Anne Arundel's all-white bench

Anne Arundel County has been the ongoing subject of racial controversy. Two white men, Conner Charles Prout and John Adam Haverman, were charged in recent weeks with misdemeanors for allegedly being involved with the hanging of a noose from a light fixture at Crofton Middle School. This past weekend, we learned of the horrific fatal stabbing of Richard Collins III, an African American Bowie State University student. A white male, Christopher Urbanski of Serverna Park, was charged with his fatal stabbing. The FBI is now looking into whether this was a hate crime ("Police, FBI investigating University of Maryland killing as possible hate crime," May 31).

On May 11, many protesters gathered near the front steps of the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County to underscore the fact that in the 366-year history of this circuit court, there has never been a woman of color appointed to this county's bench. The people protesting were from all walks of life and many races. Today, this circuit court is all white. You read it correctly. All white. This all-white judiciary is indefensible. It has lasted for over a decade ("Former Anne Arundel judicial hopeful says state sponsors 'racial discrimination' in appointing judges," May 11). 

My efforts to change this in 2016 by running in a contested judicial election were met with fierce attacks, a largely untruthful, but successful smear campaign and unmerciful character assassination. I lost the general election by roughly four percentage points. I will likely try again in 2018 because, as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, "truth crushed to earth will rise again."

Another mass demonstration is set for June 7 at 11 a.m. at the same location in front of the steps of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. These multi-racial demonstrations are not a moment. They are a movement of people peacefully mobilizing to exercise their First Amendment rights to seek change. For 366 years, no governor has paid attention and made a change. 

Claudia Barber

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