A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.
That lede, via the Associated Press, seems a product of fifty years ago, although one might rightfully doubt if such a story would make headlines around the world back then. Arguably not, since one of the extraordinary notions about the tale is that it comes from the here and now. Here? Well, obviously, America; in this case it’s Hammond, Louisiana. Now? October 15, 2009, by the time stamp.
And looking to Hammond, we find Don Elizey telling us the unfortunate news:
A justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple last week because of concern for the children who might be born of that relationship.
Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace for Tangipahoa Parish’s 8th Ward, also said it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.
“I’m not a racist,” Bardwell said. “I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children.”
Beth Humphrey, 30, said she and her boyfriend, Terence McKay, 32, both of Hammond, intend to consult the U.S. Justice Department about filing a discrimination complaint.
The story is true. One Keith Bardwell, explaining that he’s not a racist, acknowledged to Hammond Star that his concerns about biracial children compel him to refuse marriage licenses to couples of mixed ethnicity.
But, of course, he’s not racist.
How can he be? This is a post-racial America. Or is it?