Friday, June 21, 2013

Paula Deen, "The Help", and the George Zimmerman jury

They say life imitates art and the first thing I thought about when I heard the Zimmerman jury is 100% women and 0% African American  was the characterization of white women in  The Help.
The story revolves around three different characters: Aibileen Clark, Minny Jackson and Skeeter Phelan as they document their lives on the different side of the racial barrier. Aibileen and Minny are black maids working for rich white families whilst Skeeter is the daughter of a rich family that employs "the help" which refers to the black maids. Minny is a black maid with a quick tongue and an inability to act like maids were expected to in the novel's depicted setting. This big mouth often gets her into trouble, and usually fired from her job. Racial issues of overcoming long-standing barriers in customs and laws are experienced by all of the characters. The lives and morals of Southern socialites are also explored.
In light of the recent Paula Deen revelations and our rich southern heritage it's the racial issues of overcoming long-standing barriers in customs and laws that concern me the most.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, juror E-6 -- a young, married white woman who warned her two adolescent children not to go out at night because of Martin's shooting -- reported that her husband owns guns. Juror B-37, a middle-aged white woman with two adult children who described the protests in Sanford as "rioting," reported that both she and her husband have concealed carry weapons permits, though she has let hers lapse, reports the paper.
Baez also cited the jurors' race -- five are white, and one is Hispanic, the Orlando Sentinel reports -- as a boost for the defense. The racial and ethnic makeup of potential jurors is relevant because prosecutors have alleged that Zimmerman profiled Martin in following the teen as Martin was walking back from a convenience store to the home of his father's fiancee.
I have to hand it to Zimmerman's attorney,  Mark O'Mara is one slick cookie.
After Thursday's hearing, Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara was asked what he would say to people concerned there were no black jurors.
"People can look at it and have this response — that there's no blacks on the jury, or no this or no that, or no men on the jury," he said. "Tell me that we did something wrong in the process and I'll agree with you."
I guess it depends on what your definition of doing something wrong IS
This case should not be about race, but the attorneys’ failure to pick a more diverse group of six people is certain to reignite the issue, especially if the 100 percent all-female/non-African-American jury finds Mr. Zimmerman not guilty.

1 comment:

Margherite said...

r.e. the Zimmerman trial: Now that the judge has excluded testimony that might "confuse" the jury and pre-empted the use of descriptive language by the prosecution before the jury even hears it, the words "kangaroo court" leap into my mind before this political theater gets going.