Bench Memos

Leahy Inspires Flashback

“There’s no place for this word in the workplace.”

(Sen. Leahy condemning an opinion written by someone other than Judge Southwick about an employee that used the N-word, Judiciary Committee hearing, August 2, 2007)

“There are white niggers. I’ve seen a lot of white n****rs in my time; I’m going to use that word.”

(Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., Fox News, March 4, 2001)

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Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More

White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More