The Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN) condemns the racist and hateful remarks reportedly made by Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Mark Tranquilli. These comments are just another reminder of the depth of racism that continue to plague our nation.
In a time where elected officials are having to propose and pass laws banning policies that penalize people of color for wearing natural curls, dreadlocks, twists, braids and other hairstyles that embrace their cultural identity, we are saddened to hear Judge Tranquilli refer to a potential black female juror as “Aunt Jemima.”
We refuse to allow racist and white supremacist viewpoints to frame our narrative or place in this country. More importantly we refuse to allow judges with racist viewpoints to hold positions in our courts. Americans need to have confidence that the courts and the judges will deliver equal justice, and that rulings will be independent and fair-minded. That is why PIIN is calling upon Judge Tranquilli to resign immediately.
Incidents such as this reveal the depth of the racism that continues to plague our nation– a plague from which no one is immune. We are reminded, at times like this, of why we need to engage and remain in intentional and honest conversations about race.
PIIN is a vehicle for people of faith from the Pittsburgh and the region to come together, express the deepest values of their traditions and affect systemic change on commonly held issues of injustice, disparity, and discrimination.