Trial by Media and Chaos

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

This new age of civil rights; is it a step forward or two steps back? The Houston Chronicle presented coverage of a trial in which a police officer was found not guilty after having been accused of official oppression for alleged use of excessive force while arresting a felony suspect based on a few seconds of raw video footage taken during the arrest.

“After State District Judge Ruben Guerrero announced the jury’s decision about 11:30 a.m., Quanell X and other activists from the National Black United Front and the New Black Panther Party exploded in anger and expletives in the hallway outside the courtroom. They hammered prosecutors and the all-white jury – two women and four men – for racism. Blomberg is white; the beating victim, Chad Holley, is black.”

Race baiters stood at the front of the line pointing their fingers, “He’s guilty”; but don’t let the facts presented to the jury get in the way. “We saw the video, that’s all we needed to see, he’s guilty,” a choir of angry protesters shouted, their voices echoed off the court house walls.

“What they did today is send a message to black people, to all of us, that our lives aren’t worth a damn in this city,” Quanell X said.”

Well, I wasn’t there during the arrest and neither were you Quanell. Isn’t that why we have a trial, to find out all the facts rather than base our final judgment on a few seconds of video splashed across the television screen during the ten o’clock news?

Folks like Quanell X don’t give a damn about facts; they want to stir up the Black community, increase racial tension so the next opportunity might actually break the back of civilized society and bring about the long awaited triumph of the ever persecuted Black race. Isn’t that what’s being foisted upon us, all in the name of bringing about justice?

Guilt by accusation and trial by media have become the bully pulpit for an insidious force that moves freely among us; a force which presumes to take the place of “innocent until proven guilty” and a judicial system which acts to review the merits of each case brought before it. It’s so much easier to take a few moments from a video clip and pretend those few moments represent the entire incident, especially if those moments match with your agenda to racially divide and incite riot.

Quanell hammered our racist society, “There is no way an all-white jury could provide justice in this case, he said. “That was not a jury of our peers, Chad’s peers, or the city’s peers.”

There was a jury pool which had a diverse cross-section of possible jurors and included several Black individuals. In fact, but you won’t hear Quanell X mention it, three Black people were presented as possible jury members for this trial; but were dismissed from the jury pool because they had already determined the guilt of the accused based on having observed a newscast presentation of the video clip, a video clip which was played over and over again covering the space of several days.

I watched that same video clip and my stomach tightened as damning “evidence” was presented; but at the same time I’m aware that a few seconds of video doesn’t constitute “evidence,” only a portion of what may or may not be evidence in the legal sense.

Evidence is determined by the court, not the media and not the public at large. This is important if we are to live under the rule of law. Are we civilized enough to live under the rule of law is the next question; either that or admit we would rather be savages who have no rules, no laws or social order; chaos is a poor alternative to the rule of law.

Trial by media is a dangerous substitute for the justice system we depend on. Trial by media depends on knee jerk reactions rather than a reasoned thought process.

It’s so much better for ratings if your viewers grab torches and march on the courthouse square demanding justice. That isn’t to say there aren’t flaws within the justice system; but hysteria induced lynch mob mentality is a step backwards, not forward.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, pointing to a printed clip of the original video clip before the camera, pandered to her constituents, “Every citizen deserves due process and their right to a trial by a jury, but also every victim deserves a thorough review of their case to determine if justice has truly been rendered.”

Every citizen except the police officer, isn’t that what you meant to say Congresswoman Lee? Every victim deserves a thorough review of their case, except this police officer; we only needed to watch a few seconds of a video to know he was guilty. The double edged sword of hypocrisy cuts deep if you turn their words around on these race pimps.

What have we learned, that three possible black jurists might have served had they not been prejudiced by a video clip which was widely circulated among most of the local news media? No, I don’t have a good feeling about any of this as we go toward the summer months. There’s still the Trayvon Martin mess to deal with in Florida; a mess which has been intentionally distorted from the very first moment by these very same race pimps.

What purpose does it serve to throw a nation into chaos based on racial tension, real or imagined? My gut feeling comes from a very dark place, the kind of feeling that leaves a bad taste in your mouth even before you say it.

If you connect the dots then we are being driven towards a particular end, that being the destruction of the rule of law and our constitutional republic. There are those among us who would prefer we abandon everything civilization has achieved in favor of their notion of social justice regardless of right or wrong; victory at any cost, even if it means total chaos.

Race baiting is nothing new; but add to their arsenal instant video taken by cell phones or random camera placements around the city combined with repeated media hype and we are one step closer to chaos. If we permit information presented on the television, radio or internet to take the place of “evidence” or “proof” without following time tested judicial protocols then we also must accept that we no longer live under the rule of law and in its stead have become a society which favors trial by media.

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”

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