August 25, 2004
As Louis Butler is sworn in today as a Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, he will make history as the first African American to sit on our court. Just to our north and west, Justice Alan Page broke the barrier in Minnesota.
District Judge Jack Nordby, quoted in a must-read article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, said, "Page is extraordinarily important historically as the only black, in fact the only racial minority, to serve on Minnesota's high court. Among the 83 Supreme Court justices in state history, no governor has ever appointed anybody but a white gentile."
Page addressed race with this comment. "Living in a color-blind society should not require that we live in a society that is blind to racial bias. Our criminal justice system at times seems more interested in putting people of color in jail than helping them succeed."
Alan Page is making history. Louis Butler joins in that same quest. Someday we may live in a color-blind society. For now, let's enjoy the moment and continue the struggle.
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