The New Jim Crow Jury: Republicans in Congress

4 mins read

See if this sounds familiar or if it reminds you of any recent events… 

There was a time when a non-white person living in America could be beaten, whipped, lynched, or murdered and for the most part, nothing would be or could be done about it. Even if there was a trial, it would be to no avail. Many times there would be no witnesses because of threats and intimidation by the accused. Failing to heed the warnings would likely result in seclusion, being ostracized, or being attacked by certain “friends” of the accused in the middle of the night. Many times a Jim Crow jury would simply acquit the defendant no matter how much evidence of guilt was presented. (Is it sounding familiar yet? Let’s keep going.)

Living in a reality where you could be beaten, whipped, lynched, or murdered by someone who knew there would be no consequences – someone who was assured they could do WHATEVER they wanted with no repercussions sounds more like a third world tyrannical regime than America (is it possible that someone is trying to turn America into a tyrannical regime?) It was as if someone could stand in the middle of the town square & lynch someone and they wouldn’t lose a single supporter; in fact the perpetrator could even gloat about it or take souvenirs such as unmentionable body parts and family pictures standing around the hanging body.

This was NOT a groovy culture for people of color. And by the way, let’s not forget what happened to the white Freedom Riders that accompanied Congressman John Lewis in 1961 and the murders of the white Freedom Summer activist in 1964. If you were a white sympathizer (I think they called them progressives and liberals), then you would get the same treatment as non-whites. Notwithstanding, NO JURY WOULD CONVICT THE AGGRESSORS. Scary huh? Sound familiar?

Does this attitude or mindset match anyone that we are aware of from recent events? Was there a recent jury so hell-bent on acquitting in the face of overwhelming evidence that they didn’t even want to waste their time or be bothered with witnesses who would only magnify the level of guilt already present? I wonder if the lawyer Matthew McConaughey portrayed in “A Time To Kill” would have been able to sway the Republican in Congress.

I would have never thought that in the year 2020 there would be almost no noticeable difference between a Jim Crow jury and a Republican majority Senate.

I would have never thought that in the year 2020 I would see the character of the Civil Rights Era atrocities return in such a blatant fashion and find a home among the Republicans in Congress.

It also appears that in 2020 there’s no distinguishing between Christians & non-Christians, nor conservatives & liberals, nor gays & non-gays, nor even Republicans & non-Republicans. In 2020 the line of demarcation is very clear – either you are a Trump APPEASER or you are not.

By the way, does anybody remember what the little German guy from the 1940’s with the funny little mustache did when leaders decided to just APPEASE  him? He was another guy who (when left unchecked) decided to do whatever he wanted to do also. I’m just saying… 

Originally posted on A Few Minutes for Millennials. Re-posted with permission.

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Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law

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