Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The Dade County Bar Association is hanging a plaque today  in the Miami Courthouse at 73 West Flagler apologizing for the history of segregation at the courthouse.  The title of the post links to the Herald article. 

As a criminal defense attorney who's been forced to sit by himself when in civil court, I think the apology is long overdue. 

Seriously. There are two ways to look at this.  

One group says that the sins of the fathers should not be visited upon their sons. Put another way, there is no such thing as collective guilt, only individual actions that should be punished accordingly. And we don't disagree with that sentiment at all. 

But the other way to look at this is that it is less an apology than an acknowledgment of a horrible wrong. There is no justification for judging a fellow human being on anything other than " the content of their character", to borrow an oft quoted phrase from Dr. King.  Lawyers led the fight to end segregation, and for that our profession has much to be proud of. Unfortunately, we fought other lawyers and judges, especially in the deep south, who held the line for segregation for as long as they could. And that was shameful. 

It is important that we acknowledge our mistakes.  As Americans, it is what differs us from other nations that sweep  their mistakes under the rug.  

So while many of us have nothing to apologize for, it is important to remember that our society does. And remembering this wrong will hopefully make sure we don't repeat it in the future. 

It's not like we as a country are debating things like whether children of immigrants should be allowed in public schools, or whether immigrants should be allowed access to life saving health care. Right?

See You In Court. 

PS. We just checked the Broward the Blog. And they point out that the Broward Courthouse has a statute of a governor who wanted to exile all black americans back to Africa.  They named the whole damn county after him. Karma baby. 

And they wonder why the lord keeps flooding their courthouse and why yesterday it caught on fire.   There was even a hurricane in the last few years  that blew out most of their windows. And they just don't get it up there do they?

Now this is just pure speculation mind you, but if an earthquake was ever to strike Florida, just where do you think the fault line would be? 

Here's a fun way to occupy your time while waiting in line in the courthouse north of the border: If Broward was apologize for their history of segregation by renaming their county, what should the new name be?

"NOT DADE".  "ROSS COUNTY". "ROBT E LEE COUNTY (wait, Florida already has a Lee county.)   Pick your own favourite and post it. 


Anonymous said...

Poop County

South Florida Lawyers said...

Great post. The ceremony is at 5 today.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the attorney for the Princess is in for a big payout from the feds.

The DEA and the Princess: a tale of risk and reward
A South Florida woman who infiltrated a Colombian drug cartel and was then captured is suing for millions over what she claims was lack of protection by the DEA.


Anonymous said...

Old White Guy County

Anonymous said...

ponce de leon county

the guy was looking for the fountain of youth

have you ever heard a bigger bunch of bullshit?

seems to be a perfect match

Publisher, Broward Law Blog said...

That is a great post and it is worth checking a lot more into the name of 'Broward' County and the statue of Napoleon Bonaparte Broward at the center of the north wing.
If what you say about the guy is true, maybe we can take the statue out by the docks and leave it for the pigeons.

Anonymous said...

Well a lot of people call Lincoln a great Emancipator but Lincoln's administration suddenly became interested in colonizing freed slaves, especially those who trailed behind occupying Union armies throughout the South. Looking past Liberia, Lincoln's officials searched for locations closer at hand, in the Caribbean or Central America, for the resettlement of freed persons. Despite a congressional appropriation for colonization, the Lincoln administration mustered only one small unsuccessful colonization expedition to Haiti.

Lincoln believed the country could be divided between free states and slave states no more. The country had to go all free or all slave. Thus, Lincoln would have maintained slavery had it meant peace in 1861, and if not, he wanted to send black slaves back to Africa once they gained their freedom.

"I think the authors of that notable instrument [the Declaration of Independence] intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say that all men were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development, or social capacity,"
Abraham Lincoln, “Seventh and Last Joint Debate at Alton, Illinois, October 15, 1858”

Should we get the pigeons out for Lincoln too?

Anonymous said...

Take the portrait of Chief Judge Dale Ross out with the statute for some pigeon treatment. Plus there's more than a few "north of the border" jurists who could use similar treatment.

Anonymous said...

you want to speak of judges up north getting in trouble look at this blog piece in the broward law blog,

Anonymous said...

North Miami-Dade County

The Devil's Advocate said...

President Obama gave a masterful speech tonight. He was great. The Republican response was pathetic. It sounded like a reading to little children, and was a response to some other speech - not the one that was given. The country is in good hands.

Anonymous said...

Draworb County, Fort Lauderdale-Broward County, or just plain Dick County.

Anonymous said...

bring back dan futch.