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Notes From Post-Racist America

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A bare majority of the Supreme Court appears poised to declare racism in America officially dead, or at least a problem the Congress can longer concern itself with. And of course, it helps if you define racism the Republican way (i.e. there are the persons responsible for shooting Medgar Evers,* and then there are non-racists.) Before we declare racism over, however, we may want to consider some other recent Supreme Court news:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor today released a statement condemning a federal prosecutor’s blatant use of racism to secure a conviction in a 2011 drug case. The Court did not grant the convicted man in question an appeal, but Sotomayor nonetheless remarked that Assistant US Attorney Sam L. Pozner’s use of race as an implication of guilt was unacceptable.

When Pozner made the prejudiced remark, at issue was whether the defendant was unaware of his buddies’ drug exchange. Pozner said that because Black and Latino people were involved, he MUST HAVE known drugs were, too:

“You’ve got African-Americans, you’ve got Hispanics, you’ve got a bag full of money. Does that tell you–a light bulb doesn’t go off in your head and say, This is a drug deal?”

And, even worse, because of inept counsel the Supreme Court could not even consider the effect of the prosecutor’s racism at trial. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is another one of those rights that is becoming less and less meaningful in the application.

*Rock could have mentioned Emmett Till, except that as one of America’s favorite conservative bloggers has explained, that had nothing to with race, and he had it coming besides.

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