A Systemic High-Five


I was talking to a colleague a couple weeks ago about racism. He said there is no such thing as white privilege. Of course, he’s a Republican who went to a prep school and a private Ivy League college.

I was talking to another friend this morning who asked if the sort of racism we’re seeing in the trials of Kyle Rittenhouse and Ahmaud Arbery will ever end. I referenced how blue Virginia just went red for the racist dog whistle of Critical Race Theory. So, it doesn’t look good that this will ever end in America.

The judge presiding over the trial for Kyle Rittenhouse has told the prosecution they can’t refer to the three men Rittenhouse shot, killing two of them, can not be referred to as “victims,” but the defense can call them “looters,” “rioters,” and “arsonists.” I’m surprised he didn’t include “rapists,” “dog kickers,” and “people who don’t use turn signals.”

Rittenhouse is the kid who traveled from Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin with an assault rifle under the guise of protecting businesses from “looters.” The police discouraged vigilantes from coming to their city to patrol the streets with high-caliber rifles, yet gave Rittenhouse support by giving him bottled water while he was skulking their streets. After he shot three people, and Rittenhouse threw his arms into the air while holding the assault rifle he had just used to shoot three people, killing two, the cops passed him by. The cops were all like, “Dopey dopey-doo, just another white kid with an assault rifle. Never mind they had just heard a bunch of shots and the crowd was screaming and pointing at the kid who had just killed people with an assault rifle. Kyle got to go home and sleep in his own bed that night.

How much do you want to bet that if it was a black guy walking the down with an assault rifle, the cops wouldn’t have just passed him by? You do not want to take that bet, because our justice system is racist. The Kenosha cops probably would have shot a black guy walking down the street with a Nerf gun. “Watch out! They’re nerfy!”

Down in Glynn County, Georgia, a judge allowed the selection of a jury that’s composed of five men and seven women. Only one of the jurors is black. The judge said he didn’t like it but it had to be allowed since the defense stated reasons for the selections other than race. Because the defense didn’t say they didn’t a person because that person is a “big fat N-word,” the selections were not based on race? But, one of the lawyers on the defense still complained about the selections, whining that there is NOT enough “Bubbas.” You know what a Bubba is. White guys who have boats that cost more than the trailers they live in, have buzz cuts, support a border wall, believe Covid is a hoax and vaccines kill, can’t decide if the greatest threat to America is illegal immigration or Critical Race Theory, believe AOC and Hillary Clinton are lesbian lovers, Joe Biden is a communist and controlled by China, voted for Donald Trump three times, and believe in The Big Lie. A Bubba may not see anything wrong with tiki-torch Nazis chanting, “Jews will not replace us.” A Bubba might want to attack Big Bird…wait…sorry. That’s Ted Cruz.

Keep in mind, this is a trial over three white men killing a black jogger with a shotgun. Of course, the defense in Georgia wants a jury composed of Bubbas. Out of these 11 white people, you only need one to vote against conviction. Hmmm, I wonder if they can find at least one white racist in Georgia to sit on this jury. What are the odds?

The defense wants a jury of Bubbas in a trial of three Bubbas who killed a black jogger. Of course, there can’t be a jury of people who look like Ahmaud Arbery.

There is nothing in the United States Constitution, which was written when slavery was legal, about the racial makeup of a jury. But, the Justice Department cares about how much black representation states put in congressional districts. So maybe the Justice Department can be concerned with equal justice in courts too.

The court summoned 1,000 citizens of Glynn County, where the population is about 27 percent black. Out of 1,000 people, they could only find one black person to be a fair juror? This is systemic racism.

The south has a horrible history with all-white juries in trials involving racism. In 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi, Byron De La Beckwith, a klansmen, shot and killed NAACP and civil rights leader Medgar Evers in the back as he was arriving home. Beckwith shot Evers from across the street. Evers’ wife and three children were home at the time.

Beckwith had two trials in 1964 for murder. Both juries were entirely white. Both trials ended in hung juries. During the second trial, the governor of Mississippi, Ross Barnett, interrupted the trial to shake Beckwith’s hand. There is still a large reservoir outside of Jackson named after Ross Barnett, who had also gone to Ole Miss to stop the first black student from enrolling into the university. Until fairly recently, the Confederate flag was a part of Mississippi’s state flag. Beckwith’s legal fees were paid by the Whites Citizens’ Council. For years after the trial, Beckwith would brag at Klan rallies, the predecessor to Trump rallies, about murdering Evers. In the 1980s, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger discovered that the Mississippi State Sovereign Commission, a state-government agency funded by state taxes, which was created to protect Mississippi and its “sister states” from “encroachment” by the federal government and portray racial segregation in a positive light, had worked with Beckwith’s defense.

In fact, the state commission worked with Beckwith’s defense to spy and do research on potential jurors. They used taxpayer funds to help the defense find the most racist jurors. This commission was disbanded in 1977 and many in the state legislature argued that all the files of illegality, and showing who was spied on with what tactics, be burned. They were not burned but ordered sealed by the state for 50 years. The ACLU won a court fight for the records to be opened sooner. Based upon this agency’s support of Beckwith in his second trial, a new trial was held in 1994.

Fun fact: I was at the jury selection for this third trial and sat next to Beckwith’s wife who was very charming while telling me how the Kennedys were trying to frame her husband. The biggest death glare I ever got in my life was from Byron De La Beckwith. This was a man who shot someone in the back in his driveway, so I was a little intimidated. Byron De La Beckwith is probably the evilest person I’ve ever been in a room with. The Associated Press contacted me, wanting to know what Beckwith’s wife said to me. After I told them, they chose not to run with it as it sounded too absurd.

Beckwith was found guilty and ordered to serve the remainder of his life in prison. He died at the age of 80 in 2001. Byron De La Beckwith would have loved Donald Trump, who probably would have pardoned him.

My question today is: How far are we removed from states supporting racists? When you have a judge in South Carolina allowing a jury featuring only one back person, and the rest all white, I have to believe we’re not that far removed.

My question is: If three black men hunted down a white jogger and killed him, would white America be outraged if the jury for their murder trial was all black except for one white juror?

Correction: For some weird reason, I had a major boo-boo in this. I believe I should own my mistakes, even if only one person caught them. Today, that one person is my friend Sherry. While I researched to the point of knowing how many women and men were on the Arbery trial jury, I messed up the state despite knowing it. I had it as South Carolina instead of Georgia, which is the correct state in this subject. My bad.

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  1. If three black men shot a white jogger, there would be no trial. The three black men would be dead, and the white police officers who shot them would be claiming self defence, and getting away with it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Clay, as a old white man who grew up in the south, I witnessed and benefitted daily from white privilege, yet when you are young and in the mix, it is hard to understand the advantages you have. But, as an adult, it is all to clear to me. When I hear this no such thing as white privilege, it makes me think of the following offered up by one of the richest people in the world – Warren Buffett. Now, Buffett was smart and worked hard to make his money, but he also said he was lucky. He said he was born a white man in America. There are three components to that, he would add. His sister had the same upbringing but was not afforded opportunity as a female. Being in America gave him a leg up to succeed. And being white gave him privileges he would not otherwise have.

    There are other examples, but if you want to reach a person who has benefitted from white privilege and does not know it, share Buffett’s story. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So what about us poor white kids who had nothing? I guess working 3 jobs to earn my way was “handed to me?” You are the epitome of racist. Judging people, any people, by the color of their skin (white, black, Puerto Rican, or Asian) displays your racist ways. I grew up in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in STL and your take is flaming with white guilt and snobbery. Just because you may have been handed everything doesn’t mean we all were. Go live in a trailer park for a year and see all the “white privileged” in that ghetto.

    Liked by 1 person

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