On Sunday I moderated a forum featuring the candidates running for judge in Los Angeles County.
I know, right?
I was as shocked as some of you are right now reading this. But I was asked, and I said yes. I fully expected one or three of the candidates to object to my being the moderator since I did put out a very public voter guide and made it clear I wasn’t supporting three of them.
Who’s to say why there was no objection? Maybe they knew what I knew. That regardless of my personal opinion, that Jasmyne Ariel Cannick was perfectly capable of being a non-biased moderator–and I was just that. In fact, my cheeks still hurt from smiling through each and every one of those answers–and some were just downright painful.
And yes, I am still getting compliments on my moderating skills during Sunday’s forum.
But folks I want to talk to you about one candidate in particular.
One candidate who stood out from the rest. One candidate who just couldn’t help himself and set himself apart from the others for his constant need to mansplain everything to the dumb Black women.
Meet David A. Berger.
Deputy District Attorney David A. Berger.
Judicial candidate David A. Berger who thought that it would be appropriate during closing statements to have a show-and-tell moment with me and the audience.
You see Mr. Berger incorrectly surmised that because a lot of the questions asked during the forum had to do with criminal courts that us lowly uneducated Black women were only interested in criminal court judges. No–we are just as interested in the judges who will be assigned to civil court, juvenile and family court. However, given the fact that there were 6 candidates and roughly 75 minutes for the forum and each candidate getting 90-seconds to answer the question–it didn’t exactly give us a lot of time to cover every single question.
And in Mr. Berger’s racist assumption he thought he’d provide an illustration to explain to us dumb Black women who prosecutors were using the photos of mostly white men he either thought we all generally liked or who he thought we would recognize.
There was Robert F. Kennedy. President Bill Clinton. Congressmember Adam Schiff and Los Angeles County District Attorney candidate George Gascon. Missing was Mr. Berger’s boss, current District Attorney Jackie Lacey. A fact that I made sure to point out to him since he wanted to play show-and-tell like we were a bunch of idiots who didn’t know who and what a prosecutor was.
Now I don’t know if Mr. Berger’s boss Jackie Lacey put him up to that. I mean there were a lot of prosecutors he could have chosen to highlight at the Los Angeles African American Women’s Political Action Committee’s Judicial Candidates’ Forum.
Senator Kamala Harris comes to mind. Loretta Lynch. Marilyn Mosby. Star Jones. And yes, even his trifling ass boss would have been a better example of a prosecutor than Kennedy, Clinton, Schiff, or Gascon.
And I’ll add, had Mr. Berger done his homework on me, at least, he’d have known that using Congressmember Adam Schiff wasn’t going to score him any points.
So when I called Mr. Berger out on his leaving out his boss he decided he wanted to pivot to the forum’s chat and lean on the excuse of the Canons of Judicial Ethics.
I don’t know about all that.
First, that’s not what I said. I didn’t ask him who he was supporting in the race for district attorney.
Second, even if that had been my question, he’s not a judge. He’s a candidate for judge. He’s a deputy district attorney and plenty of his colleagues on both sides have gone public with their picks in the race. Some even went as so far as to jump into the race to prove their point.
From there Mr. Berger went on to assume and mansplain to a single Black childless lesbian moderator and the audience how African American women were more concerned with how judges were going to deal with our children, husbands, brothers and fathers and were not concerned with important civil lawsuits. I beg your pardon Mr. Berger. We can walk and chew gum over here and we know that what happens in civil cases also has the ability to have a profound impact on our lives–beyond suing Walmart over a cup of spilled hot coffee. Bottom line–we’re interested in ALL OF IT.
I was doing so good y’all. I had managed to smile through it all. He was the last person to give a closing statement and he had to go and !@#$#$ that up. Lawd have mercy. But I did not lose my composure.
And for the record, I don’t hate prosecutors. I have prosecutors for friends and I am actively supporting the prosecutors trying to convict Democratic donor Ed Buck. So that would make me a hypocritic if I did.
In fact, I actually respected some of the answers from prosecutors Scott Yang and Steve Morgan during the forum.
What I don’t agree with and won’t contribute to is the high number of prosecutors turned judge in Los Angeles courtrooms. Remember, the Governor does appoint judges. But when us lowly voters have a say, I try to push for a more diverse bench, and that oftentimes means not supporting the candidate who’s the prosecutor. Makes for strange bedfellows at times and I am sure the election will come where I won’t have a choice but to choose a prosecutor. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.
Below is the entire forum in case you want to check it out.