Protests hit Lincoln federal building

Lincoln is a college town. That sorta tells it all. We had protestors at the Federal Building yesterday over the mess in Ferguson.

Credit: Takeaway pursuant to Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Credit: Takeaway pursuant to Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. No change was made to the image.

I’m not sure, but I think the Lincoln protestors were chanting, “No Justice, No Lattes.”

That scared me.

But I won’t be intimidated. They will have to wrench my Birkenstocks from my cold, dead feet.


Credit: Kris per Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.  No changes have been made to the image

Credit: Kris per Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license. No changes have been made to the image

21 responses

  1. Haha very funny. It’s only a dead black kid and a racist killer cop and a complete perversion of the processes of criminal law, but let’s make fun of the protesting hippies and latte drinkers.

    You should be ashamed for making light of what happened in Ferguson.

  2. Richard,

    I am sorry my friend but I am not ashamed. Nor am I making light of the death of a black kid or making light of what happened in Ferguson. All the best.


  3. Judge, C.S. Lewis wrote that there was no subject so sacred or so serious that it could not benefit from a little levity. He was right, but even among the devout it is not a popular saying.

  4. Judge,

    I am a fan of your work, but I would respectfully suggest that this is the sort of post that could make it seem unwise for a federal judge to blog. Regardless of whom, if anyone, you are seeking to mock (even gently, even if it is yourself), talking about lattes and Birkenstocks is unavoidably invoking stereotypes that fuel bitter political/partisan/tribal conflicts. I don’t think anything is to be gained by judges publicly participating in that kind of discourse.

    I don’t lack a sense of humor, and I certainly think there would be a benefit to more general acknowledgment that judges are people like everyone else, but I don’t think this is the way to do it. For whatever it’s worth, I would much rather see you risk being impolitic through more eloquent posts about the real and understandable conflicts and confusions that you face directly in your work, which shed needed light on the judicial system. If I were a party or a lawyer in your courtroom, those posts would increase my confidence in your adjudication. A post like this would diminish it.

    Either way, thanks for what you do.

  5. It must be hell to see the world with a scowling face in a constant frown of indignation. Is a sense of humor the first thing to go? Lighten the hell up for gosh sakes! By the way, where is there any real, credible evidence of a “racist” cop? “Killer’, yes. Racist? That is an easy word to throw around even when there is no proof. I shake my head . . . .

  6. Dave,

    You make a fair point. I sincerely thank you for making it.

    As a partial explanation, I add this: I, too, want change in the criminal justice system. However, no pedants and fee protestors will take the time or invest in the hard work that will make that change possible. Talking is not doing.

    All the best.


  7. Perhaps I can provide some context. Many of us who work downtown were warned throughout the day that a protest was expected in downtown Lincoln. Naturally, such news sounded scary in light of the tear gas, fires, and looting plaguing the streets of Ferguson. Upon driving by the protest, I was relieved to see what appeared to be a small group of a particular type of college student (the Birkenstock-wearing, coffee shop type). It was funny. I don’t know why it was funny, but it was.

    However, this post, like Judge Kopf’s blog entry, is not a comment on the actual substance of the protest. A comment on the actual substance would sound more like this: 1) what do these sheltered 20 somethings know about the plight of the black teen in Missouri? OR 2) it is heartening to see young people advocating for positive change in America, etc.

    Guess you had to be there.

  8. Marc,

    I did not joke about the plight of young black men being killed off by black on black and blue on black murders. I joked about dilettantes. All the best.


  9. Aw, Jesus–it’s one of the deadest office days of the year! Lighten up. Climb out of your windowless rooms. Rejoice!

    I think I’ll go kill a turkey, but only if I can’t find one as roadkill.

  10. I see about a dozen turkeys in my backyard almost every day. I could spare one, I suppose, but I don’t have a gun or a hatchet. The only roadkill I see in my parts are raccoons and possum, not the best grub. An occasional deer, too, but who wants to partake of Bambi?

  11. Thank you. I really do believe that for someone in your position, the difference in phrasing of essentially the same point between your original post and your reply to me is meaningful.

    And I know we’re not talking about the Edmund Pettus Bridge here, but perhaps one of the students who attended last night’s protest will hear something that will inspire her to further, more meaningful action, or meet someone with whom she will found a nonprofit that does the work to which you refer. Some kind of public space for solidarity and expression of these feelings, as dilettantish as most there may be, is valuable in ways we can’t always recognize at the time. And I am confident (no sarcasm) that your ruling on a First Amendment case involving these protestors would reflect that.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Judge.

  12. So much sanctimony. How about you not tell others how to feel about a situation. It’s funny how this is the situation people want to harp on, the straw that broke the camel’s back, while many of us have been noting the injustices in police culture for years, and for those who have lived longer multiple decades. Fuck off and do something instead of engaging in weak sanctimonious tone policing.

  13. Ted H Protests about the bad side of police culture go back to the Wickersham Commission of the late 1920’s and Dean Pound was writing about the subject then I doubt that the problem has continued because some folks see a humorous side to undergraduate protests. If you cannot laugh as well as cry, you will either lose interest or go nuts. Bit pompous and condescending, sorry.

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