Saturday, October 08, 2011

Umar and Me

I was jaywalking in front of the U.S. courthouse early Wednesday morning when I was nearly run over by the black SUV transporting Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab  and its police escort, sirens wailing up Fort Street, hell-bent-for election to get the prisoner to court for jury selection.   It occurred to me later how that was  the second near-miss I’ve had from passenger Abdulmutallab. The other was when he tried to blow up an Airbus 330 above my house.

Or am I just getting a complex?

Jury selection for the U-bomber’s trial was finished Thursday.

Exactly on cue the U-bomber’s legal adviser, Anthony Chambers, complained that he was “not pleased” with the racial makeup of the jury.

"By appearance, it does not represent the community. That should be clear."

And what he means “by appearance,” is that the jury– two blacks, one Indian, and nine whites -- isn’t divided equally enough between blacks and whites.  Chambers is a prominent fixture of the Detroit criminal defense bar. As such, it’s a mere reflex for him to attack the racial makeup of a jury.  For years Detroit’s defense attorneys have claimed that a black defendant can’t possibly get a fair trial unless the jury predominantly represents “the community,” which, in most cases, means black Detroiters.  The intrinsically racist logic behind this is that black jurors will not convict black robbers, rapists, drug dealers, and murderers because, obviously, the jurors understand that both they and the accused are all fellow victims of white injustice.

Which is, of course, nuts. For years low-profile black defendants have been getting convicted by majority black juries, who quite reasonably don’t want these punks destroying their neighborhoods any more than they already have.  In higher-profile cases, because they involve higher-profile attorneys and greater publicity, race will become an issue if at all possible.   

I do think this was a pro forma by Chambers; after the defendant is convicted, he’s going to have to have something upon which to base an appeal.  I seriously doubt Chambers believes that just because Abdulmutallab is black, he’s identified somehow with Detroit’s black community.  The case simply has nothing to do with race.  If the U-bomber had succeeded in bringing down Flight 253 over the heart of metro Detroit, the black community would have been well represented among his intended victims.

Detroit isn’t his community.  He’s not even an American. He wants to kill American blacks and whites with equal fervor.

The relevant community Abdulmutallab belongs to is the Ummah, worldwide Islam. 

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