A cherished and hallowed way of life.


Two weeks have elapsed since the C-J’s Harold J. Adams broke the “racist remarks” story and NAC smirked here that “them people” has become the current city’s council’s unofficial motto.

Today, Matt Thacker brings the Tribune belatedly into the game.

NAPD officer reportedly made racist remarks; NAACP calls for review of officer’s arrests

… Dustin White, legal redress for local NAACP chapters, says he would push for an internal investigation by the police department or prosecutor reviewing all of (Jack) Messer’s arrests to see if there are any questionable cases or if his cases reflect any bias.

“They need to decide if that’s the type of police officer they want to have and whether that questions the integrity of the police force,” White said …

… “I don’t think this whole thing is a question of sensitivity or diversity training,” White said. “It’s a question of whether he thinks everyone should have civil rights according to the constitution.”

Messer is also a New Albany city councilman and is a Democrat. He has said he may switch parties, but White and (Nicole) Yates, both Democrats, reject any suggestion their criticism is politically motivated.

Maybe not, but now it’s clear why City Hall mentioned the revival of the Human Rights Commission at a recent council impotency confab. Note also that NAC has supported the revival of the moribund HRC since at least 2005.

As for the dust-up about Messer, it may surprise you to learn that I have a personal opinion.

In all likelihood, the Messer incident is relatively minor in the cosmic scheme of things, and it is highly doubtful that he will ever be confused for David Duke, but: In a city with as dismal a record of human rights consciousness as New Albany, you’re almost certain to get a racist bite anytime your line gets wet, and in that way, it’s always political.

It’s not so much that the bar here is set too low. It’s that its buried and can’t be found at all.

As Messer — whom I continue to appreciate and respect for being right far more often than not during his council tenure — is learning, it’s one thing to uphold the law of the land as a policeman, and quite another to establish the non-civic credentials currently demanded of Republicans in order to belong to their tea party … and to make a New Albanian mayoral bid.

In general terms, and in an observation not aimed at Messer himself, the irony is this: In Floyd County, the Democratic Party is so devoid of intellectual content, platform consistency and a record of upholding coherent views on virtually any topic, that it isn’t even necessary for a person to switch parties and join the GOP in order to accommodate an aberrant racial viewpoint.

You’re free to disagree. Discussion?