Todd Heywood’s story about local fallout from the presidential election and my column today demand some amplification.
The fallout story reports that Lansing Police are investigating the defacement of City Pulse property as related to the election. That may be. But it may also be related to the dispute with the Clarkes. Here’s why:
On Wednesday, after being accused by District Judge Hugh Clarke of in essence being racist, I overreacted and told him to “go fuck himself” and hung up on him.
The Clarkes spread that information to friends, from whom I received emails, before I wrote about it online.
Within 48 hours, the front of City Pulse was spray-painted with “Fuck U.” I don’t think the similar language is a coincidence. Others do, saying they think targeting a liberal, gay-owned newspaper fits a post-election pattern.
Secondly, my language to Judge Clarke. I lost my temper because I am convinced he was accusing me of being racist.
Some people think that since he didn’t explicitly use the word “racist,” that’s not what he was saying.
Remember the basic lesson in mathematical logic, which is if A equal B and B equals C, then A equals C? Well, if (A) you’re told you made someone look like a Sambo, and if (B) Sambo is a racist stereotype, then (C) you’re being accused of racism. Gee, why would I take that personally?
It’s been suggested that somehow my response to Judge Clarke caused his wife, Lansing City Council President Judi Brown Clarke, to overreact on turn. If it did, her initial voicemail message to me made no mention of it as she berated me for making excuses — the printing problem to which I referred in my column — for making her look darker. A second voicemail from her said she’d “forgotten” something, which was to point out a lack of professionalism for telling her husband to “go f himself.”
I’ve apologized online and in a letter to the Clarkes for my language. I don’t apologize for my deep anger at the ugly accusation that prompted it.
I’ve yet to hear anything from either of them that suggests they think they bear any responsibility for this dispute. If either of the Clarkes had been willing to even consider my explanation, we'd have moved on and been commiserating about how the Trump election led to short fuses among liberal Dems like us.
By the way, if the Clarkes would like to respond, including for publication, they obviously have my number.