Sunday, January 23, 2011

Funny or Disturbing?

Court rules a white teen who stabbed a classmate to death will face the jury as a black man.

According to the Onion News network, a satire organization, Hanah Stevenson, a white 16-year old, arrested for stabbing a classmate to death with a screwdriver, will face jurors as a 300 pound black man by the name of Montel Brown.

The story as parody still speaks to the realities of our criminal justice system.

The Onion produced footage of Stevenson’s arraignment where Wayne County Circuit Judge Thomas Lemont declares that the teen will be depicted as a 300 pound, muscular black man. The jury is instructed to imagine the teen as such.

The defendant’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson, are seen denouncing the decision before members of the press:

“We’re going to do our best to make sure Hannah is treated with the sympathy and sensitivity that she as a photogenic white girl deserves,” said Mrs. Stevenson.

Judge Rules White Girl Will Be Tried As Black Adult

The Onion News Network commentator Brooke Alvarez, reports that the Stevenson’s want their daughter, at most, tried as a “black celebrity or a stunningly beautiful Filipino lady.”

The story, I’m guessing, attempts to make a point about the racial injustice inherent in the criminal justice system. I applaud the effort. Still, joke or not, it speaks to the not-so-subtly reality that this nation condones a racist judicial system, one that treats blacks accused of crimes as stereotypes while extending “sympathy and sensitivity”to white suspects.

It's a joke on The Onion but a reality for more than half of the country's 2.2 million prisoners who happen to be African American.

“This is America,” an emotional Mr. Stevenson thundered before the press. “Nobody deserves to be treated as a black man!”

Funny, I suppose, except to those black men who live the reality.


Anonymous said...

I think the judge is doing the right thing. She stabbed someone to death so she should be treated the same as every other African American murderer. These rules should apply to everyone so that everyone is treated equally. she is not a beautiful female but a bad person with a cold heart and she deserves to suffer like that poor classmate of hers. If I was to meet the judge I would shake his hand!!

Sylvester Brown, Jr. said...

OK, I get your point. Just want to make sure you know the story isn't real. The Onion is a satire site. It makes relevant points by promoting made-up news. I've been fooled by the it myself. They do convincing news footage. However, your point is valid. Everyone should be treated equal.

Christopher said...

It was the funniest thing on the show that night.