Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The More Things Change...the More They Stay the Same

History is unfortunately repeating itself.

I don’t know about you, but I am amazed that in 2005, police investigations and media coverage still look a lot like they did in 1905. If murder is the case, the first suspects will be minority, poor, or both. There is no need to chronicle the history of this discrimination, because it is so well known. The latest story in Aruba is just the most recent chapter in our racist society’s history.

I usually read AP stories on the internet, and I remember first hearing about the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalie Holloway several weeks ago. The story I read had pictures of the first two suspects that were rounded up (black men), and although there was no picture of the victim in that initial story, she was described as a blonde teen vacationing from Alabama. Now given my previous post on this blog, you may know that I’m trying to improve my attitudes about race. I’m trying to heal the wounds of the past. But it’s awful hard when a girl disappears while vacationing, and the media and the Arubian law enforcement agency does its best to paint the picture of a precious Southern Belle being viciously attacked by two local black security guards. Now as the story has unfolded, those two young men have been released as the three boys now in custody are lead suspects (the primary one being the white son of a Dutch magistrate). Ironically, I can’t tell you what these young men look like, because the stories I have read have been slow to show their faces. I guess all of the sudden, the journalists want to protect the accused until proven guilty.

As I said, I’m trying to grow love in my heart instead of hatred, but I just cannot understand how these stories continue to play out the same way in 2005 as they have for the last hundred years. Anyway, pray for young Natalie and her family, for they are the true victims here.

Below is a link to a CNN story examining whether the initial arrests were swayed by race. Gee…do ya think?

Was race a factor?

Your disheartened brother,

"The objector and the rebel who raises his voice against what he believes to be the injustice of the present and the wrongs of the past is the one who hunches the world along."
Charles Darrow(1857-1938) American lawyer from Speech, March 14, 1902

That’s a nice quote from Charles Darrow (the atheist lawyer who argued against William Jennings Bryan in the “Scopes Trial” regarding Darwinism/Creation), but the reason I included it is because of another case of discrimination that occurred against some natives on a tropical island 75 years ago. What you may not know about Mr. Darrow was his hypocritical involvement in defending Grace Fortescue and her muderous family (after an effort to frame some poor Hawaiian men for raping a white naval officer’s wife). Does anything ever really change? Read about the Massie Affair from Ken Burn's American Experience on PBS.

Since Mr. Darrow's idealistic quote is tainted by his hypocracy, I’ll leave you with another quote:

"There is a naive belief that injustice only had to be pointed out in order to be cured."
Gloria Steinem (1934-)

You've got to trust a woman that worked as playboy bunny for three weeks just to make a point.


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