Ignoring Facts: Crime and Immigration are Decreasing in Arizona

The New York Times has a report (h/t J Cobas) that accents important points about immigration reality, given that craziness seems to be the norm in much debate over immigration–recently and strongly in Arizona. Given all the debates, a reader of the mainstream media would assume crime rates are up in Arizona because of undocumented immigrants (aka human beings trying to survive). The death that José pointed up here of Robert Krentz, the mild-mannered and kind Arizona rancher opposed to immigration, yet willing to help the undocumented, is used by the racist right to stir hostility to undocumented Americans from Mexico. The Times points to an important point that only occasionally gets noticed:

But the rate of violent crime at the border, and indeed across Arizona, has been declining, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as has illegal immigration, according to the Border Patrol. … F.B.I. statistics show that Arizona is relatively safe.

Recognition of that fact about crime—it is declining and lower in Arizona than in US generally—should put a damper on racist hysteria that lies behind much anti-immigrant legislation, in Arizona and beyond.

The decline in undocumented immigrants, one might think, would be factored into efforts at legislation. Why has it been largely ignored in these debates?

The Times, as is its custom too often, tries to provide “balance” to the racist right by accenting the social psychology on “both sides” (it has only two sides?) of the immigration situation:

Judith Gans, who studies immigration at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona, said that what social psychologists call self-serving perception bias seemed to be at play. Both sides in the immigration debate accept information that confirms their biases, she said, and discard, ignore or rationalize information that does not. There is no better example than the role of crime in Arizona’s tumultuous immigration debate.

Well, actually, there seems to be more ignoring of the information on the anti-immigrant side. (The social science critics of the anti-immigration folks generally have more data supporting their critique, “their side,” I can attest as a researcher in this area.) I also wonder if that anti-immigration perspective getting so much attention could have anything to do with the fact that whites, disproportionately conservative whites, control much of the mainstream print, radio, television media across the country? Immigrants and supporters, as I peruse the mainstream media, get much less say about these matters than anti-immigration folks—including the fringe on the far right. This article itself is an example, given how rare it is in the mainstream media. Indeed, few research experts on undocumented immigration seem to get called for way too many of these mainstream media stories.

There is also the fact that the Times article ignores the structural realities central to these immigration issues. These include the large number of (heavily white) employers in the U.S. Southwest and elsewhere who have actively recruited Mexican workers, now for a modest 100 years. Then there is the reason for most drug smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border: U.S. citizens consume large amounts of drugs from Mexico. One would think that supply-and-demand thinking that goes with conservative “market” perspectives would pay most attention to “demanders” of Mexican workers and Mexican-source drugs. Yet, the mostly white demanders get remarkably little attention.

Enlightened Racism in MMORPG’s

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), like World of Warcraft (WOW) and Modern Warfare 2, are becoming more popular than ever before. Accurate statistics are difficult to come by, but the top game (World of Warcraft) reportedly has over 10 million subscribers.  These numbers reflect a global ‘audience’ of participants because players are not just located in the U.S., but are located throughout the world.  While the fantasy and the disappearing of race in online gaming has been the focus of some scholarship, until now no one has taken up the practice of “griefing.”  Griefing – or pranking – is a practice of disrupting online games that dominates MMORPG’s.   In another context like a basketball court of a baseball field, this is known as “trash talking.”  It’s a way to distract other players and disrupt the game to one’s own advantage.   What seems to be unique about the online games is the way that griefing has become thoroughly racialized.

Here, in a talk delivered recently at the Berkman Center at Harvard University, Lisa Nakamura recaps the history of racist griefing online and links the current crisis in racial discourse in the US with this practice, exploring the implications for digital games as a public sphere.  Nakamura is the Director of the Asian American Studies Program, Professor in the Institute of Communication Research and Media Studies Program, and Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, and the author of the book, Digitizing Race.

A few words of context is necessary for this video, especially if you’re new to, or unfamiliar with, Internet culture.  In the first part of the talk, Nakamura spends some time referring to ‘ROFLcon’ which is a biennial convention of Internet memes that takes place at MIT.  Throughout, she also refers to 4Chan4chan users have been responsible for the formation or popularization of Internet memes such as lolcats (and the endless variety of ‘I can haz cheezeburger’ images) and Rickrolling, in which Internet destination was hijacked for a prank, so that images of Rick Astley singing “Never Gonna Give You Up” appeared instead of the page that was searched for.  She spends all this time talking about these humorous Internet memes because two of her main points in this discussion are that “racism is a meme” and that “being funny is the real currency of the popular Internet.” Here’s the talk, which is on the long side (1:10), but worth it:

To explain racist griefing, Nakamura poses the concept of “enlightened racism.” For this concept, she draws on the work of Susan Douglas’ Enlightened Sexism, which Douglas defines as a response, deliberate or not, to the perceived threat of a new gender regime. It insists that full equality has now been achieved so it’s now ok, even amusing to resurrect sexist stereotypes of girls and women. Quoting Douglas, Nakamura says, “Enlightened sexism takes the gains of the women’s movement as a given and uses them as permission to resurrect retrograde images of girls and women as sex objects, bimbos and hoochie mamas still defined by their appearance and biological destiny.”

Similarly, then, she argues that “Enlightened racism is a form of racist behavior and speech only available to those who are known, or assumed known, not to be racist.” In many ways, I think this concept is part of what is going on with the “ghetto parties” at college campuses and the young people painting themselves with blackface for Facebook photos, that we’ve talked about here, and the “hipster” racism some have mentioned elsewhere online. The racist griefing that she is addressing in online gaming often makes explicit use of racist epithets, which she explains this way: “The n-word is funny because it is so extreme that no one could really mean it. And humor is all about ‘not meaning it.’ If you take humor and the n-word, you get enlightened racism online and attention.”

Nakamura goes on to argue that paradoxically, “the worse the racism and sexism are, the more extreme and cartoonish it is, the harder it is to take seriously, and the harder it is to call it out.” She points out, quite astutely I think, that for those within gaming culture, calling out racism in this context signals you as someone “not of the gaming culture” and thus, as someone who is taking racism “too seriously” and doesn’t have a good sense of humor. Yet, this sort of
humor is a “confusing discursive mode for young people,” she observes, because they are “unable to separate enlightened racism from regular racism.” And, indeed, I think this is a real problem here. As Nakamura notes, the image of the “humorless feminist” is now joined with the image of a “humorless” old(er) person who takes race too seriously.

As usual, I find Nakamura’s work compelling and provocative, although I do have a couple of points of criticism. While I realize this was just a luncheon talk and as such is work that’s in a formative stage, I was surprised that she didn’t mention the work of Doug Thomas who has written on racism in MMORPG’s. Of course, I’m also not convinced that everyone in our society has moved on to “enlightened” racism, as I point out at some length in Cyber Racism. But, I get the appeal of studying this form of racism and acknowledge that this is certainly the more popularized form of racism.

I’m also a bit surprised that she would use the term ‘enlightened racism’ and not make reference to the book by this same name, written by Sut Jhally and Justin Lewis (about audiences watching the Cosby Show). Although Jhally & Lewis’ work is 18 years old now, I think there are some relevant insights from this work that might inform our understanding of racist expressions in a supposedly post-racial era. Much like people today look to the election of President Barack Obama as a marker of the ‘end of racism,’ so too did many people took the success of the Huxtables, the fictional family on The Cosby Show, as evidence of racial progress. In their research, Jhally & Lewis interviewed racially diverse audiences to find out how they viewed and interpreted The Cosby Show. Part of their purpose was to see if watching the show diminished racist attitudes, which was an explicit goal of the show’s producers. Instead, what they found was that the show actually confirmed people’s racist attitudes because they took the Huxtable/Cosby’s success as evidence that there were no barriers to blacks’ success in this society, so any failing must be due to individual characteristics. While what constitutes ‘an audience’ is certainly changing in the digital era, I think this kind of research with people who are actually involved in MMORPG’s would be a useful way to explore the latest iteration of ‘enlightened racism.’

Happy Juneteenth!

[from the archive – originally posted June 19, 2009]

This is an African American holiday started in Texas, for obvious reasons. Wikipedia has a nice summary of key info:

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, and is recognized as a state holiday in 31 of the United States.

That is, word of President Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation of January 1863 reached Texas only in June 1865:

The holiday originated in Galveston, Texas; for more than a century, the state of Texas was the primary home of Juneteenth celebrations. Since 1980, Juneteenth has been an official state holiday in Texas. It is considered a “partial staffing holiday” meaning that state offices do not close but some employees will be using a floating holiday to take the day off. Twelve other states list it as an official holiday, including Arkansas, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Alaska and California, where Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed the day “Juneteenth” on June 19, 2005. Connecticut, however, does not consider it a legal holiday or close government offices in observance of the occasion. Its informal observance has spread to some other states, with a few celebrations even taking place in other countries.

As of May 2009, 31 states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or state holiday observance; these include Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

This is also a day to remember the 500,000 African Americans, who as soldiers and support troops, many of them formerly enslaved, volunteered for the Union Army at its low point, and who thus played a (the?) key role in winning the Civil War. This is an ironic day, too, given the very weak apology for slavery voted on this week in the mostly white US Senate. A bit late.

Federal Lawsuit against Racist Arizona Law (UPDATED)

Hot news about the Arizona law. It will be challenged in court by the Obama administration:

According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, however, the decision has already been made. “President Obama has spoken out against the law because he thinks that the federal government should be determining immigration policy,” she said in an interview with an Ecuadorean television station flagged by The Right Scoop. “And the Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.”

It is interesting that the news came from the Secretary of State, in Ecuador. And there was a good reason for it, as below.


A State Department spokesman, Philip J. Crowley, said Mrs. Clinton was responding to deep unhappiness over the law that has been expressed in Mexico and other Latin American countries. At home, polls show that a majority of Americans support the law, or at least the concept of states more rigorously enforcing immigration laws. But Latino groups and elected officials have denounced it as an affront to Hispanics.

Pressing for Enforceable Human Rights in All Nations: The 2048 Rights Project

I just learned today about the 2048 project on international human rights, which has bold goals that in my view would make for a much more human, humanitarian, rights-oriented world:

Our mission is to educate students and the public about the evolution of human rights, and to provide a process to draft an international framework for enforceable human rights that can be in place by the year 2048, the 100th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

There is lots of good stuff on the site about human rights, and about teaching about human rights issues, nationally and internationally.

The site also has some excellent links to many good resources on U.S. and international human rights issues, like this listing on the U.S.’s spotty record on signing and not signing (or signing with major reservations) various important international rights agreements.

Interestingly, too, the U.S. government under President Obama is just now rethinking our official and hostile position (developed under George W. Bush and other previous administrations) against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Indian Country Today summarizes our “outlaw state” record:

UNDRIP was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 13, 2007, in a historic vote by an overwhelming majority of 143 states in favor to four against, with 11 abstentions. Canada, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand – all countries whose sizeable indigenous populations can claim large areas of land – were the only four states that voted no.

Interesting: 143-4! Here is the Obama administration recent statement:

Welcome to the Department of State’s website for the U.S. review of its position on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Administration recognizes that for many around the world, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides a framework for addressing indigenous issues. Tribal leaders and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have recommended that the United States reexamine its position on the Declaration. In response, the Department of State and other Federal agencies will be conducting a review of the Declaration’s provisions.

To The Deceased Icon Of Arizona’s Right Wing, An ‘Illegal’ Was A Human Being

The death of Robert Krentz last march, allegedly at the hands of drug smugglers (no one knows for sure), became a rallying cry for right-wing proponents of Arizona’s recently passed draconian, anti-‘illegal’ immigration law.

The Arizona Republic paper reports that there is evidence that Krentz was providing assistance to an “illegal” immigrant in need when he was shot and killed.

That day, according to the June 16th article , “Krentz radioed his brother and asked him to contact authorities because he was with an immigrant in need of help.” The article adds that several people “heard that transmission.”

Krentz was a leading white rancher who was concerned about ‘illegal’ immigrants and complained publicly about damage they did to his property. Yet he had a reputation for providing significant aid for the immigrants:

the soft-spoken rancher bore no ill will toward illegal immigrants, according to friends and family. They say Krentz sympathized with their desire for a piece of the American pie. He gave them food and water if they were in distress, and sometimes he’d call the U.S. Border Patrol, which meant deportation but also guarantees of medical assistance and escape from possible death. “If they come and ask for water, I’ll still give them water,” Krentz once told PBS’ Religion & Ethics Newsweekly in 1999. “You know, that’s just my nature.”

When faced with a fellow human being in trouble, his decency did not falter. He did the humanitarian thing. It might be good, too, if our white politicians would follow his humanitarian lead and not retreat to screaming nativism.

“You’re Just Another Wetback”: The Reality Of Latino Professional Experiences

Tony was a Latino man in his late fifties who wore a long black ponytail down his back. His face had the look of someone who had, as he put it, “been baptized by fire.” He’d had a tough upbringing in Los Angeles. Decades later as a successful attorney in Seattle, Tony clearly held onto some of the bitterness from his youth. You could see it in his eyes. His high school teachers thought he should be an auto mechanic. Perhaps they thought that by guiding him into a trade, they were actually doing this young Latino a favor. And in a way they did. Their advice provided Tony with the motivation needed to become a professional. “Going back to my experience as a young man and the idea that I should have been an auto mechanic made me so angry it was the last thing I was going to be” he shared with the group of Latino attorneys in Seattle on a cold night. Because of the discouragement and vocational tracking he was given by his teachers when he was young, he feels a special obligation to give back to the Latino community. He says, “I think we owe something. You know beside shoving it in people’s faces that I’m around, I think that I owe something.” You could hear his frustration in his voice as he shared how the notion of giving back was intertwined with his pride in showing people that Latinos can be much more than auto mechanic or laborers.

His experiences with racism have seeped into every area of his life, not just in his profession, and not just when he was young. When asked about the effects of being a minority on his life he says,

I’m always aware of it. And it’s subtle. It’s subtle… for example when I bought my home on Bainebridge [Island] and it overlooks the water. I was outside and I don’t know what I was doing and my neighbor says: ‘Oh, are you the gardener.’ And my actual gardener who is about 6’3” and a white guy with blonde hair says, ‘No, that’s the owner.’ And the face on the person was like, totally changed. And that’s what I have experienced for 55 years. That’s the kind of thing that you see. As a Latino or Native American or any kind of minority that you, you’re just another wetback or you’re just another migrant farm worker or whatever until you are a professional and that suddenly your stature changes, and you have to be aware of it whether it’s been brought out to you or whether you’ve faced it or you’ve experienced it, it’s there….[The] whole idea of being a minority and working as a professional, you almost have to be outstanding in order to be accepted.

Being “outstanding in order to be accepted” is something Tony has accomplished. However, when pressed about what costs it has meant for him he says

You have to work harder, it seems than if you were not a minority. It’s like women have always said being minorities you know you have to work twice as hard as a man in order to do the same job it’s that kind of attitude that is out there. And especially I think here in Washington, although it seems to be a bed of liberalism, though the discrimination is very subtle. You know, they talk about the glass ceiling. It does exist here. It does exist.

In order to survive as a Latino professional in a white world he states

You have to be able to be, I don’t want to say switch hit, but you’ve got to be flexible or you’re going to be left out.

On the other hand when it comes to the subject of language he laughingly states, “If you don’t speak Spanish in L.A. you’re toast.” Despite having had greater expectations placed on him as a professional of color because of perceived incompetence, or maybe because of the need to work twice as hard than his white colleagues to prove he was credible, his views are very conservative, particularly when he talks about individual initiative, drive, and ambition. He is very much against “handouts”, which he believes are a waste of money:

It’s like a little kid you know if you give them a toy, you know it doesn’t mean anything as much as if they worked, saved their money and go to the store and buy it with their own money that they feel this is something special and they take care of it. That’s how I feel about my education because I had to work for it. I missed out on all the affirmative action, you know, I was too old and by that time I’d already been through law school – at a cost of only $10,000 I might add. All those things I think are important but I think that ….you point them in the right direction, but not hold their hand all the way through. I think that’s what’s important. I think just indiscriminately throwing money out there, I think is a waste of money.

As a registered Republican, Tony sees affirmative action as just another obstacle for people of color:

One of the things that I’ve faced especially strong is the effect of affirmative action. And I have heard people say: ‘Oh, did you get into school through affirmative action.’ Which means that you weren’t good enough to get through the normal ways. You got in because you were a minority. And that comes up periodically.

However, Tony’s conservative views are mixed with the reality of his experiences with racism, stigma, and exclusion as a Latino growing up in America. The life of a Latino professional is “a very big balancing act” he proclaims. As a member of the Washington State Bar Committee on Diversity he found that there was some acceptance “for some degree of minorities.” But not for many partners. When asked by his colleagues to name one Latina partner in a major law firm in Seattle he replied, “Can’t. You can’t.”

The experiences that Tony describes of his life as a person of color are not unique to his chosen profession of law. They are unique to his being a Latino in America where a Latino is treated like just ‘another wetback’ as he put it. Tony’s story could be the experience of any Latino professional whether a banker, a real estate agent, a doctor or even a professor. The school tracking into a vocational trade such as a mechanic is an all too familiar experience for Latino males, as is the secretarial tracking for Latina females; the negative experiences growing up in the California or other Southwestern States are shared by most Latinos; the assumption that he was the gardener if he was in a fancy neighborhood; and most of all, the assumption that he doesn’t belong in America—these are all experiences that stem from the racialization of Latinos as poor, undocumented, alien, and unwanted. Tony’s experiences are the reality that any Latino with an education and money could encounter because of the way Latinos have been racialized in America.

Central to issues between whites and Latinos is the racial framing of Latinos. In a recent book titled How the United States Racilizes Latinos: White Hegemony and Its Consequences, several scholars document the racialization of Latinos in America.Cobas, Duany, and Feagin begin by defining this phenomenon as follows:

The racialization of Latinos refers to their definition as a “racial” group and the denigration of their alleged physical and cultural characteristics, such as phenotype, language, or number of children. Their racialization also entails their incorporation into a white-created and white-imposed racial hierarchy and continuum, now centuries old, with white Americans at the very top and black Americans at the very bottom (p. 1)

Tracing the pattern of racialization throughout the centuries, Cobas et al. provide ample evidence to demonstrate that Latinos have been constructed as “unwanted and disreputable aliens.” This can be seen in today’s immigration debate, which link Latinos, regardless of their citizenship status, to being “foreign and dangerous.” Tony can never truly escape from this reality, no matter how successful he becomes.

This is an excerpt from a book manuscript by Mária Chávez, assistant professor, Pacific Lutheran University

Land Mines to Stop Mexican Immigrants?: The Radical White Right

The Associated press reports on this white politician running for the U.S. Congress:

The Republican nominee for a New Mexico congressional seat suggested during a radio interview that the United States could place land mines along the Mexican border to secure the international boundary. …. mine the border, install barbed wire and post signs directing would-be border jumpers to cross legally at designated checkpoints.

He later said he was reporting on a suggestion he had heard on the campaign. Yet, his comment did not get national attention and did not alienate Republican voters, as he won the Republican nomination. This radical-right stuff is getting so far out, it takes one’s breath away. Over at Dailykos, Jake McIntyre comments:

Anti-personnel land mines are arbitrary, frighteningly random dealers of death condemned by the vast majority of nations. (A total of 156 countries have signed the Ottawa Treaty completely banning their use, although the US is, sadly, not one of them.) Land mines kill children as surely as criminals, Americans as surely as Mexicans; they lay in place for decades, long after their deployment is forgotten… Asking for land mines to be placed in the ground of your own state? … It strikes me as a conscious decision to turn one’s back on civilization….

Evidently, some in the white radical-right community have framed Mexican workers and families in such extremist terms as “not human” that they do not consider killing them—women, children, and men—a significant human, ethical, and moral problem. Almost daily the media are now filled with chilling authoritarian or militaristic commentary that is all too close to what was going on in Germany just prior to, and during, the rise of the Nazis in the 1920s and 1930s. It does not take much these days to frighten some (influential and other) whites over into this kind of hyper-hostile targeting of some human beings as no longer human.

Racism and the Stroke of a Brush–Arizona Again

A farcical show of racism took place recently in Prescott, an Arizona city of 34,000, located 120 miles north of Phoenix. The cause was the opposition by some local citizens to a public mural located at an elementary school. The mural’s purpose was to advertise a “green transportation campaign.” Likenesses of four elementary school children of various races were part of the display.

The presence of nonwhite children in the mural bothered some of the local white citizens. Regarding the painted wall, one of the mural artists, reported that as the artists and some children worked on the project they were heckled. “We had children painting with us, and here come these yells of (epithet for Blacks) and (epithet for Hispanics).”

Wall reported that subsequently school principal Jeff Lane asked him to make the children’s faces appear “happier and brighter.”

“It is being lightened because of the controversy,” Wall said. He added that, “they want it to look like the children are coming into light.”

It would appear that ‘brighter’ and ‘coming into light’ mean ‘whiter.’ Yet Lane denied any political pressure, asserting the changes were made “from an artistic view. nothing to do with race.”

It is important to note that the mural was funded by a state grant. Furthermore, Wall reported that thousands of town residents volunteered or donated to the project.

Nevertheless the ‘mural battle’ is a stark reminder that racism still is alive, even if sometimes it comes as tragicomedy.

Oscar Grant Trial Begins: No African Americans on Jury

The shooting of Oscar Grant, an African American man, while he was handcuffed and lying face down on a train platform by a white Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) cop in January, 2009 sparked renewed attention on the racial injustice system that some are calling the New Jim Crow.  This past week the trial of Johannes Mehserle started and the jury selection process seems to illustrate the (unconscious) and systemic racism in criminal law. The result: there are no African Americans on the jury in a trial of a white cop accused of killing an unarmed, handcuffed black man.   While some are suggesting that this trial breaks new ground because of the video footage from cellphones of bystanders who witnessed the shooting, the jury selection process suggests that this is another manifestation of the racial caste system.

(image from Flickr/cc: hensever)

Officially, it is against the law to discriminate on the basis of race in the process of jury selection.  In 1986, the Supreme Court in the Batson v. Kentucky decision, found that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits prosecutors from discriminating on the basis of race when selecting juries.

Unofficially, however, racial bias in jury selection is rampant.  And, the Supreme Court and lower courts have tolerated all but the most egregious example of racial bias in jury selection, and this is usually put in practice through something called “peremptory strikes.”    Both prosecutors and defense attorneys are permitted to strike ‘peremptorily’ jurors they don’t like — that is, people they believe won’t respond favorably to the evidence or witnesses they intend to present at trial.  What this means in practice is that peremptory strikes are notoriously discriminatory.  In addition, jury pools tend to be disproportionately white for a number of reasons, including the felony-disenfranchisement laws that permanently exclude 30% of men from jury service for life.  Thus, the practice of systematically excluding black jurors has not been stopped by the Batson v. Kentucky decision.  What the law requires is that the prosecution must come up with a race-neutral, or “color blind,” excuse for who they exclude from the jury, which is an exceedingly easy thing to do.    (M.Alexander, The New Jim Crow, New York: The New Press, 2010, pp.116-120).

This trial brings with it a mix of feelings from powerlessness to a strong desire to see justice prevail.   Dr. Boyce Watkins sums up this when he writes:

What’s most egregious about cases like this one is the sense of powerlessness that many in the black community feel, when one of our own is killed by police in what appears to be a highly questionable situation. Police are not accustomed to having their authority questioned, and some of us forget that officers are human like the rest of us, often carrying a temptation to abuse their authority. Unless a reasonable explanation can be provided regarding why this officer shot an unarmed young man in the back, there is no reason for anyone to believe the officers should be found innocent. Let’s hope these jurors do the right thing.

I, too, hope the jurors do the right thing.   I wouldn’t say that I’m optimistic about that happening.