Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why the Famous Avoid Prosecution

In response to today's judgement by Judge Masipa in the over-exposed murder trial of Oscar Pistorius - accused of murdering his fiance, Reeva Steenkamp, people are widely and openly questioning why it is that when famous men, athletes, actors, and celebs of all types, abuse and sometimes kill women in domestic violence situations - they manage to always just escape justice. Why do athletes keep avoiding punishment when women get hurt? by Mary Elizabeth Williams.

This is a valid question, and the answer can be found in America's subculture of celebrity and sports hero worship.  In response, this is what came to me.

"I'd like to be fair and point out that Pistorius isn't off the hook. The judged ruled that the prosecution failed to prove premeditated murder. He's still likely to see a conviction in what they call culpable murder which is like negligent homicide...which means, yes, he killed her, but they can't say he planned it in advance. But other than that, yes. There's a disgusting culture of privilege around the famous whether it be domestic abuse, assault, drugs, you name it. If you have enough cash and cache, you can get off....unless you're a black man who hasn't paid taxes in three years. Then you go jail like Wesley Snipes. (another sad sub-culture in America. The black man whose IRS tab is relatively low by comparison goes to jail while Wall Street Bankers and Corporate CEOs who cheat and keep their money in overseas bank accounts get.....golden parachutes and billion-dollar bonuses?)"

This is a real problem. Justice should not depend upon how many dollars are in a person's bank account or how known they are by the public. But it does. Look at O.J. Simpson. Justice finally caught up to him, but nor for murder. Look at football player Ray Rice. It was only after public outrage that the NFL took real action, and not that slap-on-the-wrist crap two game suspension previously. And then we found out that the NFL Commissioner lied about not seeing that infamous elevator footage before the other day. (Anyone watching that interview could see he was lying - his entire face turned red from the stress of his deception). 

White privilege is another subculture practiced by and large, but no one wants to admit it. Answer me this. How is it that a black man buying a BB gun in a Walmart, who was doing nothing but shopping, then stopped to answer his phone speaking to his mother and girlfriend on the other end - and used the BB gun like a crutch to lean (means it was pointed at the floor) while he spoke - gets gunned down by police (called by some redneck idiot who, turns out, lied to the 911 saying the black man was walking through the store and pointing the gun at people), SPOILER ALERT: The black young man died as a result after being shot in the back by said police - how is it the black man doing nothing wrong gets killed while a large group of white idiot redneck fools can boldly walk into a Target carrying AR-15 assault rifles or harass women in parking lots who are afraid once they see these idiots with their military-style weaponry out (and around children, no less) live to tell the tale, and no one says a thing? 

We have some serious problems in this nation, and in the world, that need to be addressed. One way to do this is to vote the correct people into office - the ones not indebted to their corporate overlords or extreme ideology or bigotry. Sure, that would mean NEVER voting Republican again, but I think once we saw people feeling safe in a Walmart or a Target, and people being brought to swift, equitable justice, and corporate evaders being penalized like anyone else....we'd all be okay with that.

Money should never tip the scales of justice or elections. Speak out using your votes. And person, one vote. Not 'one corporation, all the votes'.