A judge in Tennessee is facing repercussions after posting racist memes and articles to Facebook, including an article posted on April 5 that called Muslims "foreign mud" and said Jews should "get the f--- over the Holocaust.”
Commercial Appeal reports that several organisations in Memphis, Tennessee are calling for state authorities to censure Criminal Court Judge Jim Lammey following the discovery of his racist Facebook activity.
Organisations calling for censure include the NAACP Memphis Branch, Memphis Islamic Center, Jewish Community Partners, American Muslim Advisory Council, the Anti-Defamation League Southeast Region, Bridges, Facing History and Ourselves, Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville & Middle Tennessee, Memphis Islamic Center, MIFA, the National Civil Rights Museum, and Tennessee Holocaust Commission, according to a press release.
Judge Lammey, who has made his Facebook page private since the local discovery, was first elected in 2006 and re-elected for an eight-year term in 2015.
In an interview with the Commercial Appeal, he claimed that his posts would not hinder his ability to judge fairly, and said that he “certainly doesn’t agree” with “being Holocaust denier.”
“My best friend — who’s deceased now — was Jewish and I wouldn’t do that,” he said.
Local Memphis organisation Just City has argued that Judge Lammey has a history of treating immigrants differently in court, including requiring some seeking probation to report themselves to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. This practice is unusual, and could leader to a person’s deportation.
In a letter sent to city officials by the coalition of organisations alarmed by his posting, the coalition called the April 5 post “one example of his habit of sharing articles, conspiracy theories, and ‘jokes’ online that carry a dark message of hatred.”
"The content he spreads often targets Muslim and Latin American immigrants,” the letter continues, “which is troubling because of Judge Lammey’s elected position overseeing criminal trials as a representative of the State of Tennessee.”
They have called for the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Board of Judicial Conduct to publicly censure Judge Lammey and to “explore bringing the anti-bias and Holocaust education resources of our respective organisations to the judges, clerks, and staff of our state judicial system."
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