A White liberal likely upper-class woman wrote a very patronizing and insulting letter to local Minneapolis attorney and civil rights attorney activist Nekima Levy Armstrong about the jury selection process in the Derek Chauvin murder trial because she was alarmed that the Black community was not buying into this show trial.
She was alarmed that Black people were spreading what she called “misinformation” and demonstrating little faith in the process. She tried to convince Levy Armstrong that “nothing sinister is going on but rather it’s our legal system.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
Of course, there is something sinister going on, because the proceedings appear to be bending over backward to discount what the entire world has seen, and that is Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd in front of witnesses urging him not to.
Even the over the top security measures with the barbed wire, razor wire, fences and fully armed National Guardsman are insidious. Their very presence is designed to the send the message that it is those on the outside, the Black community, that is to be feared, rather than the murdering, racist, psychotic savage sitting at the defendant’s table trying to imitate a human being.
The security overkill is also aimed at discouraging the organizing of peaceful protests. It has people afraid to go downtown.
From the beginning, the defense’s motions appeared to be aimed at propagandizing those watching. On the first day of trial, the Minneapolis police federation’s mercenary defense attorney Eric Nelson claimed that Chauvin’s firing by African American Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo was “reflective of bias.” Purposely ignoring the fact that even the chief of police, had to admit like everyone else, that the video of Chauvin keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes was evidence of a crime.
Nelson actually fixed his lips to say there was “zero evidence that a crime had been committed.”
What he is telling the public –and what this trial will continue to communicate– that what we saw, and think we saw, is not legitimate. What we think and see is only legitimate when the system says so.
During the voir dire –that is questioning by the defense and prosecution– both sides spent time trying to convince potential jurors –while also propagandizing the viewing public– by continuing to insist that there are bad cops and good cops. Judge Cahill also encouraged this thinking.
But this flies in the face of the fact that so many cops continue to violate the rights of human beings—especially those that are Black and Brown—and so one can only conclude that it is the—system of policing that is the problem.
Nelson at one point while bringing attention to a questionnaire that potential jurors were asked to fill out, said to a potential juror that the case was “not about race.”
However, race is the elephant in the room in hangs over it like a dark shadow.
If race was not at issue most Black folk would not be so skeptical about the outcome. The preparations for the trial, while projecting the idea that the community is violent, also suggests that maybe the system knows something we don’t and that Chauvin will go free.
And if race were not an issue juror #76, the Black working class man who grew up in South Minneapolis would have been seated on the jury. This juror was honest and said he had bad experiences with the police and he was well aware of the role that they play in his community. He gave an example of Minneapolis police riding down the street playing, “Another One Bites the Dust” loudly whenever a Black person was killed.
The Black working-class juror looked the defense attorney, the prosecutor and the judge in the eye and said he could be fair and impartial, just as White jurors had done. But all of the White men refused to believe him. The prosecution failed to fight for him, even when it seemed he would be a good juror for them since he had actual lived experience of police misconduct.
This rather pernicious decision said to the entire world that the forbears of the African Americans who were stolen from Africa and enslaved in the U.S. and treated as chattel, are not to be believed. It said in front of the entire world that they cannot be trusted. That is sinister propaganda!
The trial will work to show that what we think we saw and what we think we know is not true.
Some have asked can Derek Chauvin get a fair trial. And the answer is he will get a more fair trial than the vast majority of those who are part of the 99%. Chauvin will get a trial that U.S. jurisprudence purports to give everyone.
Moreover as a White cop he will not get a ‘fair’ trial but rather a trial biased in his favor. The defense will go on and on ad nauseam about the facts of the case.
However, the most mitigating fact is that in this racist country most people are programmed unconsciously and subconsciously to favor rich over poor, White people over Black people, and the word of law enforcement over that of the average citizen.
Even in this case many are inclined to give the psychotic savage White officer the benefit of the doubt. And after all in the scheme of things what is one n—g—r’s life worth.
So, the nice liberal White lady is wrong, there are few processes more sinister, less pernicious, less insidious, and less evil than the U.S. legal system. Just ask all the tens of thousands of Black and Brown people whose lives that they have unnecessarily ruined.