Hi readers. New Orleans, maybe 1987, somewhere in there. The year Jesse Jackson ran for Prez. I was there for the American Public Health Association Convention and Jesse [I figure we’re close enough now so’s I can call him Jesse] was speaking at the next session. But right now there was a General Assembly and all that dreary nap-taking I’d slipped away from.
So there I was, standing in front of a urinal in the New Orleans Convention Center and two giant black guys step up behind me, tell me I’ve got to get out-the-restroom. I scowl and tell them I’ll be gone in a sec, but trying to speed the process wouldn’t help.
One of them touched my arm and I explained, while still occupied below, I wasn’t looking for sex. I mentioned it because a lot of attendees at the APHA that year were definitely looking for sex in the restrooms. They were giving away rubbers on the Exhibit Area booths and people were running back and forth from the rubber exhibits to the restroom stalls to try them out.
The black guy in a suit I’d just explained about not looking for sex to paused a moment and seemed to debate what to do next when Jesse Jackson stepped up, patted him, grinned at me, and told him, “It’s all right. I got to piss!”
From that time until this I’ve always considered myself something of an expert on racial relations.
Anyway, I just want to say, I think Jesse would have stood up better under scrutiny if he’d stayed the hell out of Ferguson, him and Al Sharpton, both.
Everyone else who doesn’t live there, also.
Fact is, this is going to run the whole course, due process is going to see the light of day. It’s too big and too widespread for anyone to sweep it under the carpet.
Due process. Which is the best anyone can hope for. Nobody knows precisely what happened, nobody’s seen all the evidence, and no good will come from any of us trying to second guess it now. It is no longer our affair.
You, and Jesse Jackson, and I, and everyone else probably don’t need to be trying the almost certainly guilty-as-hell cop on the Internet. A jury is going to do that. Plenty of admissible evidence will come forward and some sort of justice will be done, one-way-or-the-other. It’s how America works.
And if they turn him loose even under national scrutiny the folks in Ferguson can hunt him down and lynch him. It’s how things have been done throughout American history whenever the law didn’t properly atone for the sins where racial matters are involved.
The tail end of due process, more-or-less.
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