Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A Jury Of His Peers?

The jury for Michael Moles . . . I mean, Michael Jackson has been picked. It's interesting to me that, in a country where all men (gender neutral) are created equal, the media are obsessed with the fact that there are "no African Americans" on the jury. They are, by implication or in some cases quite literally, questioning whether it is a jury of his peers. Ironically, Mr. Jackson has been spending years and thousands of dollars trying to make himself not look "African American". (Perhaps there is some room for debate on that point -- not much room, but some.)

Let's examine the concept of a peer. Here is a dictionary link for the word peer. Go check it out. I'll wait.

*hums* *checks watch* *taps foot* *checks watch again*

Ok, that's enough time. You may have noticed that a peer is someone of "equal standing with another or others, as in rank, class, or age". You also may have notice the word RACE is not there. That's because only a racist could argue that race constitutes a significant basis for distinguising between persons.

So, if race isn't valid for identifying one's peers, what is? Well, there is rank or class. If Mr. Jackson's jury is a typical jury, they will be middle-class, working Americans who live very normal lives. Okay, that doesn't help us in determining if Mr. Jackson's jury is a jury of his peers. That is, unless one is to believe that the jurors are millionaires who have amusement parks in their backyards and a jar in their respective pantries containing the bones of a deformed circus freak.

Well, I know one thing they have in common with Mr. Jackson. Unlike his alleged victims, they are all over 18 years old.