Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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July 9th, 2021

Frank LaBuda’s Racist Comments Should Shock No One!

Last week Sullivan County made national headlines again as the New York State Appellate Division released a decision claiming that former Sullivan County Court Judge Frank LaBuda made “utterly racist” remarks to a black defendant during a trial in September 2018.

In their decision the high court said of Labuda’s comments “We find the court’s commentary dehumanizing and offensive.”

The court was referring to the burglary case of Angelo Johnson, who at the time was being sentenced to 15 years in prison for second-degree burglary.

Those in the know say the sentence was fair and just, but thanks to LaBuda’s remarks, the Appellate Division reduced Johnson’s sentence to five years in prison with five years of post-release supervision.

Back in 2018 LaBuda told Johnson, “I feel sorry for you. Because I know that if we were to look in your mind, we would find that your brain, your frontal lobes, your decision-making processes are probably retarded in growth.”

LaBuda then discussing the sentence added, “here is in a way to make you safe from hurting yourself or others, because I appreciate the fact that your brain is not developed, through no fault of your own.”

The justices said LaBuda’s comments focusing on Johnson’s brain “mimics 19th century polygenism, a racist ideology that focused on the claimed inferiority of black people based upon now debunked theories of reduced brain size.”

Are we reading too much into those comments LaBuda made? Of course not. They are disgusting and shameful.

But, no one should be surprised of the findings from the Appellate division regarding Frank LaBuda and his racist and bigoted remarks.

Frank Labuda has spent a lifetime on the bench making rude, condescending, racist, denigrating, disparaging, and bigoted remarks. Just ask any courtroom observer, lawyer, or employee in the courthouse.

If you were not part of Labuda’s special minyan, you were often treated with disrespect and had to bite your tongue during his outbursts. Many were so scared of him they bowed to his every wish and desire.

And there are endless stories on Labuda’s bad behavior in the Courtroom.

According to those in court several years ago – they heard Labuda tell a black defendant he “didn’t pick his attorney out of a watermelon field.” I was told jaws dropped. The watermelon comment was later sanitized by a court reporter.

Yet, the other side of Labuda known to the public at large has been one of being a charismatic, warm, and caring person. He has a natural talent of schmoozing people and being friendly.  

In fact, he tells stories about how he travels around the world educating people and being colorblind.

In Frank Labuda’s world – and perhaps those of many others – his comments over the years should not be viewed as being racist. Sometimes things are so imbedded in one’s mind that they have no idea what they are saying is wrong, bigoted, and hateful.

In today’s society – things that would have been accepted several years ago – is now treated as bigoted, racist, or a form of harassment. The laughter we all had from Archie Bunker is now gone.

Whether Frank Labuda’s comments were purposely meant to be racist or not, we should all expect more from a Judge. Frank Labuda of all people knows better. We can all breathe easier knowing that Megan Galligan was elected our District Attorney.

Labuda’s disparaging remarks should not put a cloud on our entire system. Sullivan County has a long history of distinguished judges and prosecutors that have always been fair and treated people as equal no matter their race, creed, color, or sexual orientation.

Perhaps we all need to question ourselves and how we feel towards others. There is a great survey you can take to see your own implicit biases. Please click this link – The Results might shock you.

We all know that “Sticks and Stones may break your bones, but words will never harm us.” Sadly, in this case, LaBuda’s words did harm us.  A criminal will get out of prison long before he should have.

To view the New York State Appellate Courts decision click this link –

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.


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