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Do we want another Tawana Brawley?

Tawana Brawley

A conservative friend of mine ended his rant with this line – “How many more Tawana Brawleys and Duke Lacrosse teams do we need before we stop railroading and judging people guilty on a whim?” Let me stand back for a second. With regard to the Trayvon Martin case, as I have said repeatedly (here, here, here and here), all anyone in the United States should want, all we should ask for, is for justice to be done. I’ve never called for a speedy investigation. I want a thorough investigation wherein all the rocks are overturned. It is that simple.

I’ve also mentioned repeatedly that we need to focus on the investigation and not the sideshow. For the sake of this post and clarity today, I will address the sideshow. Conservatives have consistently over the last few weeks focused on the sideshow. Several have focused on how the family wants to try this case in the court of public opinion. First, we must try to understand the frustration the family must feel after their son has been shot and the police simply stonewalled them. The police appeared to “kill” the investigation. Secondly, there is no doubt that there are many people and organizations who simply cruise the Internet and look for opportunities to jump on the bandwagon of race-based issues. I would like to think that their agenda is to improve equality in America, but I think we have seej time and time again that their agenda is to elevate their own individual status or organizational status.

I find it fascinating that many conservatives have decided to bring up Tawana Brawley case. Basically, a brief review – in 1987, Ms. Brawley, a 15-year-old girl, had been missing for over four days. She was found near her home in Wappingers Falls, New York, in a dumpster lying in a garbage bag. She was disheveled. Her clothing was torn. She was covered in feces. She had the words, Bitch, KKK and N!gg*r written on her in what appeared to be charcoal. She claimed that she had been repeatedly raped by three white men. Her behavior in the emergency room can only be described as bizarre. She and the family requested to be interviewed in the emergency room by a black officer and this was granted. This was the case that vaulted Al Sharpton into prominence. He was the first black personality to latch on to this case and scream that justice be done. There was a huge public outcry. Many celebrities (Bill Cosby and Spike Lee included) got involved. There was fundraising and there were marches. There was tons of finger-pointing. There were prominent attorneys.  In spite of the characterization that many conservatives have of this case, the outcome was 100% correct. There was a thorough investigation. There was a Grand Jury convened and the conclusion of that Grand Jury was that there was no rape. There was no sexual assault. You can read the rest of the Grand Jury conclusion here.

So, in spite of the mischaracterization that many conservatives have of this case, justice was served. Nobody died. Nobody went to jail unjustly. There was a thorough investigation. There was a thorough review of the evidence. There was a clear and unmistakable conclusion which the vast majority of Americans have accepted as correct – whites and blacks alike. What can we learn from this case is a couple of things. First, the black community, no surprise, is very mistrustful of our justice system. This needs to be fixed. I don’t know how to do it. The perception in the black community is that the criminal justice system is completely and 100% stacked against minorities. There was a Chicago police shooting in which an unarmed female was shot to death.  There was an 18-year-old male who was jailed for marijuana possession who seems to have been allowed to hallucinate and cry out for help for hours in jail before he died in jail.  There’s Alan Gomez, who appears to have been an unarmed 22-year-old who was somehow shot by police. In spite of a thorough investigation, the circumstances of his death remain somewhat mysterious. The official investigation cleared officers of all charges.  There was the shooting rampage in Tulsa which now appears to be part revenge and part racially based. Now, I’m not saying that the police were right or wrong in all of these situations. Instead, what I’m saying is that there is a preponderance of situations in which minorities die and it seems like the overall justice system is not adequately responding to the cries of the minority community. Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, there are individuals and organizations who latch onto these racially charged issues like leeches. They do little or nothing to illuminate the situation. As a matter fact, in my opinion, they muddy the waters. I’ll go so far as to say they should be ignored.

Trayvon Martin

Much of the problem that I see in the United States has developed over a lack of compromise from both sides. Everyone wants to say that they’re right. No one wants to admit that the other side may have a point. Our society is slowly evolving into left versus right, progressive versus conservative, white versus black. In fact, we have to acknowledge that our country is much more complicated than that. We have to acknowledge that we have not solved the problems of racial inequality and social economic inequality in this country. We should recoil at the statements of Rick Warren, pastor of a large mega-church, who asked, “…or does fairness mean that everybody has an opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation.” He’s just repudiated the teachings of Jesus. This is not about socialism. Instead this is about opportunities for all. Currently, in our highly toxic talk environment, there is no middle ground. How can you compromise with the man is supposed to be a Nazi and wants to murder your kids? This is our problem. Extremism. Until we all pull back to the center, our country is in trouble.

So, where does that leave us with Trayvon Martin? In my mind, we’re still at the beginning. We are continuing to patiently wait for the thorough investigation to conclude. Until then, I will continue to hope and pray that justice will be done. It is that simple.

By | 2013-11-03T17:14:22+00:00 April 10th, 2012|Legal, Race|2 Comments

Monday Evening News Roundup

I was working really late last night and I didn’t get home until about nine o’clock this morning. I was kind of exhausted. Now, finally, I think the cobwebs have cleared…

I don’t know about you, but I find it funny that Mitt Romney several Republicans have decided that they are champions of American manufacturing. Remember, Mitt Romney has made millions of dollars by dismantling American manufacturing and sending the pieces overseas.

For me, one of the problems with Rick Santorum is that he doesn’t make any sense. Last week, he decided that he was going to jump on the social wars bandwagon. He was going to attack Barack Obama and his administration for their “war on religion.” He stated that Barack Obama followed a theology that was “not based on the Bible.” First of all, I truly hate playing the game I’m more Christian than you. Because truly the only one who can ultimately decide whether you are playing the game right or not is God. The rest of us are simply guessing. Santorum then went on the CBS Sunday morning talk show and said, “I just said when you have a worldview that elevates the earth above man and states that we can’t take those resources because were going to harm the earth – things like that are not scientifically proven like the politicization of the whole global warming debate.” What? How does that even come out of your mouth? I guess he got an A in gobbledygook.

I truly don’t understand Governor Christie’s stance on same-sex marriage. It seems to me that he wants to have his cake and eat it, too (pun intended). Basically, he stated that he believes in same-sex marriage, but that he’s going to veto a bill that’s been passed by the New Jersey Legislature legalizing same-sex marriage. He’s going to veto the bill because he believes that this issue needs to be brought up as a referendum. Really? Isn’t the issue as simple as either you believe in equality under the law or you don’t? To me, in the eyes of the state, this is a civil rights issue. From a religious standpoint, you and your pastor figure it out. From a legal standpoint, I just don’t see how any state can continue this legalized discrimination.

Conservative Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu, who has been thrown in the national spotlight has decided that he is going to openly support gay marriage. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it hard to wrap my mind around any sentence that includes Arizona, conservative, gay and Sheriff.

Under the heading Lying with Data, George Will looked at the following data and stated that there was no recorded evidence of global warming for more than a decade.

When you step back and look at the data (below), the trend is clear. I would like to congratulate George Will on a fabulous job of lying with data.

Nuclear officials are traveling to Iran to meet with Iranian leaders to see if they’re building a nuclear weapon. No, seriously. Stop laughing. Okay, I can’t help it. I’m laughing, too. What a waste of time. We know that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. The question is what to do about it. Nobody seems to have any reasonable answers.

Joan Baez met with protesters before her concert. This is clearly an example of people talking to each other instead of, as we do most of the time, talking past each other. Very nice to see.

Here’s a nice list for PC Magazine of 10 apps that you need for your android phone.

By | 2012-02-20T20:30:23+00:00 February 20th, 2012|Business, Civil Rights, Economy, Environment, Iran|Comments Off on Monday Evening News Roundup

Gary Johnson?

Here's a picture of Gary Johnson so you know what he looks like.

Did you know Gary Johnson is running for the Republican nomination for president? Neither did I. Now, he has decided to run as an Independent. Let me see if I’ve gotten this straight. In possibly the weakest Republican field in four decades, Gary Johnson can’t get any traction. Therefore, he has decided to run as an Independent because Independent bids are so likely to get traction. I wish them luck with that political maneuver. To make matters worse, he’s running as a Libertarian. I might be wrong, but I think Ron Paul has all of the Libertarians who are not jumping on the Republican bandwagon. Maybe Ron Paul wants to share?

By | 2011-12-21T20:03:20+00:00 December 21st, 2011|Party Politics|Comments Off on Gary Johnson?