Individuals who share racist content on their social media aren’t generally trusted to hold non-biased viewpoints when it comes to their opinions on immigrants and racial minorities. But what should we think when members of the judicial branch share such deplorable content?
A coalition of organizations in Memphis, Tennessee, is asking city officials to take disciplinary action against Criminal Court Judge Jim Lammey after it was discovered he had been sharing such content to his Facebook page, The Independent reported.
Lammey posted racist memes and articles for his followers to consider, the complaint alleged, including one post that called Muslims “foreign mud” and another that derided Jewish people, telling them to “get the f— over the Holocaust.”
In spite of that tone of rhetoric he himself shared on his social media, Lammey claims he harbors no ill feelings toward Jewish individuals, and is not a Holocaust denier. “My best friend — who’s deceased now — was Jewish and I wouldn’t do that,” Lammey stated.
Assurances from Lammey that his biases wouldn’t interfere in his decision-making have not satisfied the coalition of organizations, however. The groups are asking that a full censure be placed upon the judge for his improper conduct, and that anti-bias resources be given to judges more broadly.
In addition to his apparent views on Muslims and Jews, Lammey also reportedly has biases toward Latin American immigrants. Criminal defense lawyers also say he treats African-American defendants differently in his courtroom than he does white defendants, according to reporting from Heavy.
The coalition of organizations calling for Lammey to be censured include the NAACP Memphis Branch, the Memphis Islamic Center, Jewish Community Partners, the American Muslim Advisory Council, the Anti-Defamation League Southeast Region, Bridges, Facing History and Ourselves, the Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville & Middle Tennessee, the Memphis Islamic Center, MIFA, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission, The Independent reported.