Writing on the subject of justice in the United States, McElroy pulls together two seemingly unlikely incidents–Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s alleged assault on a police officer and Duke student Reade Seligmann’s arrest for allegedly raping a dancer at a party.
I too have been an interested observer of the McKinney incident, as it supports a position I’ve long taken–who you are and who you know are far more important than any other factors in your life. If I had slugged a cop in public, I would have been, as McElroy notes, “slammed against the floor as officers descended en masse to make a felony arrest.” On conviction, I would be serving a long sentence in the loving care of the nearest prison.
The investigation of McKinney has dragged on for months, amid rumors of a deal that will allow her to escape the consequences for her actions. In my not-so-humble opinion, the powers that be are simply waiting for us to forget about this so they can put the plan into effect.
On the other hand, we have a young man, apparently of good family, a student at a prestigious school, who has virtually been convicted of the crimes of rape and assault before he was ever arrested, let alone had his day in court.
Just as McKinney may be legally immune because of who she is[a black Congresswoman–TF], I believe Seligmann is being persecuted for what he is. From the beginning, the Duke ‘rape’ case has been portrayed as a racial issue; white boys raped a black woman. Stories lingered on the wealth of Seligmann’s family thus casting the case as one of elitism; the rich can violate the law without consequence.
Feminist editorials declared that women do not lie about rape, thus convicting him in advance and despite evidence.
In short, I believe Seligmann is being prosecuted because he is a rich white male.
These two legal farces simply reinforce my personal conclusions that our “criminal” justice system in this country is the best that position, power, influence and to a lesser extent, money, can buy.
Justice is absolutely dependent on a single idea–that everyone, regardless of position, wealth, skin color or preference in toilet paper, is equal before the law. But today, in America, we have more than these two cases worth of evidence that this is not the case. Our justice system has been compromised, and is in dire danger of losing the confidence of the public–if it hasn’t lost it already.