One of the Things No One Talks About in the South:
Many of our grandfathers were in the Klan. Maybe I feel free to say this because my grandfather wasn’t. (I am not trying to brush over everything about my personal history with the happy brush, by the way. My grandparents’ ideas about race evolved to the better along with the rest of the country’s, I think. They’re gentle, classically Christian people. Klan members in the ’30s and ’40s had to be fairly well-off and my family was mostly farmers and illegal whiskey-makers. Too redneck to be in the Klan. Imagine that.) 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.
I bring this up because 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 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 am not making an equivalency here. Don’t misconstrue what I am saying as Democrats=Klan. I am just saying that if Tom DeLay can pick his judge, jury and bailiff and schedule a hot rock massage for midday, well, then I want to know that I can do the same next time I get pulled over for the broken taillight on my truck. And a goddamn pony. I want a pony.
crossposted at Shakespeare’s Sister