Cedric Muhammad Bops Bork
Jude Wanniski
June 8, 2000


To: Robert H. Bork
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Elian and his Dad

When I read your WSJournal column on Monday, “Castro Fools Even Some Conservatives,” it got my blood to a simmer, but not to a boil, which is why I simply tossed it aside. As an old friend, though, I should have given you the benefit of my simmer. In writing about why some conservatives have been fooled into thinking Elian Gonzalez should go back to Cuba with his dad, you got me close to a boil with these lines: “The issue is not Juan Miguel’s preference, but the good of Elian. It is impossible to deny that he would lead a far more fulfilled life in Miami than is possible in Havana.” Whoa! Impossible to deny? How the heck can you be so sure that Elian’s life would be more fulfilled in Miami without his father (or mother, now deceased) than with his pop in Havana? The idea Robert Bork actually could pen those words made me think I may have been wrong to think you would have made an excellent Supreme Court Justice, when I defended you against the “borking” that finally defeated your nomination. Or, maybe you would not have had such a silly thought back then, but have become grouchier and more authoritarian as you have slouched toward twilight in Gomorrah? A life more fulfilled without his father? Why? Because there are better schools, better TV shows, better restaurants, better supermarkets? Better jails? If I had been wrenched from my father and given to my uncle when I was six, I probably would have turned out like my uncle, an anti-Semitic, racist bigot. And he lived in Pennsylvania, Bob, not Castro’s Cuba.

What propels me to write now, belatedly, is a commentary that appeared Tuesday by my friend Cedric Muhammad at his website. Cedric is a young black man who has thought long and hard about the legacy of slavery in the United States, especially how routine it was in the old days for boys to be separated from their fathers by morally superior white men. Maybe the boys were better off, but I don’t think it is impossible for you to deny maybe they weren’t. As much as you will find Cedric’s comments unsettling, I think you should read them carefully, before you become even more morally superior.