Saturday, December 17, 2011

Orange jumpsuits

Ah, New York's famous tabloid newspapers. Not really known for Cindy Adams any more, but still faithfully pumping out their race-baiting reportage. Case in point, the coverage of the killing of officer Peter Figoski. Here the suspects are in their orange jumpsuits, though the white guy is in a white jump suit, and one black guy is in beige. How mysterious are jumpsuits, but I'm getting off the subject here. This killing was a true tragedy, indeed. But I don't need to see the alleged killers referred to as "thugs" and "lowlifes" in a newspaper article. Hey, I'm a smart person; I can come to those conclusions myself, if necessary!

When I was growing up in NYC, minority youths who were accused of rape in a park were a "wolf pack," and pretty easily convicted, though the convictions were later overturned. But white lacrosse players going to St. John's University, accused of the same crime, were acquitted, one juror saying that they "had their whole lives ahead of them." For an impressionable young person, and a minority, like myself, the opinion that I was outside of justice somehow could have been easily formed. But because I was middle class, and read a lot of Dickens, I came to believe that it was justice itself that had failed. That's why I was secretly delighted when O. J. was acquitted. Justice never worked for my people in the 90s. Why wouldn't I be thrilled to learn that at least one member of my race had a decent, if circus-ish, showing at trial? And he was properly acquitted, unless you forget that Mark Fuhrman plead the fifth when asked if he had planted evidence making it seem like O. J. murdered his ex-wife. That's how the legal system works.

Still, justice has been elusive ever since. Figoski's accused killers are "creeps" to the Post, but aren't they deserving of a fair trial, like everyone else? Not one of the banker masterminds of our economic collapse has ever been called a "thug" outside of, perhaps, Salon, though their crimes affected millions of lives, not just a relative few. And none of them will be convicted, either, or even indicted. Perhaps this is because the economic crisis is slightly more complex than random violence, and it is easier (and sells more papers) to prey on the fears of New Yorkers who believe we are all more at the mercy of colored people than corporate conspiracies.

I know I'm probably in the minority with my opinions, but whatever.

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