Monday, July 13, 2009

Killer Walks After 24 Days, Media Yawns

Well, at least someone noticed what the rest of the media won't.
SOCIAL, political and racial commentators and activists for years have told us that justice in this country unjustly favors wealthy white Americans, those who can buy their way out of serious problems. And I've never doubted that.

And so I was kind of thinking and hoping that late last week, when that kind of justice shifted to favor a black American, that some significant, albeit perverse, progress had been made -- and, fair being fair, those same voices would make a lot of media-delivered noise in response.

Fat chance.

Early on the morning of March 14 of this year, Donte Stallworth, two weeks after signing a $35 million free-agent deal to play wide receiver for the Browns, was driving his Bentley in Miami Beach when he struck and killed Mario Reyes, 59. Stallworth, previously entered in the NFL's substance abuse program, was charged with DUI and manslaughter.

Stallworth pleaded guilty, reached a financial settlement with Reyes' family and was sentenced to 30 days in a Miami jail. On Friday, he was released after serving 24 days. Not bad, huh? Some minor skin rashes last longer.

But neither those political, social and racial commentators and activists nor their cooperative, obedient enablers in the media seemed interested in this story.

But just imagine . . .

Imagine if Stallworth had been a white pro athlete, his dead victim black, and Stallworth had escaped with a cash settlement and 24 days of three hots and a cot in the local lockup.

Imagine the outraged noise the Rev. Al Sharpton would have made -- and he'd have been right -- about perverted justice. Imagine the noise the media, from CNN to ESPN, would have made. There would have been televised town meetings, protest rallies and demands to remove the district attorney.

So here was an opportunity to clearly and loudly note that significant progress has been made: In America, people of privilege, black and white, now can get away with manslaughter.

But nothing. Opportunity lost. Maybe, because the story didn't meet with activists' preordained agendas, it was ignored. And maybe, because the media just don't have the stomachs for reporting impolitic truths, it made small news. But, geez, if it's equality under the law we demand, well, progress is progress.
At least NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has the good sense to suspend Stallworth indefinitely. But how much do you want to bet he'll be accused of racism if he's deemed too harsh on Stallworth? That'll happen a heck of a lot faster than race pimps like Sharpton ever open their big mouths about this outrageous injustice.

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