"A 51-year-old Florida man charged with attempted first-degree murder, among other offenses, refused the help of a public defender on seemingly racial grounds during his first court appearance, WKMG-TV reported on Thursday."
“I said not guilty,” Thomas Thorpe told a judge in Orange County Court. “I pleaded not guilty and I don’t want this negro (sic) standing next to me. I don’t want a negro (sic) standing next to me.”--Arturo Garcia
Hmm, I've gained new insight as to the persistence of the racial divide in this country. Apparently there are people who have difficulty determining when racism is in play. Note how this story is careful to state that the defendant refused assistance from the public defender on "seemingly" racial grounds. Watch the clip from the news; the newscasters also are not sure if Mr. Thorpe was being a racist by announcing that he didn't want a Negro standing next to him.
Perhaps any effort to move to a post racial society should begin with basic instruction in how to recognize racism. Please don't be hurt by this, but the majority of black people will be exempt from these classes as we find it to be an instant indicator of racism when someone announces that he doesn't want a Negro to stand next to him. Especially when that Negro may be all that stands between him and spending the rest of his life in prison. Let's face it; we have superior recognizing racism radar.
By the way, the judge is concerned about Mr. Thorpe's mental fitness and has ordered that he be evaluated as to whether he is mentally fit to stand trial. Thorpe is an idiot, as racists typically are, but it's a stretch to think that spouting racism is an indicator that one is mentally ill and incapable of participating in one's own defense. If expressing racism is a sign of mental illness, we really need to get busy building a lot of new mental health facilities to house the number of unfortunate racists in these United States.
However, the larger issue regarding the ability to recognize racism is a major breakthrough in advancing to Utopia--a post racial society. This uncertainty as to when racism is present explains so much!
I have often heard many white people accuse black people of playing the race card. It's because they didn't see that there was any racism involved in an incident such as the murder of some unarmed black youth by an armed white adult male who claims that he was in fear of his life, until black people pointed it out! Of course they think we made it up because they were unable to see it for themselves!
The problem isn't racism; it's blindness.
Think that I'm wrong? Some white people are quick to assert that they don't see race! That's why they are not racists; they just have Race Blindness Syndrome (RBS). Let's hope that it's curable.
I wonder if anyone has told Mr. Thorpe that he may have to live in a prison cell with a Negro?