Virginia Judge Quits After Racist Comments

Virginia Judge Quits After Racist Comments

Jeremy Lazarus, Richmond Free Press

Richmond, Va. (NNPA) -- Facing disclosure of racially charged comments that
he had written on the Internet, Judge Ralph B. Robertson is quitting the
bench after 19 years of hearing criminal cases in the city General District

The veteran, snowy-haired jurist has stopped hearing cases, went on sick
leave and filed for retirement, which will be effective April 1. He threw in
the towel after the Free Press notified him of plans to publish an article
about the disparaging views he had expressed about Black people over the
past few weeks in participating in an on-line chat room.In his wide-ranging conversations on the Internet, Judge Robertson, among
other things, approvingly endorsed the notion that "African-Americans are
prone to crime and violence because it is in their genes" and supported the
words of another chat-room member defining some minorities as "people who
have no regard for sanitation, courtesy, private property, etc."

Specifically, Judge Robertson also criticized the intellectual integrity of
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and described the Rev. Jesse Jackson as "a thief
and liar." He also used the same words to describe the Rev. Al Sharpton.

In addition, he slammed the civil rights movement, calling it " the scam it
(is) and was."

In a statement to the Free Press, the 60-year-old Richmond native said he
made the decision to quit knowing that disclosure of his statements would
trigger controversy, undermine the perception of his ability to be fair and
tarnish the court.

"I have no intention of contesting or trying to justify my remarks. Taken as
a whole, they were wrong," he wrote in a statement e-mailed to the Free

"My heart and my deepest apology go out to the black community of the city
of Richmond," he stated. "I want them to understand that I have never done
anything in my court that has ever reflected racism. I have made many
friends in the African-American community, and I hope they will accept this

A former defense attorney and assistant commonwealth's attorney during his
32-year legal career, Judge Robertson started as a judge on March 19, 1985,
after being elected by the General Assembly. He was elected to his fourth
six-year term in 2003.

Revelation of the judge's provocative views were first provided to the Free
Press by a member of the chat room who was shocked he would make statements
that, in her opinion, reflected on his ability to hear cases impartially.

The Free Press verified that it was indeed Judge Robertson before
approaching him for comment on his chat room statements, primarily written
between Jan. 25 and Feb. 19.

In the chat room, he regularly decried his inability to speak frankly on
issues of race: "We are bombarded every day about how everything we do and
everything we say is racist."

"I am not a racist," he wrote in a separate message, "I am a racialist. The
difference being I don't discriminate against an individual, but I do
recognize the fact that there are a lot of differences between races which I
assume from a biological stand point is caused by difference in DNA."

Judge Robertson, whose courtroom is mostly filled with Black defendants,
victims and families, agreed that African-Americans are prone to crime and
violence because it is in their DNA. "Why not? It controls everything else,"
he wrote. "Why is a lion more ferocious than a kitty cat? The answer is that
it has been bred into them at some point."

Expanding on his view, the graduate of Virginia Military Institute who
earned master's degree in physics from Duke University and a law degree from
the University of Virginia, wrote: "I have said, and it is certainly
verified by factual findings that races can be identified by differences in
DNA. If DNA controls everything else, why shouldn't it cause a difference in
ability to learn or play sports or a proclivity for violence?"

The judge also bemoaned the decay of values and morals and the rise of
minority populations. "Oh that we could return to those wonderful times," he
wrote in response to writer who reminded everyone of the period when the
United States largely restricted immigration to White people and had
eugenic-style laws including bars to interracial marriage.

"Personally I like a country where morality has a meaning. We have had more
people killed in the city I live in by minorities in the last 15 years than
ever were supposedly lynched. When do they get through being even?" he wrote
in another message.

Judge Robertson, in other messages, likened a ritual Ku Klux Klan funeral to
a Masonic ceremony.

In other messages, he slammed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a plagiarist who
should have been stripped of his doctoral degree rather than being awarded a
Nobel Peace Prize for his work for civil rights, and criticized other major
black figures.

"Jesse Jackson is a thief, a liar and a traitor to his own people. . Al
Sharpton another liar and thief is considered another valid democratic
candidate for president. When the British surrendered at Yorktown, their
band played 'The World Turned Upside Down.' How correct they were."

The product of a struggling family of limited means who now lives in a posh
area of the West End, he also expressed little sympathy for civil rights and
affirmative action.

"When I was younger, I participated in the civil rights movement. It was the
motto then of just give everyone an equal chance. . Then I started hearing,
well what else is whitey going to give us? Then it became a call for
reparations . The things that so called bigots pointed out - illegitimacy,
lack of sexual morality and every Black man wanted a white woman. I thought
all of that was a bunk of stuff designed by bigots to preserve the old way.
I don't guess I have to tell you what I think about their promises now.
Every one of them has come true. . I have long since removed myself from the
civil rights movement and generally see it for the scam that it (is) and

According to the judge, the "only discrimination that occurs is reverse
discrimination. It happens every day and no one says a word for fear of
being labeled racist."