Color-blind Justice?

Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, December 13, 2013

Not in America.

Yesterday’s news included two remarkable stories about what passes for justice in multi-racial America. One was about a retired Brooklyn judge, Frank Barbaro, who is now asking an appeals court to overturn a conviction that he, himself, handed down in a 1999 murder trial.

Only a few facts about the case have been reported, but it appears that a 22-year-old black man named Wavell Wint approached 24-year-old Donald Kagan, who is white, in front of a Brooklyn movie theater and tried to steal Mr. Kagan’s chain. There was a fight, and Mr. Kagan ended up shooting and killing Wint.

Wavell Wint

Wavell Wint

Judge Barbaro, who is white, heard the case without a jury, and convicted Mr. Kagan of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon. The judge, who has since retired, says he now believes the shooting was self defense, and that he could not be impartial because he was obsessed with white racism.

Donald Kagan

Donald Kagan

“Mr. Kagan had no intent to kill that man,” he says, explaining that he found him guilty of murder because “I was seeing this young white fellow as a bigot, as someone who assassinated an African-American.” He says he was blind to Mr. Kagan’s innocence because “the question of discrimination against African-American people became part of my fiber—my very fiber.”

Judge Frank Barbaro

Judge Frank Barbaro

Judge Barbaro now wants his own verdict overturned so that Mr. Kagan, who has spent the last 14 years in prison, can be either acquitted or retried.

This story is extraordinary for several reasons. First, no one seems to have been pressuring Judge Barbaro. Now 86 years old, his conscience alone seems to have driven him to this humiliating reversal.

More important, though, the bigoted state of mind that Judge Barbaro now says made him hand down an unjust conviction is precisely the one society does its best to instill in every white person. Universities routinely teach that America is steeped in “white supremacy,” that “racism” is as natural to whites as breathing, and that every white enjoys “white privilege.”

And universities are succeeding. Mr. Kagan’s case has an eerie similarity to that of George Zimmerman. Both men got into a fight with a black who was the obvious aggressor. Each man killed his attacker. A jury, which was fortunately sequestered and unaware of how viciously America was baying for blood, found Mr. Zimmerman innocent of second-degree murder. Judge Barbaro now says Mr. Kagan also shot his assailant in self defense.

Of course, virtually all blacks and most white elites were as closed-minded about the  Zimmerman case as Judge Barbaro now admits he was about the Kagan case. As soon as race enters the picture, “the question of discrimination against African-American people becomes part of their fiber—their very fiber.” Any white–or any Hispanic who looks white enough–who kills a black must be a bigot. The Judge Barbaro of 1999—just like most of our rulers today—would surely have locked up George Zimmerman.

It’s easy to imagine the Kagan case blowing up into a huge “racism” story about a white vigilante who killed an unarmed black man with an illegal, unlicensed handgun. What’s to stop Al Sharpton from leading demonstrations to “keep Wavell Wint’s killer behind bars”?

And why should blacks and liberals even believe Judge Barbaro? According to race dogma, white people are incapable of being so worried about the interests of blacks that they are unfair to whites. The experts tell us it takes whites a lifetime of struggle merely to throw off the mental shackles of white supremacy. Judge Barbaro has simply subsided into racist dotage and wants to undo the little good he once did.

The reaction from Wint’s family is instructive. Wavell Wint, Jr., who was four at the time his father was shot, was “disgusted” to hear that Judge Barbaro now says the conviction was wrong. “I shouldn’t be back here reliving the past,” he says. “I thought everything was over with.” Wint , Jr.’s mother, Carmen De Jesus, says Judge Barbaro “should be ashamed of himself as a judge”—not for making  a mistake in 1999 but for now thinking it was a mistake.

The merciful impulses common in whites are utterly alien to the Wints. The parents of Amy Biehl, who was murdered in Soweto because she was white; Reginald Denny, who was nearly killed by blacks during the Los Angeles riots; Phoebe Connolly, who was a victim of the knockout game just last month—they have all publicly forgiven violent blacks. We get no such mush from the Wint family; they want Mr. Kagan to rot in prison whether he deserves to or not.

Peter and Linda Biehl, posing with their daughter's monument.

Peter and Linda Biehl, posing with the monument to their daughter.

Which brings us to yesterday’s other story. An eight year study of 516 federal-court discrimination cases found that black judges are more likely than white judges to side with blacks who claim discrimination. White judges found discrimination against blacks only 20.6 percent of the time, while black judges found it 32.9 percent of them time. Assuming the cases heard by black and white judges were equivalent, these results alone do not tell us whether there was white bias against blacks or black bias in favor of blacks—or whether there was some of both.

However, the study also found that when people who weren’t black claimed discrimination, there was no difference in how black and white judges ruled. Presumably, this means black and white judges see the facts the same way in the case of a Hispanic or Asian plaintiff. But if that is so, it suggests that white judges can treat non-white plaintiffs impartially, and are therefore trying blacks fairly, whereas black judges are swayed by race. The study’s author, Jason Morin or Cal State Northridge, even says as much, noting that black plaintiffs may have an “ability to heighten a sense of group solidarity, such as perceptions of group consciousness or linked fate among African American judges.”

This is no surprise. Blacks have a vivid sense of racial solidarity; why should black judges be any different? It is whites—despite the nonsense we are always told—who are far better at ignoring the call of race. Judge Barbaro now admits that he was trying so hard to take the black point of view that he discriminated against a white man.

We can be certain that the only thing that sets Judge Barbaro apart from many, many other judges is that he now recognizes what he did and admits it. Judge Nicholas Garaufis repeatedly accused the New York City Fire Department of discrimination against blacks when it was clear the department was desperately trying to hire them. Judge Garaufis was so transparently biased that the appeals court took him off the case. How many other judges act just as Judge Barbaro says he did, but are never found out and never admit it?

So what should be done about all those black federal judges who are biased in favor of blacks? Astonishingly, the author of the study says the solution is more black judges because there aren’t enough of them, and they give black plaintiffs a better chance of winning!

So much for fairness. In a multi-racial society justice becomes a mare’s nest of prejudice, real and imputed. White elites who have swallowed fashionable, suicidal dogmas of white wickedness, add their own anti-white bias to the open racial solidarity common to non-whites. The result is the system that sent Donald Kagan to jail for a crime he did not commit, and very nearly did the same to George Zimmerman.

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Jared Taylor
Jared Taylor is the editor of American Renaissance and the author of White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century.
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