By Selywn Duke
In 2007, Kevin L. Monday Jr. was convicted for the murder of Francisco Green and received 64 years in prison. The incident ad been caught on a 3-minute video recording shot by a street performer, and the footage clearly showed Monday coolly and calculatingly firing 11 shots at Green on a crowded Seattle, Washington, street corner. Thus, despite the reluctance of witnesses to testify, it was an open-and-shut case.
But now the Washington Supreme Court, in an 8-1 ruling, has overturned the conviction and a lower court that upheld it – thus forcing a retrial – claiming that the prosecutor used “racist” arguments. What is the supposed problem? While questioning witnesses, veteran King County deputy prosecutor James Konat cited a no-snitching street code in the black community and made references to the “PO-leese.”
Writes Jennifer Sullivan of The Washington Times:
During the trial, Konat questioned witnesses, many of them black, about a purported street “code” that he claimed prevented some from talking to the police, according to the Supreme Court’s majority opinion written by Justice Tom Chambers. In questioning some witnesses, Konat made references to the “PO-leese,” the justices found.
During his closing argument to jurors, Konat also said that while witnesses denied the presence of such a code, “the code is black folk don’t testify against black folk. You don’t snitch to the police….”
Question: Can something be “racist” if it’s true? The street code in question isn’t just “purported”; it is real. And everyone, save the most sheltered and culturally naïve, knows of its existence. But I guess that the truth, if dare uttered today, will set criminals free.
The lone dissenting justice, James M. Johnson, placed matters in perspective in his dissent, writing:
[T]he majority misconstrues what the prosecutor said and does not consider the context of the statements, as our case law requires. This is what [sic] prosecutor said:
[T]he only thing that can explain . . . why witness after witness. . .is called to this stand and flat out denies what cannot be denied on that video is the code. And the code is black folk don’t testify against black folk. You don’t snitch to police.
…The prosecutor’s reference was made in the context of a month-long trial in which several witnesses recanted earlier statements made to police and expressed reluctance to testify. Indeed, the trial court noted, “[V]irtually every lay witness has been very reticent to testify in this case, and the memory of virtually every lay witness has had significant holes in places where one would not expect….”
Johnson also addresses the prosecutor’s pronunciation of the word “police,” writing:
The transcript has the prosecutor saying “po-leese” after the prosecutor had difficulty interacting with [witness] Ms. Sykes throughout her direct examination, and the prosecutor said “we’ll use your term then” once before in an unfortunate effort to elicit Ms. Sykes’ testimony. See VRP (May 22, 2007) at 14 (using the word “arguing” instead of “confrontation” in describing the surrounding events).
Johnson lastly points out that the justices in the majority have cast long-standing precedent to the winds:
[P]erhaps most vexing, the majority fails to honestly apply the holding of tried, tested, and controlling precedent. Appellate courts do not assess “‘[t]he prejudicial effect of a prosecutor’s improper comments . . . by looking at the comments in isolation but by placing the remarks ‘“in the context of the total argument, the issues in the case, the evidence addressed in the argument, and the instructions given to the jury.’’” State v. Yates….
The majority disregards the context of the total argument. The majority does not look to the issues in the case. The majority does not look to the evidence or to the instructions given to the jury. The majority looks to several comments in isolation.
Let’s be blunt: The majority has been brainwashed and is insane. Like so many today, they have “racism” on the brain and will subordinate everything to it.
This brings us back to my earlier question: The Left does say that something can be “racist” even if it’s true. And it is yet another reason why the r-word has been rendered meaningless. A prerequisite for “bigotry” or “prejudice” always was that a given belief must not only be negative, but also untrue. But “racism” was originated by the Left; it is their word and they define it. And in their relativistic fantasy-world – in which their feelings have usurped morality’s position as the yardstick for judging behavior – “racism’s” dictates trump all: It matters not if something is true, only whether it’s “racist.” This is why, in places such as Canada, we will hear nonsense about how the truth is no defense against a hate-speech charge.
And this is why I avoid using the word “racism”: The side that defines the vocabulary of a debate wins the debate. Thus, when we use the Lexicon of the Left – originated on university campuses and spread through the media – we have fallen into a Newspeak trap. The Right needs to watch its collective tongue and maintain the integrity of our language. Why walk to the beat of the civilization destroyers’ drummer? If the left wants to manipulate the language, we should let them descend into a parallel universe of linguistic insanity without us.
As for the subordination of Truth to agendas, to do it is to confess error. For a man who cannot stand on Truth is one who is standing behind a lie. It is a compulsion born of a very dark spirit, indeed.