To the Victor Goes the Spoils: The Story of Judge Carnella Greene Norman

Paul Kersey, SBPDL, January 8, 2013

A long time ago, in a country, far, far away, a man named Bull Connor gave a speech in Selma, Alabama. He was discussing the fight to break the resistance to desegregation, and, as Bobby Wilson relates in his book “Race and Place in Birmingham: The Civil Rights and the Neighborhood Movements,” said:

…unless the South united to “fight this plague,” black would dominate. Using a metaphor that seemed appropriate for Birmingham, once considered the football capital of the South, he went on to state, “We are on the one-yard line. Our backs are to the Wall. Do we let them go over for a touchdown, or do we raise the Confederate Flag as did our forefathers and tell them… ‘you shall not pass’?” (p.33)

Flash forward to January 8, 2013 and the footprint squarely on the face of white America is still just as fresh as when it was made so long ago.

And it is Birmingham where that footprint was made, with the winning score being blared across the world; the ramifications of this victory still reverberating around the halls of government and academia today.

But it is in the halls of City Hall in Birmingham that the smell of victory still lingers [Birmingham City Council staffers flee strong industrial odor at City Hall offices, Birmingham News, 10-18-12]:

Several Birmingham City Council staff members remained at home Thursday following complaints of a mysterious industrial odor from an adjoining conference room as renovation occurs in the office.

Some workers complained the smell emitting from the closed-off conference room just feet away was making them sick — literally.

Employees were absent Thursday and are expected to remain away from the City Hall again Friday as work continues in the conference room.

The smell of victory in Birmingham doesn’t smell like napalm, but it does come in industrial strength. What was going on in that City Hall conference room you ask? Why, a huge mural being painted commemorating victory over Bull Connor and the society he dared to represent and defend [With fumes gone, Birmingham City Hall conference room now a shrine to 1963 civil rights history, Birmingham News, 10-31-12]:

 Construction of a civil rights-themed conference room on the third floor of City Hall is now complete, but not before sickening some city employees, and sending at least one woman to the hospital complaining about strong fumes.

The renovation of the small conference room near the City Council offices was blamed for emitting industrial odors so intense that office workers were sent home for several days.

At least one council employee went to the hospital and other complaints about the fumes compelled Council President Roderick Royal to send workers home until the alleged hazardous condition had ended.

The renovated room is now finished and features a wallpaper collage of familiar black and white 1960’s civil rights images, a glossy, freshly painted black floor and an accent wall with quotations in red from both Mayor William Bell and President Barack Obama paying homage to hard-won civil rights gains of the past. The office also has a new gray glass tinted door and repainted conference table.

The work was ordered by Bell’s staff and the door was closed and locked until now.
“The first time I was made aware of the repainting of the conference room was when the council administrator notified me that employees had to leave because of fumes from the paint,” Royal said.

The room which had been shared by both the Council and the mayor’s staff, and was renovated as part of the city’s upcoming 50th anniversary of 1963 civil rights activities, said Bell’s chief of staff Chuck Faush.

Victory hasn’t smelled so sweet (or so toxic, but isn’t that irony?) then the delectable aroma of cocooning a City Hall meeting room in Birmingham with images of 1963.

But what does true victory smell like in 2013 Birmingham? What happens when black people come to dominate the city, the very city, that once served as the source of resistance to the nationwide implementation of Black-Run America (BRA)?

Her name is Carnella Greene Norman [Carnella Greene Norman wins Jefferson County District Court Judge Place 3 race, Birmingham News, 11-6-12]:

Carnella Greene Norman, who had resigned her job as a Birmingham municipal court judge a decade ago as part of a settlement in a racial discrimination lawsuit, won the race for Jefferson County District Court Judge Place 3 in today’s general election.
Norman, a Democrat, defeated W. Davis Lawley, a former Birmingham drug court judge.

With nearly 98 percent of the votes counted, Norman had 143,531 votes or 52.5 percent, and Lawley had 129,977 votes, or 47.5 percent.

Norman was a Birmingham Municipal Court judge from 1991 to 2002, but resigned as part of a legal settlement in a racial discrimination lawsuit brought against her by a white employee.

{snip}

The power of “racial democracy” was on display on November 6, 2012 in Jefferson County (Alabama), home to 75 percent black Birmingham [After vote, Alabama needs serious soul searching, 10-6-12, Birmingham News]:

But while Republican soul-searching might be wise in light of what happened Tuesday, the bluing of Jefferson County is not as simple as race.

Blacks make up 42 percent of the county’s population, according to the U.S. Census. Victories Tuesday night were far higher than that.

Six of every 10 voters – 174,498 people in Jefferson County – simply pulled a straight ticket ballot. Some 35 percent of all ballots cast were Democratic straight tickets, while 24 percent of all ballots were straight Republican tickets.

Carnella Greene-Norman, who was forced out of her Birmingham Municipal Court job years ago as part of a settlement in a lawsuit that outlined a pattern of racial discrimination in her court, will now decide real issues for real people in a decimated family court.

Why was Judge Greene-Norman forced out to begin with? [Black Judge Sued For Reverse Discrimination, Birmingham News, 1-10-2002]:

Birmingham Municipal Judge Carnella Norman accused of ignoring a legal settlement requiring her to quit, has stepped down, according to a letter from her attorney included in federal court records. “Judge Norman has now retired and she is in compliance.” Birmingham lawyer Howard M. Miles wrote to plaintiff lawyer Susan Reeves in a letter dated Tuesday.

“As of January 7,2002, Judge Norman’s employment with the City of Birmingham ceased, effective December 28, 2001,” Miles wrote.

Efforts to reach Miles for an explanation of the chronology were unsuccessful.
Ms. Reeves, who represents Joyce Franklin, a former senior legal secretary who sued the judge and the city, took issue with Miles in a Tuesday response letter:

“Retirement is not what is called for by the terms of the mediated settlement.”

Ms. Reeves wrote that the judge has not resigned but simply submitted a request for early retirement in an “outrageous grab for additional benefits to which she is not entitled for any reason.”

Efforts to reach Ms.Reeves for comment were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Judge Norman was accused in federal court filings of not complying with a confidential settlement she reached with the city and Ms. Franklin. Ms. Franklin claimed the judge, who is black, discrimanated against her because she is white.

The settlement reached last February in private mediation called for the judge to resign by Dec. 28 according to court findings. The settlement also required the city to pay Ms. Franklin $250,000, according to former city council members.

Court filings also say that Judge Norman has accused the city of not complying with the settlement. She is seeking reimbursement for legal fees and sanctions against the city, according to the filings.

In a court hearing last week, Judge Norman said she had been reporting to work every day but there were no cases on the docket until Monday, and a city lawyer said she remained on the payroll. A special judge has been appointed by the city to hear cases in the courtroom where Judge Norman normally sits.

U.S. District Judge H. Dean Buttram Jr. last week set a Friday hearing to consider a request by lawyers from the city and Ms.Franklin to enforce the settlement. It is unclear whether Judge Norman’s retirement would satisfy the guidelines of the original settlement, which has never been released even though the City Council had to approve it.

And now, Judge Norman is back as a Jefferson County Court Judge.

Victory has never smelled sweeter, right?

An article appearing in the Birmingham Post-Herald back in 2000 by Elaine Witt detailed the racism Judge Norman exercised against whitey in her courtroom [Council ignores claims against judge]:

And some people in the Birmingham legal trade will tell you that unprofessionalism is the order of the day in the courtroom of Birmingham Municipal Judge Carnella Greene Norman.

For weeks now, listeners to a local talk radio show have been hearing allegations that this judge hardly ever shows up for her $103,000 job. But citizens concerned about the efficient administration of justice might be just as worried about what happens when this judge does come to court.

I went to see Judge Norman on the bench on Thursday. She wasn’t there. A bailiff, who once was fired by the judge but was reinstated by the Jefferson County Personnel Board, told me the judge hadn’t shown up regularly since August. Another court employee countered that the judge did come in two or three weeks ago to handle a handful of cases.

Judge Norman’s dockets, I was told, are slim to non-existent most days, meaning that the court’s two other downtown judges, David Barnes and Raymond Chambliss, may have to handle hundreds of traffic and misdemeanor cases per day. Defendants thus have to wait even longer than usual to see a judge. And if you’ve ever been to city court, you know the wait never has been short.

But documents filed in a pending race discrimination lawsuit against the judge, who is one of three black judges at the downtown court, tell a more chilling story.

In a sworn statement, one black court employee, the bailiff mentioned above, said Judge Norman made it clear to him that she did not like white people and did not want white employees working near her. He said he feared to be friendly toward white employees in Norman’s presence, for fear of turning the judge against him.

A white lawyer stated under oath that she knows other white lawyers who charge their clients extra if they have to appear before Judge Norman, “because of her abusiveness.”

An attorney who in 1981 helped establish a mediation program in municipal court stated under oath that the program disintegrated after Norman became presiding judge, because the mediators and their clients would show up at the appointed time but could no longer get access to their case files.

One black employee stated under oath that when she went to work for Norman, she was required to style the judge’s hair before each court session.

The bias complaint has dragged on since 1996, mainly at city expense. Presumably, it will be resolved in court.

But Norman’s judicial career is in the hands of the Birmingham City Council, which already has cast its vote. A majority on the council recently named Norman to another four years as a municipal judge. And after Mayor Bernard Kincaid took the title of presiding judge away from Norman and gave it to Judge Barnes, the council passed a resolution praising Norman for “ensuring the dignity of the administration of justice.”

Judge Norman is the face of victory that Bull Connor warned about; while the Birmingham City Council celebrates the events of 1963 (hilariously painting a mural that emitted toxic fumes in a City Hall conference room that necessitated an evacuation of the building), the now 73.4-percent black city of Birmingham is on the verge of complete collapse.

But don’t worry–Judge Norman is back.

Judge Camella Greene Norman

Judge Camella Greene Norman

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • MekongDelta69

    This whole thing stinks (pun VERY intended).

  • falsedawn

    just nother fat black woman – move along – nothing to see here.

  • whiteyyyyy

    Mulattoe’s- even worse than the real thing. A few more i.q. points but still hating on whitey.

    • The__Bobster

      Of course they are. The White DNA allows them to be aware of what they could have been.

    • The Worlds Scapegoat

      They hate themselves more because they are neither white nor black.

      • whiteyyyyy

        There’s no upside to miscegenation. They probably hate whites more than real blacks.

        • The Worlds Scapegoat

          lessers always hate their betters

        • Svigor

          To paraphrase another writer, miscegenation is like mixing horse manure and ice cream; it may do wonders for the manure, but nothing good for the ice cream.

  • The__Bobster

    The ACLU would be having a hissyfit if religious wallpaper were put up in a government office. However, I bet they find black worship perfectly acceptable.

  • So CAL Snowman

    Even the paint was upset that it was used in such a disgusting and frivolous manner.

  • MekongDelta69

    This whole thing stinks (Pun VERY intended).

  • StillModerated

    … listeners to a local talk radio show have been hearing allegations that this judge hardly ever shows up for her $103,000 job.

    I was once the only White guy in a grew of 10 who worked the boiler room at a hospital. That was when I became aware of the sloppy work habits of the North American Pavement Ape. It’s also why I’m against giving the money for not working. Welfare is a huge mistake, but this tub of guts is getting paid!

    And about the defendants: with its 42% bantu population, I’d imagine there are only a couple of Whites on the docket on any given day. If anybody is inconvenienced, I don’t care.

  • Mike

    The new America-the 13%ers dominate the 87%ers. Blacks are as racist, if not more so, than whites. Put a black person in a position such as a judge, any case involving a white person will not go their way, even if evidence proves their case.

  • Ulick

    The Civil Rights refrain that blacks want justice is proven a lie time-and-time again. Blacks may want justice for themselves, but they wish to impose injustice against whites. That’s what they almost always do when put in a position of power.

    • Svigor

      Why would anyone dealt a losing hand want the game to play out as it should? Of course blacks don’t want “justiss,” unless by that they mean cheating to “balance out” the losing hand nature has dealt them.

      When justice prevails, blacks lose.

  • bigone4u

    Fat, lazy, filled with rage. A real poster girl for the civil rights movement, she is. What I’d like to know is how she got a law degree.

    • Sherman_McCoy

      AA?

    • CharlesFinley

      “Oh, I graduated summa cum LAUDE up in dis piece!”

  • http://www.dailykenn.com/ Daily Kenn

    Wars are remembered by historians who write from the perspective of the victors.

    Among the spoils of the cultural war is, therefore, the ability to frame history to remember the winners as moral and just while demonizing the losers. Future historians will not remember white people kindly.
    .

    • Dystopian Bummer

      You are 100% correct. After a revolution, what was good in the past becomes evil. Evil things (i.e. black criminal behavior) are explained away with sociology, white power structure, white privilege, etc. Any college professor will give you these explanations.

      I remember back in 1971, when I was 16, hearing my grandfather badmouth the black power movement and “civil rights” leaders as opportunists who spouted empty platitudes. In his point of view, the whole thing was a crock. I was so glad I belonged to the Now Generation, so liberated and free from the hang-ups and bigotry of grandpa’s generation. We were going to build a free and liberated society. (The word “liberation” was big back then.) I remember feeling so superior to my grandfather’s views.

      My grandfather was right. The ideas held by so many young people were just bogus. Utopian rubbish. At least I acknowlege I was wrong. So many people of that younger generation can’t even admit to themselves that their “reactionary” parents or grandparents knew more about the world and how it worked than the younger generation could ever imagine. The 60s generation were full of themselves.

      • http://countenance.wordpress.com/ Question Diversity

        In other words, the older you got, the smarter your grandfather got.

        Surprise.

        One day in the very recent past, this epiphany struck me like a ton of bricks:

        “Oh my God, all these old people knew what the hell they were talking about!”

      • SintiriNikos

        When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
        -Mark Twain

  • Sherman_McCoy

    If Birmingham is now 73% black, whatever is left of he white population should take themselves out of this “judge’s”jurisdiction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003201678474 Eric Shun

    This article is one of the clearest examples to avoid living in cities dominated by black government officials, as per the Derb’s rules.

    I once had to sue a black female in small claims court over an auto accident. My hopes dropped when I walked into the court room to see a black male as judge. It might be my imagination, but he seemed to grin w/ delight at seeing his chance to impart some retributive justice on me. The defendant fully admitted her fault but claimed inability to pay. I offered to negotiate the amount, but the judge cut me off. Anyway, he ruled in my favor and two weeks later I got a letter in the mail stating that the defendant was liable to me for the full $500, though I’ve never seen a penny.

    • OlderWoman

      But, but, *whine* she needed her hair weave, extensions and a manicure. Don’t you understand the plight of blacks? *whine* sarc/off

      Seriously, will you seek your judgement?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003201678474 Eric Shun

        It’s been over ten years, so that money is gone with the wind, and I’ve moved 200 miles away. The defendant didn’t work and had no money. I assume the civil judgement is still in the County records, but it’d be up to me to collect it. I don’t know how to do that and it might be more work than it’s worth. It’s probably uncollectible.

    • Chatville

      The operate by the “you can’t get blood from a turnip” economic model. Foodstamps should be garnishable.

  • Zapp Branigan

    Just additional proof of the voting habits of blacks, no matter how incompetent, corrupt, criminal, or racist , they will always elect one of their own. This is why democracy doesn’t work when africans are involved.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kareem.ofwheat.5 Kareem OfWheat

      UHH!!!!! Nothing works when blacks are in charge.

    • George

      She polled 52.5% of the vote in a county that is 42% black. 35 per cent of voters pulled a straight Democratic ticket.

      The issue isn’t just one about race. It’s why the Democrats would allow her to run for their primary in the first place.

      Oddly enough, there weren’t any local headlines along the lines of ‘Disgraced bigot back on Democratic primary lists’ or ‘Racially-abusive, absentee former judge seeks another chance’. You can bet your sweet bippy if it were a white judge running for the GOP, it’d be national news.

  • CharlesFinley

    It’s so UGLY.

    Imagine the voice…and the smell.

    Groids in high places…unconscious incompetence abound.

  • George

    It’s interesting what those in the local legal profession think of her.

    From http://judgepedia.org/index.php/Carnella_Greene-Norman

    In October, the Birmingham Bar Association compiled results of its Judicial Primary Qualifications Poll. 687 members of the association participated in the poll, though all members did not participate in each evaluation. Below are the candidate’s results as posted on http://www.birminghambar.org/associations/12945/files/Press%20Release%20and%20Total%20Vote%20Count%2010-9-12.pdf

    Highly Qualified: 4% (24 votes)
    Qualified: 9% (59 votes)
    Not Qualified: 41% (284)
    Unknown: 47% (320)

    In other words, of the 54% of the local bar association that knows of her, 75.9% of them said she’s not qualified. Interestingly enough, her entry on judgepedia makes absolutely no mention of her previous judicial (mis)conduct.

    Her law degree is from Miles Law School, an institution that is unaccredited with the ABA. This means graduates are not generally permitted to take the bar exam in other states.

    Amusingly, the only person to receive more ‘not qualified’ votes was another Miles Law School graduate, Carole Smitherman, city councillor and Birmingham’s first black female mayor. She assumed the office of Mayor when Larry Langford, (the community’s first African American TV news reporter and current mayor was convicted of 60 counts of bribery and related charges on October 28, 2009). She got 288. She and her brother were (surprise!) raised by her grandmother, an instructor at Lawson State Community College.

    And from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_Law_School

    Miles Law School was founded on August 26, 1974. Among the founders were Bishop C.A Kirkendoll of the C.M.E. Church, Dr. W. Clyde Williams, former president of Miles College, former Alabama Judge and state Senator J Richmond Pearson, and Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Graduates of the law school include former Birmingham Mayor Carole Smitherman (42% unqualified) and Alabama State Senate President Pro Tempore Rodger Smitherman.

    Yes, you read that right. Morris Dees. SPLC. You can see where this is going.

    In July 2009, Miles Law School’s passage rate for the Alabama Bar Exam was 0% for first timers and 13.3% for repeats. By comparison, Alabama’s other law school passage rates were: University of Alabama (95.3% and 66.7%), the Cumberland School of Law (91.3% and 100.0%), Jones Law School (90.7% and 0%), and Birmingham School of Law (54.2% and 34.8%).

    So, to sum up. She’s gone to a ‘school’ founded by Morris Dees that has an abysmal graduation rate. It churns out nothing but unqualified potential ‘affirmative’ action hires. Yet her community elected her. Twice.

    • George

      Just wanted to add a bit more about Miles Law School. Fascinating place. Their website lists the faculty current for the 2008-2009 ‘academic’ year.

      9 of 18 ‘faculty’ are Miles grads.

      http://www.mlaw.edu/about-miles-law-school/faculty

      Check out the pictures. The Board members too. You’d think they could take a more flattering picture, surely.

  • red nation

    Who the hell cares? Troublemakers. The south became a rebirthed great society even after what that Lincoln bastard did 150 yrs ago and then they did it again 40-50 years ago. Blacks were never needed. Slaves were never needed. Whoever was behind all this hated whites even 500 yrs ago. Why did Jefferson call races equal or at least clarify otherwise then or later? He never said a damn word. Look at all this garbage today and that damn Obama devil pos with his white liberal lackies. Time to split into a Red Nation before these mexicans are legalized by the devil in the WH.Do it for your kids and grandkids and their kids and grandkids.