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Friday, October 25, 2013

Caught Short, Again

Some recent public statements Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has made prompted me to dig out a few old journal entries of mine. To get some needed context for this post, it might help to do a Google search using Scalia's name and some keywords like gay or evolution.

In the late 1990's when part of my job was matching instructors for training classes, there was one request I didn't have the heart to assign to someone - a mandatory all day class on diversity for 50 Administrative Law judges. And it was on a Saturday; judges do not get paid extra for attending training on Saturday. I knew this group of people was not going to be happy. So I taught the class myself.

Scalia's recent statements brought that challenging day of teaching into sharp focus and my journal helped me recall some of the highlights. Early in the day, as I was conducting an activity about prejudice, one participant said to me and his colleagues "I don't need to be here; I'm a judge and have had all the prejudice taught out of me." Although my journal entry didn't include my response, I do remember being caught short. How would you respond if someone you knew said they've had all the prejudice taught out of them?

Based on his accomplishments and intellect, Antonin Scalia has earned a place in history. His range of influence is immense. I've tried to imagine how I'd react if he were in a class of mine and made his recent statements. I'd probably be caught short, again.        

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