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  1. #1
    Patriot for my state VanEyck's Avatar
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    Default Real life examples of racism/sexism: What have you seen?

    I'll start by describing my jury duty experience.

    So I got selected for jury duty, and it turned out to be a murder trial. The trial went something like this...

    Part I: What Happened
    Three black teenagers exit a nightclub. They are friends. A fourth black teenager approaches them, shoots the one in the middle, then speeds off on a bicycle.

    Coincidentally, an off-duty homocide cop, on his way home, witnesses the entire thing while driving by in his car. He jumps out of the car and starts chasing the murderer but isn't able to catch him. So he returns to help tend to the victim and to radio for some on-duty uniformed cops to come handle the scene.

    The uniformed cops arrive and they are dealing with the scene, when the off-duty cop notices a guy in the crowd who looks suspiciously like the assailant. He not only resembled the killer, but was wearing identical clothing, sweating profusely and breathing heavily as if he had recently been in a chase of some kind. The off-duty homocide cop knew from experience that murderers often return to the scene of the crime, so he thought that it might be a good idea to detain this guy and question him. So he tells the uniformed cops to "Catch that guy!"

    What followed was a 40 minute chase wherein the suspect led these police officers down dark streets, and through back alleys. He even kicked in some poor old lady's back door and ran through her house and out her front door. The cops only caught him with aid from the helicopter.

    They take him to the station where a scientific test was performed on his hands. The test showed, with 99% accuracy, that the suspect had fired a gun within the past hour. Needless to say, he is held for some time.

    Later, for some reason that I do not remember, the cops let him go.

    Still later, a superior officer asked about this case and learned that the guy was released! So he orders the officers to immediately re-apprehend the guy.

    So they go out and arrest a young black teenager.

  2. #2
    Patriot for my state VanEyck's Avatar
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    Part II: The Trial
    1st witness: a black woman in her late 20s. It is revealed on the stand that she is a crack addict. It is also revealed that she had a horrible view of the incident, being almost 2 blocks away, and being high at the time. But, nonetheless, she says that she is sure the defendant IS the shooter.

    2nd witness: one of the two friends of the deceased who was next to him when he got shot. He says that he IS NOT SURE if the defendant is the shooter or not.

    3rd witness: the other friend who was present at the shooting. He says that the defendant definitely IS NOT the shooter.

    4th witness: the off-duty homocide cop (white male, 30s or 40s). It is revealed that he is highly regarded on the force and that he has a great deal of experience in homocide cases. He describes what happened outside the club (see above). And he says, with certainty, that the defendant IS NOT the shooter.

    5th witness: one of the three uniformed cops who chased and caught the suspect (white male 20s). He says that the defendant definitely IS NOT the guy that he chased.

    6th witness another of the 3 uniformed cops that chased the guy. He says that the defendant definitely IS NOT the guy he chased.

    7th witness the scientist who tested the suspect's palms (white male, 40s). He describes what happens chemically when a gun is fired and explains why the test is reliable. Then he says with certainty that the defendant IS NOT the guy whose hand he tested.

  3. #3
    Patriot for my state VanEyck's Avatar
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    Part III: Deliberation
    At this point the judge asks us to deliberate in the next room until we reach a unanimous verdict of guilty or not guilty. But before we go in the room, we are instructed that our decision must be based entirely on the evidence presented in the trial. Evidence comes in three forms: stipulations, exhibits, and testimony. Our decision must be based only on the evidence. Lack of evidence, like things that were NOT mentioned in anyone's testimony cannot be a factor in our decision. He also reminds us that a person is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    So we go into the room. Immediately, 10 of the 12 people want to vote guilty. Only myself, and a young white female med student, were willing to vote not guilty.

    We argued for a long time. I took up the role of arguing for not guilty, and a white lady (30s) took up the arguments for guilty.

    I wish I could remember all of her arguments, but here are some of them (and my replies in parens):

    1- "Clearly he's guilty." (how can you say that when only one person said that, and she is the least credible witness with the worse view. Nearly everyone else said it was NOT him!)

    2- "He just looks guilty." (What! Are you serious?? The judge said to base our decision on evidence only.)

    3- "Well, clearly he's a bad man or else the police wouldn't have arrested him. If he didn't do this one, then he did some other crime. Let's just send him to jail." (We have to base our decision on evidence that was presented in the trial)

    4- "Well, if he's so innocent, why didn't his lawyer put him on the stand and just ask him if he did it? See, he's guilty." (We cannot base our decision on lack of evidence. We cannot base it on something that was not said. We have to go by what was said in the trial.)

    5- "I don't like him. Doesn't he look like a killer?" (Haven't we been through this?)

    After much debate which resembled the above "arguments," she settles on #6 below.

    6- "Well, the crackhead said he did it, and I believe her." (Over all of the cops!! Over the scientist!! Over the victim's own friend!! She was high for goodness sakes!!! And really far away!)

    After so much arguing, which pretty much only involved me and her, it was difficult to gauge whether I had swayed any of the 10 who wanted to vote guilty. They were pretty much silent. A couple of them definitely agreed with my opponent. I didn't know what to do. The med student and myself were aghast.

    In the end, the two of us just had to say, "look, we're not voting guilty. So the only way to reach a verdict is if you all vote not guilty." So the standoff began.

    It didn't last terribly long. I kept talking to the med student and saying to her how much I can't believe they would send him to jail and how there is no way whatsoever I would ever vote guilty. After maybe 5 minutes, one of the silent ones looked at his watch and said, "look, I don't want to be here all day. Who cares if he's innocent or not, let's just vote innocent so we can get outta here." Everyone else agreed. Even my opponent, still stubbornly adhering to her "guilty" position for so long said, "fine, if I get to go home."

    So we reached a not guilty verdict. Praise be to God.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Lord of Denial's Avatar
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    My wife is chinese and we get comments on being an interracial couple every now and again. I have also heared and had to defend her agains racial slurs more then once.

  5. #5
    Nyah! Paradox's Avatar
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    I was born in 1960 to a father that was essentially Archie Bunker. Examples are FAR too numerous to mention, both from him and from the era in general.

    He got better later, though.
    'Dox out.

    "But I think the difference is, when Democrats go crazy, they get shown the door. When Republicans go crazy they get appointed to the Science committee. " - Shawn Hopkins

    "Can it, you nit!" - Violet Beauregard

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  6. #6
    Nyah! Paradox's Avatar
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    By the way, Van, they all suck as jurors. You're not there to determine guilt or innocence. You're there to determine if the prosecution has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether any of you personally think the guy did it or not is totally irrelevant.
    'Dox out.

    "But I think the difference is, when Democrats go crazy, they get shown the door. When Republicans go crazy they get appointed to the Science committee. " - Shawn Hopkins

    "Can it, you nit!" - Violet Beauregard

    "And Paradox is never correct. About anything."- Kid Omega


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  7. #7
    Elder Member The Batman's Avatar
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    I guess the biggest thing would have to be the reaction of my grandparents on my dad's side that I'm not too close to the news that my aunt would be marrying a black guy. We're Italian and it was 1988 and I was younger so I think I missed the worst of it but I know that they were pretty upset about it and I'm pretty sure that it was because he was black.

    Then again, 18 years or so later and they've pretty much accepted my uncle Dave, though it might be that he makes really good money working for IBM Canada and they're just snobs.

    I've heard stories of racist treatment from a few of my black friends but I've never really seen any of it first hand.

  8. #8
    Skillet! i_mmmchocolate's Avatar
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    What about ageism?

    I can't tell you how many times I've been ignored by store employees the minute an older person walks through their doors. Suddenly, they become helpfu-- just not for me.
    Last edited by i_mmmchocolate; 10-25-2006 at 02:46 PM.

  9. #9
    Patriot for my state VanEyck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox
    By the way, Van, they all suck as jurors. You're not there to determine guilt or innocence. You're there to determine if the prosecution has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether any of you personally think the guy did it or not is totally irrelevant.
    That's true. But the reason why I refused to vote guilty was because they failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was guilty. There was so much doubt it was rediculous!! Virtually everyone said he didn't do it!

    Besides this is a summary of what happened. In my actual arguments I mentioned doubt quite a lot.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Haunt's Avatar
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    1) i got denied entrance to a white playmate's birthday party when i was 8. Chris, my friend at the time, had invited me without his parent's knowing. a little over ten years later i found out that Chris' dad is a friend of the now-incarcerated Matt Hale. i never forgot that incident but can't remember what happened to the gift i bought Chris.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_F._Hale


    2) when i was 12, my little brother and i used to ride our bikes to Wal-Mart every day for exercise (this is before the big kidnapping scare of course); usually buying something to drink for the way back.) well one day my brother decided to buy a pack of baseball cards with his allowance money. the checkout is within 7 feet of the exit and in front of the exit was a "greeter" (i think that's the term). anyways, the greeter (who happens to be a member of the Walton family, go figure) was eyeing us hard. and, after watching my brother pay for the baseball guards and get a receipt, she decides to stop my brother. she searches through his bags and then makes him take off his jacket so she could check the pockets. i didn't think it was racism back then, again, i was a pretty stupid kid.

    3) as a high schooler i found myself in an all-white (except for me, of course) advanced literature course. to my horror, the overly-liberal teacher decided that my presence warranted a change in the curriculum. let's just say that we read a lot of black-themed books. i'm sure that she meant well but all it did was make me a circus freak. that kid, Chris, whom i mentioned earlier. well he was his father by this point but blended in a lot better. he and 3 other guys who identified with him (it was basically half of the school's wrestling team) used to put emphasis on the word 'nigger' when they'd read aloud in class. or they'd ask me if i ate a lot of watermelon. and, at one point, a kid (Nate) made an argument for bringing back racism. how did this topic come up, you ask? well the liberal teacher was also a feminist. she had the class split up into two groups. on one side were the proponents of women's rights and the other were basically the guys in the classroom; except me and my friend Joe. it got heated in that classroom quick. like little Rush Limbaughs, the anti-feminist side started spouting off every little theory that popped into their heads. and it's all fair game because this is an "advanced" class. anyways, i should stop talking about this because it makes me want to hit something.


    4) i went fishing with my dad; a few years back. we stopped at a burger king, afterwards. while i was waiting in line i heard some guy (sitting down eating with his small children) mutter "damn niggers." i turned around and he just tried to stare me down. it was a short encounter but i thought i'd mention it. there are just parts of the United States that haven't, yet, caught up.

    oh and...

    5) my self-described "good ol' boy from alabama" co-worker hates "gays." i think he's actually a closet case and that's why his wife left him. but i'm not going to say that to his face. anyways, he's saying all sorts of colorful things at the tv right now (CNN "same sex marriage debate is one").
    Last edited by Haunt; 10-25-2006 at 02:50 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dan Apodaca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_mmmchocolate
    What about ageism?

    I can't tell you how many times I've been ignored by store employees the minute an older person walks through their doors. Suddenly, they become helpfu-- just not for me.
    That's because old people go and complain. Young people just say "fuck it" and go to another store.

  12. #12
    Skillet! i_mmmchocolate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Apodaca
    That's because old people go and complain. Young people just say "fuck it" and go to another store.
    True.

    I think the funniest bit about both occasions was that I actually was going to spend money at these places. The older folks were just browsing and left after a few minutes.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Stellar's Avatar
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    I used to go to school with a guy who had dreadlocks. Nice guy, always had excellent grades and came from a good family. At the beginning of every school year, we have somewhat of an initiation for new students and sophomores go to companies to ask for sponsorship. So he goes to Choi's store, the biggest Supermarket in the country, to ask for sponsorship.
    As soon as he set foot in there, two chinese men grabbed him, slammed him against the wall and asked him what he was doing there. So he showed them the note from the school's principal asking for sponsorship.

    Several days later when he told our Dutch teacher about, she went over there and stuck it to those suckers real bad. She criticized their methods, but never once insulted them because of their ethnicity. She would have gone to court if the student they attacked didn't tell her he just wanted to drop the whole thing and forget it.


    Same school, a few years earlier. An Indian (Hindu) girl who was new at the school shouted 'I HATE BLACK PEOPLE!' during recess. Big mistake.
    After school, several black sophomore students drove circles around her on scooters. A Hindu teacher looked and and told us all afterwards 'serves her right.'
    ♫ "I want to disturb my neighbor
    Cause I'm feeling so right
    I want to turn up my disco
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    In a rub-a-dub style, in a rub-a-dub style"♫

  14. #14
    Nyah! Paradox's Avatar
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    VanEyck is introduced to my bumbling speech patterns:

    That's true. But the reason why I refused to vote guilty was because they failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was guilty. There was so much doubt it was rediculous!! Virtually everyone said he didn't do it!

    Besides this is a summary of what happened. In my actual arguments I mentioned doubt quite a lot.
    Oh, yes, that wasn't all that clear of me. THEY sucked. YOU did it right.
    'Dox out.

    "But I think the difference is, when Democrats go crazy, they get shown the door. When Republicans go crazy they get appointed to the Science committee. " - Shawn Hopkins

    "Can it, you nit!" - Violet Beauregard

    "And Paradox is never correct. About anything."- Kid Omega


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  15. #15
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_mmmchocolate
    What about ageism?

    I can't tell you how many times I've been ignored by store employees the minute an older person walks through their doors. Suddenly, they become helpfu-- just not for me.

    They'll get around to helping you when you're grown up.

    Durned whippersnappers.

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