A Reader Shares His Experience With America’s Multicultural Jury Pool
From: An American Member Of The Jury Pool [Email him]
I meant to write you about my experience with jury duty, and it’s relevant now with Derb talking about sanitation in hellhole countries, since this court case involved a water treatment plant and an African.
This jury selection happened in the summer of 2016. The high point of my story was that the 92-year-old federal judge in charge criticized Trump’s proposed Moslem-ban while introducing the case to the jury pool. This was in June, when Trump wasn’t even the nominee yet.
The case was a lawsuit in federal court, a guy from Africa (I don’t know whether he was a U.S. citizen) suing the municipal water service in Connecticut that had fired him for incompetence, claiming they had discriminated based on his country of origin, which is against a federal law. I was eager to ask two questions if I made it onto the jury: first, was the company prejudiced when it hired him, or only when it fired him, and second, what black African country had so much potable water everywhere that it was sending its educated engineers to help the poor thirsty people of Connecticut? (This also relates to the brain-drain that people mentioned with the Haiti comments.)
The story seemed familiar, and I worried that I might have heard about it already on Radio Derb as an example of the ingratitude of those who make us great, and that someone would find out and declare me biased.
One woman who did make the jury was a Moslem in a headscarf from Bangladesh, and she teared up telling how her husband left there to work in a Dunkin Donuts here, as if we need that. I think that was when the judge explained that you can’t discriminate against countries or religions like this Trump guy says, banning one religion, and the judge bragged about how many new citizens he swears in each month. I was cringing thinking that any careless word from him, like “Trump,” would let the plaintiff appeal and waste a good verdict.
I also resented the presence of a Chinese juror speaking stilted English when she said she works for Goldman Sachs. I can see an argument that we need more doctors, but I’m skeptical of any good Goldman Sachs is doing for anyone else, and I don’t think they should import more intelligent workers to help scam us. I was surprised at first by how resentful everyone was at pulling jury duty, thinking they were really scared about the responsibility of passing judgment, but the attitude made sense when we heard they’d settled out of court after that whole day of trouble wasted.
The judge seemed like a bull in a china shop to me. In questioning the pool of eighty, he made one lady say she’s on methadone, and he made an FBI employee choke up and cry, saying “So you were called to Sandy Hook? That was pretty rough, huh?” The lawyers were deferential and scared. It occurred to me that someone in his position, with everyone so subservient, needed a Fool like King Lear’s to bring him down to earth. Maybe that is one cause of our kritarchy.