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Tough situation: John White verdict

July 2010, insightful comments from Joy Brown at Newsday: here.

Onthewilderside commentary from May 2010 below:

KW: Mostly, I am glad that I was not the judge or jury in this situation. The whole situation is infused with profound sadness, shadows of racism, and with moral questions and confusion. I do hope that John White receives a fair amount of justice and consideration. And, I do see many layers of classism, racism, and white privilege that caused the situation to erupt, and then caused John White to be convicted in the way he was.  See my comments on the end-quote from the AP/Boston Herald story.

(excerpts from) The Boston Herald
Black NYer loses appeal in white teen’s shooting

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – A black homeowner dealing with a mob of white teens allegedly spewing racial epithets outside his home should have called police, not confronted them with a loaded pistol, an appeals court said as it upheld his manslaughter conviction in the death of one of the teens.

The ruling by a State Supreme Court appellate panel of four judges rejected several legal arguments made by attorneys for 56-year-old John White. The ruling was posted on a court website late Thursday.

White was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the August 2006 killing of Daniel Cicciaro Jr. He also was found guilty of a weapons charge.

He was sentenced to 2-to-4 years in prison, much less than the maximum of 15 years….

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a statement that he is “pleased that the court agreed with the prosecution that the defendant’s actions were not justified under our law and that this tragedy could have been avoided had Mr. White stayed inside his home and called 911.”

KW:  I find that Thomas Spota’s comment displays transparent and appalling white privilege, to the point of profound, cultural naivety if he believes his own words. It is fine, for Thomas Spota, a white politician, to think that if he is in trouble, he should call the police to come help him. Though, if you are a black man in America, and a black man living in a white suburb, it may not be as clear to you, and it may not be true for you, that calling the police means that you will be rescued.

It really makes me wonder, if Tom Spota thinks that John White’s only reaction and only answer should have been to call 9-11. Has Tom Spota ever heard any story about police abuse, racial profiling, or discrimination? Did the Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. news story ever come to Tom Spota’s attention? Police do not always come to the rescue of a black man in his own home.

One Response

  1. whitey never ceases to outrage
    call the police when the mob is at ur door
    what other brilliant gems of advice might they have?

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