The Supreme Court has just “benchslapped” the notoriously nutty Ninth Circuit for voiding the conviction of a black rapist who whined that the jury contained but a single African-American.
Fueling the rapist`s challenge was the Batson v. Kentucky case, which, as I`ve written before, makes zero sense. Its holding is basically that a potential juror in a criminal case cannot be excluded solely for racial reasons, a rule admittedly based more on a “racial dignity” rationale than a Constitutional right.
Because ultimately, the prosecutor wants blacks struck for the same reason the defense lawyer wants them on. Both assume that the they`ll acquit the black defendant. Both are unabashedly engaging in the exact same racial generalization: a black juror is more likely to sympathize with a black defendant, suspect the police of being racist, etc. So it`s no more “racist” for the prosecutor to get his way than for the defense attorney to get his.
But of course, in America, “racist” isn`t so much defined as the making of racial generalizations, it`s defined as those racial generalizations that hurt blacks. Or other current minorities. Blacks, in other words, are arguing not that they`ve got the right to a “fair” jury, but one that will vote their way.
In a country where the black Attorney General speaks of “my people” – and does not mean “the American people” — it`s not unexpected racial partisanship.