Thursday, June 16, 2005

 

Why I feel good about the Jackson Molestation trial verdict

I think that the vast majority of people who have paid attention to Michael Jackson's antics would are thinking that were there is smoke there is fire. I know I do. But I still feel good about the verdict reached by this jury because it demostrates a few aspects of the American character which I find reassuring.

First of all, I admit that I did not follow the trial more closely than I had to. If the topic of a show I was watching was the trial I would change the channel. Even so, it was impossible not to have some of the details slip into my unconscious mind and the impression I got was that the accuser and his family were a bunch of grifters. Apparently that is the way the jury saw it and they decided that con men (women and children in this case) should not be rewarded eventhough Michael Jackson has become the poster boy ;-) for child molestation. I like the fact that a jury did not want to punish Michael for his past behavior. They stuck to the facts at hand and did not prejudge him. I find this immensely reassuring because, as a conservative, I will always have a little doubt about the ability of the majority of Americans to live up to the ideals set out in the justice system.

The other reason I feel good about this is that by all reasonable standards of behavior Michael Jackson is weird. More than that, he is a black man who is weird. His jury was made up of people who could not have been more different than Michael and they set that aside. It makes me proud to be an American knowing that we are a fairly prejudice free people. Living in Moscow and interacting with Russians, Europeans of all strips and many other nationalities that have gathered in this city I find that Americans enjoy the reputation of being much more likely to be color blind. We are far less class conscious and more likely to judge people by the content of their character.

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