Monday, November 24, 2008

Blind Justice


So the “Justice For Jason” roadshow came to Amherst ‘s taxpayer funded Bangs Community Center this evening for one of those organizational –community-activist- outreach –strategy- sessions. First of all, they could use some work on their signage.

Only a handful of folks attended compared to the mob that marched on District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel’s office last Wednesday to publicly pressure her into dropping charges against Vassell.

Yeah, now there’s an antic even PT Barnum would have had second thoughts about. Trying to physically intimidate a female DA while searching for self-styled justice reminds me of that old anti-war slogan from the 60’s: “Killing for peace is like Fu_king for chastity.”

Whatever happened to “give peace a chance”?

6 comments:

Ed said...

The other thing these folk are trying is to pressure the UM Admin to re-admit him as a student -- he either withdrew before he could be expelled or was expelled, a distinction without a difference, after university officials viewed the videotapes of him stabbing the other two men.

Lets look at who made the decision to boot him:

JoAnne Vanin, the Dean of Students (and who many may know as the ARHS girls basketball coach). She is black.

Her supervisor, Esther Terry, is also black. Many may know her as the head of the UM Affirmative Action Office (EOD office) and/or as the chair of the AfroAm department. She is also an outspoken civil rights advocate and was involved in the Jim Crow struggles of the 1960s down in the South.

And her supervisor at the time was Chancellor Cole, who also is black.

So you have three black administrators, two of whom are well known to this community, with the ability to let Jason Vassall remain as a UM student. They also either saw the videotape or spoke with someone who had -- and thus may know things that we don't at this point.

Thus while I am not a believer in tokenism, if one wishes to argue that the decision to boot Vassall was racist, one must first argue that these black administrators were racist, as they are the ones who made the decision...

And when they have the special town meeting to demand "Justice for Jason", I suggest that people remember this fact. It was not the faceless UMass who booted him, it was specific people whom you know who did it. Do you think them to be racists biased against AfroAmericans? -- And if you don't, then it stands to reason that the decision they made, with access to information you don't have, wasn't racist either....

Ed said...

One other thing: Hoose & Ryan (Jason Vassall's defense team) have *not* filed a "Motion to Dismiss" -- a point made last week in the DA's response to the petitions.

Perhaps those with more experience with criminal prosecutions might care to comment, but my take on this is rather simple: in response to the motion, the DA is required (and allowed) to lay out her case and show what she has.

Were there some really damning facts that weren't yet in the public domain, this would put them there. And thus the only reason not to file such a motion is because there is someting that will spin public opinion away from your client should it become known....

LarryK4 said...

There you go again--putting those damn facts in the way.

But, if we're keeping score, Michael Thelwell (you know the highly paid Umass professor with a bullhorn threatening the next demonstration could get "disruptive") is black.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why the two guys started yelling things through his window in the first place? Just walking along and picked a random window to be obnoxious? Seems to have gotten quite heated very quickly. Will be interesting when this does go to court and the rest of the facts come out. Something just doesn't add up.

Ed said...

Larry, Michael Thelwell actually is NOT black. I hear he is actually Cape Verdian but I honestly thought he was white.

And how much does a special town meeting cost the town? This is one case where I would have no problem with the town handing UMass a bill for it, I would walk right in and ask them to deduct it from faculty pay raises...

And you know that there is going to be a special town meeting....

Ed said...

The UMass police have stated under oath that the two men were looking for a girl who lived on the third floor of the dorm. They walked up to the window and were talking to two girls (white girls) in the dorm room.

At this point, Vassall intervened, became irate, and "the window became broken." (I personally believe that Vassall himself broke it...)

The police had video of the two white men outside the room, but not of anyone INSIDE it - and had they seen either break the window from the outside, they would have charged him with destruction over $250 (windows cost about $300 to fix, these are plate glass windows).

Oh, and they are all from the same part of MetroBoston and all knew each other.

My gut feeling -- well how many times have we had drunken young men fighting at 5AM over a girl????