Before the "Rev. Dr." Matt Hale, the white racist leader, was arrested for seeking the murder of a federal judge, and long before the judge returned home last week to find her husband and mother murdered, I had lunch with him.
Mr. Hale, who is smart, articulate and malignant, ranted about "race betrayers" as he picked at his fruit salad: "Interracial marriage is against nature. It's a form of bestiality."
"Oh?" I replied. "Incidentally, my wife is Chinese-American."
There was an awkward silence.
Mr. Hale was convicted last year of soliciting the murder of Federal District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow. Now the police are investigating whether there is any link between Mr. Hale or his followers and the murders. Some white supremacists celebrated the killings, but Mr. Hale has strongly denied any involvement.
The possibility that extremists carried out the murders for revenge or intimidation sends a chill through our judicial system, because it would then constitute an assault on our judiciary itself. Throughout U.S. history, only three federal judges have been murdered, but all three murders occurred after 1978 and all at their homes.
If one subscribes to the idea that that these are "terrorist acts," acts of violence aimed at intimidation, then one must conclude that
- There have been multiple acts of terrorism on American soil since 9/11, (what about the anthrax letter writer, too?)
- Bush's response to 9/11 has not been effective in preventing terrorist acts.
My wife's Chinese, too; there's Republicans that have Asian-ancestry/European ancestry marriages too, although some of Bush's supporters (search around for "Alabama" as recently as the last election) clearly are racists who oppose such marriages.
So until we see some strong action from on this front, we'll have to continue to speak out.