After I wrote about the Ramos and Compean debacle, which is proving to be even more shameful now that prosecutors have been found to have deliberately withheld exculpatory evidence and made knowingly inaccurate statements to the jury contrary to responsible jurisprudence, I was looking forward to making the light-hearted political commentary that allows me to inject more humor, and a little less of the invective which characterizes my mood when I’m really pissed off…not this week.
Our judiciary has become an institution ruled by political expediency and agenda driven judges bent on specific outcomes, justice be damned. A most recent abortion of law concerns a group of black youths (ten to thirty of them depending on whose counting) who beat the crap out of three young women, Loren Hyman, 21, and Laura Schneider and Michelle Smith, both 19, leaving a Halloween party in Long Beach. Actually, if these girls only got the crap beat out of them they would have been pretty well off. The beatings were so severe, two had concussions and multiple bruises, Loren Hyman had a dozen bones in her face broken, her eye has been recessed four millimeters and she must undergo multiple operations to repair the damage. One of the girls was hit in the face with a skateboard by an attacker.
Nine black teens were tried for the assault, all found guilty. Since they were juveniles, the worst sentence they could receive was confinement to the youth authority until the age of twenty-five. Judge Gibson Lee, presiding over the case, felt that too harsh. Eight of the nine have been sentenced to probation and sixty days house arrest, the last one only probation. These sentences so odious, no analysis or commentary can suffice.
Remember when the very muscular 250 pound Rodney King, drunk, lead police on a chase, finally stopped and then assaulted the officers before they proceeded to give him a well deserved pounding fearing he was on PCP after two taser volleys had no effect on him? When the officers were acquitted in Simi Valley (where white people live) Mayor Tom Bradley lamented, What are we trying them up there for? as opposed to Los Angeles where a jury would definitely lynch them.
To avoid double jeopardy, the Feds retried the cops (fearing another riot) through the pathetic civil rights were violated ruse, and managed to get a guilty verdict for two of the officers. The other two, while they were acquitted, lost their jobs and their careers were destroyed.
I wonder if the federal government will retry the nine kids who participated in the vicious assault on Loren and her friends. I am pretty sure the three girls had their civil rights violated. What needs to be done for justice? Maybe, if all the white people in Long Beach get together and burn down their own town, the Feds might do something. I doubt it; our government and our politicians only placate those they view inferior; they attempt to subjugate those self-reliant Americans who shun government help.
These three girls will never get justice. They will heal, and move on. God willing, they will be able to put this terrible experience behind them. Nine kids got away with a horrible crime and they can snicker about it. One wonders how this injustice will effect tenuous black white relations. It is impossible to expect this political manipulation will not manifest itself in some sort of subtle or overt desire to secure payback, promoting the kind of racism and prejudice that prevents us from being one people.
The cultural divides between black America and white America stretch far. When injustice rears its ugly head in white America, there is anger and disgust toward a broken system, but eventually the hurt is put away and America moves on. When black Americans endure this kind of injustice, there is a collective feeling among blacks that America wishes to repatriate the evils of slavery. Black Americans who relinquish these feelings and embrace the rugged independence and individualism that defines American culture become upwardly mobile and are accepted as fellow Americans.
The black communities that ban together, demand justice, and decry white racism, real or imagined, are appeased with perfunctory judicial rulings. While one America is held to a particular standard, this other America is allowed to realize a lower one. White America believes there are penalties for crime and criminals must pay. Black America believes black crime results from an unjust system, ergo, blacks are unable to understand or embrace American culture and gain that upward mobility that only comes through independent initiative and independent responsibility.
When white America sees crime they see criminals, white or black. When black America sees crime they see criminals when they are white, but when they are black they see a racist system out to get them.
Reginald Denny got beat almost to death and Rodney King said, Can’t we all just get along?
Three young girls get beat to within an inch of their lives, get no justice, and white people say, Where’s Bernie Goetz when we need him?
Copyright 2007 Jim Pontillo