‘Devil Made Me Racist’ Actual Defense From N-Word-Dropping Ex-Arkansas Sheriff
Attorney General Bill Barr said with a straight face buried underneath his actual gross one that he doesn't think there's systemic racism in police departments. Most police officers believe this. Maybe it's hard to identify systemic racism where there's so much racism around. After all, the best place to hide a leaf is in a forest.
While we're on the subject of racist foliage, let's discuss Arkansas County -- which is a county in Arkansas -- Sheriff Todd Wright, who resigned Friday after a recording surfaced of him using the “n-word" a lot, more than would make Quentin Tarantino comfortable.
The five-minute recording made the rounds on Facebook this week. Wright allegedly used the racial slur nine times. We have to use “allegedly" here since only audio is available from the recording, but everyone seems confident it's not Rich Little on the tape.
Wright allegedly freaked out because Desiree Middlebrooks, who shares a child with him, spoke to a Black man at a grocery store.
In the recording you hear a man, who the [woman] identifies as Todd, call her a "n**** lover".
"I don't understand why you're so mad at me," asked the [woman] on the audio recording
."Why you got to holler at f****** n****** when I'm around," he responded.
"Todd you talk to people all the time," the woman said.
Arkansas County Sheriff Todd Wright discusses racism and police accountability www.youtube.com
Arkansas County has a population of 18,000 and 30 percent of them are Black and might occasionally interact with white women at the grocery store. The produce aisle is only so large. Middlebrooks secretly recorded Wright, which implies that she's grown accustomed to his explosive temper. Let's hope a family court has gotten involved.
Justice of the Peace Inez McLemore was part of a group that had to waste their Friday at a Quorum Court meeting because Wright lacked the integrity to just quit already.
"After viewing and hearing the video I was terribly upset to know that we have someone out here that's supposed to be taking care of us, protecting and serving to have that kind of opinion of me – I'm using me as a race because of my color," said Justice of the Peace Inez McLemore.
McLemore expressed legitimate concerns for the inmates of color that the Sheriff department oversees.
Now sit down, because this will shock you: Wright insisted he's not a racist. He reassured the community members reading him for filth that what he said was in the privacy of his home, where someone's racism never leaves — like their unmotivated child after college.
He boasted about his great relationship with his Black constituents, who presumably didn't know how racist he is:
Blaming his actions on the devil, Wright said the video was recorded because he was mad at Middlebrooks because he missed a funeral of his friend, who was Black.
The devil never made anyone do anything.
It's absurd Wright thinks anyone would believe his grief was so great after the death of his “n-word" friend that he went into a racist rage over Middlebrooks talking to a Black person about the firmness of melons (allegedly).
The Quorum Court felt confident it was Wright on the tape because his unique style of deranged ranting matched a separate video of Wright in a rage that had circulated earlier this year. He'd “apologized" then like he was Max Cady in Cape Fear:
"To all I have offended or hurt I send my sincere apologies and will pray for my enemies," wrote Todd in a May 28 Facebook post.
Wright at first stood firm about keeping his job, even as people at the meeting shouted "just resign and get it over with." He eventually agreed to resign after a month, but former officer Bobby Webb successfully pressured him to quit immediately.
"Todd, I've known you all my life. You need to take that badge and (set) it on that table and walk out of here Todd," said former officer Bobby Webb, who said he has known Wright for decades. "You know I love you, but you screwed up. Lay that badge down, lay that gun down and walk out of here."
Wright burst into tears, surrendered his badge and gun, and hugged it out with Webb.
This 1980s sitcom “very special episode" ending might convince people there are “good cops" who aren't racist, but Webb claimed he knew Wright for “decades." Nobody thinks that was the first time Wright used the “n-word."
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).