There was a candidates debate, zoom style.
You can watch the entire one and half plus hours here.
But we want to focus on the answers, the elocution, the command of the English language, and the anachronistic use of the term "COLORED PEOPLE" by candidate for Circuit Judge, the one, the only, the Rosy Aponte.
We have transcribed the pertinent points, which you can listen to for accuracy, bemusement, and downright shock at her inarticulateness and deafness when it comes to speaking about people of color. Also watch how deep she digs the hole.
We pick up at the action at 1:25:20 into the debate. The topic is alternative forms of release: The text in red are Rumpole's thoughts.
RA: Yes I think we just need to get a little more creative. I think that there's a lot of instances where somebody can be given an ankle bracelet and be sent home and be monitored through the ankle bracelet. We don't need to have people incarcerated in one big jail system. [As opposed to a bunch of small jail systems?]. A lot of these crimes are crimes that are are not so so ummm so severe that you cannot have somebody have ahh ankle bracelet have them go and ah report every day to a probation officer. [There is an idea here somewhere. With a map and a little cognitive training, she will find it someday]. I think that we need to use those kinds of means more than just always sending anybody to jail umm and and where we can it will be less it will be more cost effective and it will be better for the community if some of these crimes that are not such not high crimes [Historical and constitutional scholar that she is, we are sure she is referring to high crimes in the context of the meaning in the usage contained in Article II, Section 4 of the constitution] umm we would just give them an ankle bracelet and have people remain in their home and only go out if they have to work or have to go report to a probation officer. I think we need to be more creative on how we do these things umm going forward especially after this whole covid 19 pandemic.
We want to dwell on this fascinating reference to high crimes a bit more. In 40 plus years of legal work in the courts of Dade County, we have NEVER had a judicial officer refer to our client's act as a "high crime".
But now lets move on to the good stuff. Let's really see how her legal mind clicks. The question posed is how people who are on the bench interact with those who come before them.
At 1:27:11 the moderator asks the genius about her experiences with the AFRICAN AMERICAN community. We capitalize that for a reason as you shall soon see. It's as if he was giving her a hint-but she missed it. Here is her answer. Listen to it yourself. We did NOT change one word.
RA: The only thing that comes to mind right now is Camillus House. I volunteered a lot at Camillus House. And as you know that is a very diverse community of people. The homeless people. [Yes we know that is a bit of a non sequitur, but put on your seat belts for what she says next]. Ummm There's a lot of colored people in that that depend on Camillus House so I think that what comes to mind right now is me volunteering to cook and to feed people in the Camillus House.
Rumpole cannot help but say that the only thing that comes to mind right now is that people who express themselves as if they have the IQ of a potato slug should not be running for judge. The second thing that comes to mind right now is that Ms. Aponte should look at a calendar. It is 2020 Woman. WE DO NOT CALL AFRICAN AMERICAN PEOPLE COLORED PEOPLE. Well apparently most of us don't. She does.
The third thing that comes to mind is....we can't. We just can't continue. We are rendered speechless. She used the term COLORED PEOPLE when addressing the WILKIE FERGUSON Bar Association. Does she know Wilkie Ferguson was
At 1:29:57 the moderator, having pulled himself off the floor and collected his thoughts returns to the phrase that doesn't pay.
Moderator: Attorney Aponte when addressing the last question.. the term you used was "colored people"...would you care to clarify that statement?
Now Ms. Aponte, chess master, uses the Elizabeth Warren Gambit and calls herself "colored" because she has Indian and African American ancestry- although she did not say it that eloquently.
RA: Yes. I consider myself a colored woman. To me a colored person is somebody who has a diverse background. I have Indian and African American in my family so that makes me a colored person. Anyone who has diversity in in in a different color in their skin that is not white...I consider myself to be a colored woman because as I said I have African American and Indian in my family history.
The Moderator then asks her if she realizes how that phrase can be offensive to some people. What occurs next is destined to become a classic in American political rhetoric:
RA: Ummm I keep hearing different politically correct (jumbled ) on the one point they said it wasn't politically correct and now their saying it's back to being politically correct. The other day I mentioned being a minority they told me: 'no you can't say you are a minority you have to say you are a person of color.' So I keep getting contradicting ahh opinions about that. And The reason I said colored is because when I was mentioning minority they said minority was no longer politically correct.
So it's hard to keep up with the politically correctness that people keep changing back and forth. I used to say minorities and now they say minorities is not politically correct. You have to say that you are a person of color.
Rumpole wonders, who is "They" that she keeps referring to? Is there some political correctness teacher she is consulting? And if so maybe that person can remove their white hood so Ms. Aponte can hear them better.
Dr King: I have a dream.
Rosy Aponte: So I keep getting contradictory opinions about that.
We also, on reflection, realize we need to apologize for the Potato Slugs comment. To all the Potato Slugs out there, we apologize for slurring them with this.
Moderator: You just cited to us your history in working with minority communities...Are you saying this the first time someone has ever told you that the use of the term colored person could be considered offensive?
RA: I just saw Megan Markle call herself a colored woman on national TV. I never heard that it was offensive.
Some legal scholars quote Gladstone. Others quote Chief Judge John Marshall. Some peruse literature for guidance and inspiration. Shakespeare for example.
And some quote Megan Markle.
You say Potato. She says Colored Person. You say Native American. She says Indian.
True or False: RA in closing mentioned the many colored friends she has?
False. But- and we are guessing here- it's only because she ran out of time. She did say she started her career as a civil rights attorney!! and a teacher!!!- and then she said this:
and we kid you not: "I want to bring on my experience as a public school teacher who knows how to speak to people."
We leave it at that. Because we are speechless. We cannot top it. We do not have the experience she has as someone who knows how to speak to people.
Rumpole drops the mic and walks away.