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The Martin Anderson Case And The Issue Of Race In America

By DrAbuelo(2,706)

Posted Monday, November 05, 2007
View All Blog Posts submitted by DrAbuelo

The Martin Anderson Case And The Issue Of Race In America




            Some seven hundred protesters gathered at the steps of Tallahassee to show their outrage over the decision that let 7 guards and one nurse walk in the beating death of 14 year old Martin Lee Anderson at a former state run boot camp. While autopsy reports didn't show a connection with his death with the beating, one must still wonder how the accused could walk away after being caught on tape, beating a minor. Even if they are not guilty for the murder itself, a conclusion which is still in question, the 7 are still guilty of the abuse which at the very least one would believe would translate to jail time or some kind punishment. But let us not forget the assault of Anderson was not exclusive to the beating but also included an ammonia tablet which was broken in his nose which prevented him from breathing which was noted in court. Further outrage in this case came with the suggestion, offered by the defense, that the very beating may have kept Anderson alive. The reasoning in their argument was that Anderson suffered from sickle-cell anemia, a rare but serious blood disorder which is characterized by red cells which are shaped like half moons. The victim's, cells don't move easily through the arteries. But as serious as it is, most of those that suffer from the condition tend to live a full life.



             The defense went on to claim that his death was unavoidable which does not reason with Anderson's condition. But ultimately the question must be asked, how much race plays a part in not only this case but also those stories that pass in and out of the news wire that is often forgotten before the next laxative commercial. Let’s take the case of the Jena 6, a story that was making news around the same time as the conclusion of the Anderson case. According to several reports, a group of African Americans asked permission to sit under a tree that was thought of as being designated for the white students. After their request was granted the group eventually went to the tree to find nooses hanging from the branches. The situation leads to a fight between black and white students. During the brawl, one of the white students was knocked out cold and suffered some minor injuries. After the fight, six of the African American students were arrested but the white students got a slam on the wrist, only being suspended for a few days while avoiding any jail time unlike Michael Bell, the symbol of the case. But it was what happened after the arrests that sent an unquestionable message to the black students. During an assembly, La. District Attorney Reed Walters entered the auditorium where the students were gathered and then stated to the black youth, "I can end your life with the stroke of a pen." This frightening statement echoes a certain Jim Crowe climate that reverberates in many of if not most of the conservative South which was evident in how the hurricane Katrina crises was reported . The pictures of whites usually had captions that read "desperate victim stealing food for survival." In comparison, how often did we have an African American leaving the same store with food only to have their caption read, "Looter pillages store."



Compare the Jena6 story with that of the case concerning the Duke Lacrosse players accused of raping a striper. As reports started coming out that the accused party may be innocent of any crime, the abuse of power by the South Carolina prosecutor Mike Nifong, started to come to light and evidently lead to his disbarment and arrest.  Apparently the commercial media didn't find the remarks made by Reed Walter's as news worthy as the omitted evidence in the Duke case. Nore did they find any value in pointing out the severity of teenagers being tried as adults.


            But the issue of race and media is not exclusive to black and white. Take for example, the Oklahoma City bombing in April 19 of 1995. Just hours after the explosions were reported; the news wires become flooded with claims off evidence that linked Muslim groups to the attack. In fact, the media accepted the idea that only an extremist group could have pulled off the bombing. They were correct of course, but it was a white extremist group that generally didn't trust the government. The arrest McVeigh left the nation in shock in part because Americans had to face the fact that it was one of their own who was guilty of the attacks. But even after those attacks, the FBI was not exactly breaking down the doors of most separatist groups or other violent racist and Christian groups. Even after a rather a high rate of bombings of prenatal clinics and assassinations of doctors by the so called "army of God" Yet when we look back on the year, the World Trade Center bombing tends to be the bombing that is brought up the most. Further disturbing is that this group does or did have names of several doctors on a website of those doctors that perform abortions. 


            Then there is the hate mongering spittle that started on the radio and then moved to television. The names are rather long, from Rush Limbaugh to Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan. Listening to their messages is rather chilling since it is not so unlike what one would expect to hear from the Taliban or a 19th century Southern US lynch mob.  And yet this group continues to get air time. Yet one could still go further with examples than where I have with this piece but it would take an entire 700 page book to cover any substantial ground on how bad this problem really is.


Until Next time.  

















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Posted to ProBlogs.com on Monday, November 05, 2007
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