most people caught in a bind of their own making, he's only sorry he got caught. Some people expect that blunt honesty to win people over.

    Meanwhile, a comment sums up the suspicions that black Americans have towards their white counterparts in just about any social setting:

    Every time I hear crap like this from a white person, it makes it that much harder for me to be in the company of black people because I am concerned they think I feel the same way.

    You have no idea what people are thinking about you. A black person has to go through life wondering if the white people they briefly interact with think of him or her as a human being worthy of respect or as a plain-old "nigger." Now imagine having to put up with this in a rather powerful courtroom jurisdiction.

    Cebull, of Billings, was nominated by former President George W. Bush and received his commission in 2001 and has served as chief judge for the District of Montana since 2008.

    I'm not surprised. Bush had a way of picking his people.