Racism From The Bench

mississppie judge

a letter  Mississippi judge, Bill Welsenberger, accused of striking a mentally disabled African American man, Eric Rivers, has been charged with assault nearly nine months later.

On May 8, 2014 In front of Canton Flea market, witnesses claim Bill Welsenberger hit 20-year-old Eric Rivers, and yelled “run nigger run,” at him. On Thursday, Bill Welsenberger turned himself in, but was released on a $10,000 bond soon after.

If convicted on the felony charge, the former judge faces up to five years in prison or up to a $1,000 fine, or both. A trail date has been set for June 8.

Though Bill Welsenberger—-a racist who presided over cases with bias towards African Americans, even, on one occasion, illegally jailing Charles Plump over a “roaming livestock” misdemeanor charge—-voluntarily stepped down from the bench, is still being paid his annual salary of $45,000. An outrage to some—especially those Welsenberger disfavored—but the law maintains that only state’s supreme court or a felony conviction can officially remove a judge from the bench.

The latter is a good example of why some white people often find it difficult to admit that white privilege exist—–institutional protectionism, good lawyers you can afford, ability to post bail if necessary, disposable income–because they’re blinded by the perks of white supremacy, which favors them disproportionally than others.

One of the ways social privileges and handouts, of the few over so many, can be expunged, is to hold those who uphold the law accountable for their wrongdoings against the most vulnerable and underrepresented members of our society. Until June 8, people of color should be crossing their fingers on one hand while keeping the other un-crossed.

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