When Walter Scott’s murderer might be set free, I was horrified. I knew something funny was going on when I heard a juror, I believe the same person who hung the jury, wrote a letter to the judge. In the letter to the judge, this juror claimed he or she was feeling pressured to change their vote. Keep in mind in this state, communication between a sitting judge and a juror who is not the foreperson is not allowed.
I’m not sure what the judge said to the letter writing juror, I do know the jury foreperson told the judge they were deadlocked but that the jury wanted go back and try to reach a unanimous decision. In South Carolina, a judge cannot legally send the jury back a third time decide a defendant’s fate but if the jury volunteers to continue, apparently a judge can allow them to go back and try to reach a decision. I just pray the officer who murdered Walter Scott doesn’t go free because one person said he or she couldn’t make up his mind. Meanwhile, his or her eleven fellow jurors felt there was enough evidence to find for a guilty verdict.
A few hours later, I finished watching two rants on Y-Tube done by Mr. Trump-elect’s supporters. In the first video, a young white woman had shopped in a discount store. In the checkout line, one of the cashiers asked the young woman if she would like to buy one of those cheap, plastic supposedly recyclable shopping bags that stores sell with their brand name on it. That set off a huge screaming session where the young woman accused the cashier who was a middle-aged African American woman of discriminating against her. When the young woman continued her rant and would not pay for the items she wanted or stepped to the side so other shoppers could take care of their business, a store manager also middle-aged African American woman came over to calm things down.
Instead of soothing the situation, the store manager’s presence seemed to add fuel to the young woman’s burning rage. She really lost it and started shrieking about how everyone was discriminating against her because she was a Trump supporter and she was calling the police. As soon as the young woman realized another customer was filming the entire episode on her cell phone, she marched over and started berating her too. At times the young woman got personal and menacing. The cell phone camera operator had a young child in a stroller with her. Watching it all, I was afraid the young woman was going to hurt the camera operator or her child as she kept moving closer to the stroller as she screamed out her hatred. The video ended when the camera operator left the building. We viewers were left with an image of a ranting young woman, cell phone pressed to her ear still screaming as store security watched from a distance.
The second video was much shorter in length and scope. It showed a young white man on a plane standing up at his seat while trying to rally follow passengers as if he was attending one of president-elect Trump’s pep rallies. He shouted some supportive Trump slogans as he waited for a reaction. Most of his fellow passengers either looked at him in disbelief or ignored him altogether.
The first thing that popped into my mind was the phrase “these people were sore losers.” Then I realized these people were part of a winning team. What was going on here? Why were these Trump supporters acting as though they’d lost something with his win? Shouldn’t they be happy that Trump was going to be the next president? As I watched more and more news shows and listened to more Trump surrogates, I was to starting hear more “I won big-time and you lost big-time words and actions.”
I didn’t seen or hear the kind of good sportsmen like behavior, I was sure I would see from a victorious group of people. I expected to the winner (Trump) shake hands with the loser (Clinton) then congratulate the loser on what a great game they played (great campaign she ran). I hoped both candidates would conduct a joint press conference or issue a joint statement about all of us being Americans and how they would work together to find common ground to unify the country again. Instead, what I heard was more fighting words from Trump’s camp while Clinton’s people just sort of disappeared into thin air.
I never thought I’d say this but I am wondering where common ground is.
This such a scary time in America. I’ve been through school desegregation, the civil rights era and the War in Viet Nam. I marched on Washington with King. Nearly 20 years later, I marched on Washington on behalf of the Air Traffic controllers Reagan fired. I lived through the Kennedy, King and Kennedy assassinations, The Women’s Rights movement and Abortion Rights. I was four blocks away from the Twin Towers on 9-11. I had a bird’s eye view of both planes hitting the Twin Towers. I walked through the neighborhood hours afterward and felt the stunned disbelief of the residents and workers as well as the overwhelming sadness of it all. I watched Bush talk about finding weapons of mass destruction so he could start a new war in the Middle East. I saw our first Black President get elected.
I said all that to say, I’ve experienced many shocking things in my life. I’ve been scared before but never this frightened by what’s about to happen in America when Trump becomes President. I’m not particularly religious but I’m gonna pray for USA.
Update: I wrote this blog before the judge in the Walter Scott case declared a mistrial; and the before the CIA released information claiming Russian interference in our elections was done to help Mr. Trump become president and to cause distrust in the American system of democracy.
Thanks for reading.