"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha . . . While all of white America weeps, every black person is celebrating. Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, we beat you guys."
On the evening of the Michael Jackson verdict, I came home to receive that e-mail -- one of several expressing the same sentiment. Michael Jackson beat the system. Michael Jackson beat "The Man." As with the O.J. Simpson case, polls show a split on the verdict down racial lines. By a 2-1 margin, according to Gallup, whites believe him guilty. By a similar margin, non-whites believe him not guilty.
After his acquittal, many expected Jackson to change his behavior and be more in touch with reality. A glance at Michael Jackson's website, MJJsource.com, does not inspire confidence. The website pronounced the verdict a milestone in world history. The website intro shows a hand in the "V" for "victory" position -- one of Michael Jackson's trademark gestures. Under an "Innocent" banner scroll the words "V is vindication," along with various dates and events. First, "01-15-29, Martin Luther King is born." Next, "11-09-89, Berlin Wall falls." Then "02-11-90, Nelson Mandela is freed." Finally, "06-13-05, Remember this day, for it is a part of history."
Many blacks feel the system lies in wait to bring them down. An Associated Press poll on celebrity justice conducted in January 2004 found that in the O.J. Simpson case, 82 percent of whites believe O.J. murdered Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown, versus 35 percent of non-whites. In the Kobe Bryant case -- by a 76 to 18 margin -- whites thought Bryant would get a fair trial. But 43 percent of blacks said he would not.
Just prior to Michael Jackson's arraignment, 60 percent of whites thought he would get a fair trial, while only 38 percent of blacks thought he would. But in the case of Martha Stewart, the majority of both blacks and whites, pre-verdict, considered her guilty. So, apparently, blacks feel the current justice system works for whites, but not for blacks. Tell that to Oliver North when a Washington, D.C., jury found him guilty of lying to Congress. How many whites were on North's jury? None. When North successfully appealed his conviction, did his lawyers argue injustice because of the lack of whites on the jury? No.
The "my race, right or wrong" attitude hurts the black community and hurts America. Many black jurors simply refuse to convict black criminal defendants, leading to high inner-city acquittal rates, with bad guys getting off to commit more crimes against the very people who set them free.
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