15 October 2009
Idiot of the Week: Keith Bardwell
The year is 2009 and the son of an interracial relationship is President of the United States. But as this story relates, in Louisiana there is a justice of the peace named Keith Bardwell who refuses to perform interracial marriages out of concern for the suffering the children of such pairings might experience. Given the year, Bardwell is quick to deny that he is a racist. To prove his point, he notes that he performs marriages for black couples all the time. But he believes that neither whites nor blacks fully accept mixed-race people. Bardwell's age isn't given either in the wire-service story or the original local report, but the Hammond Daily Star does tell us that he's been a JP for 34 years. Had it been 54 years his attitude might be more plausible. To his credit, he did tell the aggrieved couple that they could seek permission from another JP, which they did. But that doesn't change the fact that this man probably won't be owning a football team anytime soon.