Just read an article on CNN about the Philando Castile verdict. For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Castile was shot and killed by a police officer in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota called Falcon Heights.
It is not the purpose of this post for me to tell you whether or not I think the shooting was justified or if mr. Castile was murdered. I have not heard all the evidence and it is not my place to say one way or the other.
Today the police officer was returned a verdict by the jury of his peers and was found not guilty.
The point of this post is to address the comments made by someone in the CNN article regarding the jury. This article states:
The “she” in the article is a woman named Theresa St Aroro. I could find no other information about this woman other than the obvious fact that she is a racist.
“Whoa! Wait a minute,” you say. “How do you know she’s a racist?” Because she said, ” I don’t think this was a fair jury at all, made up of more than half middle-aged white people.”
This statement tells us two things:
1. She believes that white people won’t return a fair verdict. This is racist.
2. She thinks there should have been more minorities on the jury. This implies that if there had been more minorities on the jury then he would have received Justice whereas with mostly white people he could not. This point is closely related to the first but it’s important to be clear that her thinking is that somehow this police officer should have been tried by a jury that most closely resembles Mr Castile’s skin color.
This is ludicrous. Looking at the city of Saint Paul, MN demographically, it is 66.7% white, 13.5% black, 12.4% Asian, 8.9% Latino, and the rest is a mix of Pacific Islander, Native American, etc. Given that the jury is comprised of 12 people, each juror should represent 8.3% of the population of the city. According to these numbers, to most closely represent the racial demographic of St.Paul, eight of the jurors should be white, 1.5 should be black 1.5 should be Asian and one should be Hispanic. Given the fact that the article does not list the racial demographics of the trial other than to say that over half of them were white and two of them were black, it sounds like they did a good job and getting an accurate representation.
Actually, the shooting happened in Falcon Heights, which is only 8% black, so it could be said that the number of black people on the jury was twice what it should have been.
It could be said, but not by me because I’m not a racist who thinks that one skin color of the juror will be fair and just while another will be unjust solely based on the color of their skin.
Probably lots of people feel the way this woman feels. That’s probably why CNN included her comments in the article. And that’s why I think we still have a problem in this country with racism.