JUDGE’S SLUR INVESTIGATED

Catalyst October Issue 1998

A New York State employee recently contacted us regarding an Irish-Catholic slur she heard when in the company of an administrative judge.

Because the case is now under investigation, we will not disclose the names that are party to this incident.

The woman who wrote to us said that when she and several other employees were viewing a video of Irish stepdancing during their lunch hour, a judge commented, “Those Irish Catholics are stupid.” According to the woman, when she challenged him he twice repeated the remark; he also contributed “other cruelties” that she was too upset to remember. She adds that since filing a complaint, she has been ostracized by fellow employees.

In a letter written to the judge to whom the offending judge reports to, we wondered what would happen if instead of saying “Those Irish Catholics are stupid,” the judge had said, “Those blacks are lazy,” or “Those Jews are cheap.” Our position was that “Such comments would be most unbecoming a member of the judiciary, and, if made, would certainly result in disciplinary action. So too should expressions of anti-Irish Catholic bigotry.”

We are pleased to note that when the judge to whom we complained to received our letter, he immediately called us pledging to investigate this matter. The investigation is now underway. If guilty, justice requires a reprimand.


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Written by Bill