A Tennessee judge has come under fire after he shared a racist and anti-Semitic article on Facebook that called for Jews to "get the f*** over the Holocaust."
A coalition of organizations has called for the censure of Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Jim Lammey over the controversy that came to light last week, WMC-TV reported.
On Wednesday, the Shelby County Commissioners held its first vote on the resolution asking that Lammey be formally disciplined. Of the 13-member commissioners, 10 signed on as sponsors of the resolution by the close of the meeting.
A number of organizations including the Jewish Community Partners, the NAACP Memphis branch, the Memphis Islamic Center, American Muslim Advisory Council, among others, have filed complaints against the judge.
"We had to act," Laura Linder of Jewish Community Partners told WMC. "Collectively, we have said we won't allow this to happen in Shelby County."
Lammey was appointed to the 30th judicial district in Shelby County in 2006. Prior to his appointment, he served 16 years as an assistant district attorney.
On April 5, Lammey shared a racist screed by David Cole, which was published a few days earlier on Taki's Magazine. Cole, who is Jewish, reportedly gained notoriety for denying the Holocaust.
Cole wrote in his rambling piece that Jews should "get the f*** over the Holocaust" and he described Muslims as "foreign mud."
"In a perfect world, these rabbinical Rain Men would finally get the f*** over the Holocaust and end their war of hostility against the West," Cole wrote. "They'd see that whites are no longer the enemy, but indeed the opposite. They'd see that importing foreign mud to mold golem after golem in traditionally white regions of the U.S. is bad strategy."
What did Lammey say?
Lammey has denied being racist or that he agreed with the article's content. He told WMC that "it was extremely embarrassing" to be asked such a question.
The judge told the Tennessee Star that he didn't agree with Cole's article, which he said he noted in his post. Rather, he shared it because found it interesting because it talked about golems, which are animated Jewish folklore creatures made from materials like mud and clay.
"I certainly don't agree with all that," Lammey told WREG-TV. "I thought it was interesting about creating man-made monsters."
He said he was unaware that Cole was a Holocaust denier.
"I certainly don't agree with that, being a Holocaust denier. My best friend — who's deceased now — was Jewish and I wouldn't do that," he told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
"There was nothing in the article that says this man is a Holocaust denier," Lammey told the Star. "I would have had to have been a clairvoyant to know this guy was a Holocaust denier."
Lammey said he has a right to free speech and that his social media posts have nothing to do with his ability to serve the courts with fairness and objectivity.
"When people come into the courtroom I don't know what religion they are. I don't know what background they are. It doesn't make any difference to me," Lammey told WREG. "I mean, I share a lot of stuff on Facebook. None of it has anything to do with my ability to be fair and impartial."
On Monday, the full commission is expected to consider the resolution.