Texas Judge Tom Head is under fire this week after he posted the pictures of nine people wearing Obama shirts. Seven of the nine men were black and the pictures were accompanied by material critical of Obama supports and suggesting that Republican voters are rarely arrested.
Judge Head’s picture display was later removed and he has since apologized.
Head has been using the bulletin board like a type of blog for satire for years, he insisted. Judge Head has various duties on the court, including mental competence determinations.
“I have posted satire, current events, and many other materials covering a range of issues that I felt were interesting or worthy of discussion. This is the first time any of those materials have been interpreted in a much different way than it was intended … I may have been naive in thinking that people would know my actions would never be directed at a race of people. At a political party, yes, but never to a particular race or culture. . . Therefore, I sincerely apologize to everybody that was offended by the materials I posted. I truly never meant any racial disrespect. I apologize to them and all citizens of Lubbock for the distraction this has caused from the work I have been elected to do. . . .I apologize to members of the judiciary. As a judge, either of the Commissioners’ Court or of a Civil or Criminal Court, we are held to higher standards, and my actions have brought reproach to these individuals and myself, and I apologize and ask for your forgiveness. I apologize to the members of the Republican Party. I never intended for my actions to label my political party as in any way promoting racism. It was not my intent to do so, and it certainly was not the party’s intent. We are a conservative party, and we welcome diversity. Our conservative values have no room for callous or insensitive remarks or materials, even if it was unintentional. . . I would like to restate, for the record, that there are many forums available for political material, but the courthouse should not be one of them … I was wrong and I will never do so again … I hope one day I can regain your trust and not just as an elected official, but as your servant, friend and neighbor. Again, I would ask your forgiveness.
May God bless this community and our country.”
That is a lot of apologizin’ but may not be enough. There have been calls for his resignation. There remains the image of a judge who thinks that it is funny to post suggestions that the nation’s first black president is supported by people most likely to be criminals. The fact that he used a court forum for such a juvenile posting shows a breathtaking lack of judgment and restraint.
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