Sometimes an apology, however sincere on the surface, simply isn’t enough. This weeks’s BWA winner is a perfect example. Richard Cebull, the chief Federal District Court judge in Montana, acknowledged last week that he had sent some of his friends an e-mail containing a joke based on sexual and racist slurs against President Obama. The “joke” is in fact a grotesque racist, misogynist, anti-Obama slur directed at his mother; it’s so loathsome that TSM will not repeat it. You can see the text (and sign a petition about the judge) here if you wish. (Yes, blatant racism and misogyny from a Federal Judge–who is supposed to protect the citizens, not discriminate against them).
Unlike Rush Limbaugh’s no-pology (issued only after he started bleeding sponsors), Cebull had the class to offer an apparently sincere apology directly to President Obama.
I sincerely and profusely apologize to you and your family for the email I forwarded. I accept full responsibility; I have no one to blame but myself. I can assure you that such action on my part will never happen again. Honestly, I don’t know what else I can do. Please forgive me and, again, my most sincere apology.
Actually, Judge Cebull, it’s pretty clear what else you can do: resign. Not only does this message violate judicial ethics and indicate a clear racial and political prejudice, the judge was foolish enough to send it from his federal government email. He has clearly violated policy, practice, and his oath. Although he has submitted himself for review, he should save the courts and taxpayers the time and money this will take and prove his sincere regret by stepping down from a position of trust he no longer deserves.
Thank you to my friend Jennifer Carey for this week’s Dishonorable mention which goes to washed-up teen star Kirk Cameron. It’s no surprise that he’s virulently homophobic given his past behavior, but he seems determined to remind people of this fact every time he gets a platform. Thinly disguising his bigotry with “Christian” love, he demanded that any LGBT person (even if it were his own child) must be celibate. Sorry, Kirk, you know you’re on the wrong end of history when Michele Bachmann steps up to defend you…