Although Leavey, who is white, does not claim that many of her best friends are black, she does believe her comment was, of course, taken out of context and misunderstood by touchy black people. Black people who would never have been demoted or pressured for saying the same thing.
"In making the remark, Leavey meant that the 36th District Court was regarded in the community as providing very poor and inefficient service because, in fact, it provides very poor and inefficient service," Leavey alleged in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit. "Leavey's comment had nothing to do with race."
In filing her suit, Leavey joins a long list of white people outraged by the double standard at play in America, where Chris Rock can crack jokes about the difference between "ni***rs" and "black people," while a white person saying the same thing faces ostracism and shame. Why, no one complains when black people repeat Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck if…" routine.
"There's not many things worse than being called a racist, particularly in print and broadcast media," [Leavey's attorney James] Fett said. "This has been devastating to Kathleen."
Indeed, and sadly "stupid" is not one of those things that are worse than being called racist. Giving Leavey the benefit of every doubt, that's the worst one can say of her. In a country with a history like America's, where real, living black people remember being denied the right to vote, and being forced to live in actual ghettos by law in the south, or by redlining and de facto discrimination in northern cities including Detroit, it is profoundly and colossally stupid for a politically appointed city attorney to describe courts in majority-black districts as "Ghetto Courts."
No one has a civil right to be an idiot.