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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Shafia Murder Case Verdict Reached

   
Author Topic: Shafia Murder Case Verdict Reached
Blayne Bradley
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http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120128/shafia-family-murder-trial-deliberations-120128/20120128/?hub=EdmontonHome

Apparantly this was on the news for weeks and hadn't noticed until now, what strikes me about this case is that the Crown built the case around the concept of "honor killings" and brought in expert witnesses for it. Which strikes me as kinda racist.

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Rakeesh
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Err. If it was a set of hidden honor killings, how would expert witness testimony about them be racist?
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Bella Bee
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Yes, exactly. If it's a possibility that the motive for the crime was this, it makes sense to raise the issue in court.

I don't think it's racist as such - if we go down that route, we can never try anyone for a culturally related crime such as honour killings. Which do exist (and happen way too often, and not just among Muslims).

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Mucus
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Well.
In theory, if the police had been all like "Hey, we've got a bunch of brown people. Let's charge them with a honour killing, brown people are known for that" then you've got a case for racism.

But since the trial took place after piles of evidence was collected which supported the verdict, there's not a whole lot to see here. Too bad they probably won't deport them for faking their way past immigration.

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Rakeesh
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Granted, there are plenty of ways in which Middle Easterners, Persians, what have you could be accused falsely or without enough evidence of honor killings, and expert testimony on the custom would be tied to racism.

But my question is what is racist about having expert testimony on the subject if there is evidence that's what happened.

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Mucus
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If that's a question for me, I was responding to Blayne mostly.

AFAIK, I don't think there's anything racist going on with the trial.

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Rakeesh
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*nod* my post was a clarification of my question to Blayne.
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Blayne Bradley
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More about what Mucus said; in this case it may indeed be Honor Killings (I haven't checked back at what the verdict is) but I worry about that the Crown may bring in "expert testimony" to scare the white people on the jury into a guilty verdict e: in other cases.

[ January 30, 2012, 08:30 PM: Message edited by: Blayne Bradley ]

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Rakeesh
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Heh. Not a tinge of racism in that concern, is there?

Please note, I agree the specter of honor killings could be raised to motivate a jury in the wrong direction. But that's hardly what happened hear at all, and anyway honor killings aren't made up or anything-they're a very real and alarming problem for not a few countries.

I just think it's a bit peculiar to worry about the danger of racism possible in mentioning honor killings...by suggesting white jurors would be stampeded by those fears. Put bluntly, that sounds not unlike a negative prejudgement based on race.

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Destineer
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quote:
Heh. Not a tinge of racism in that concern, is there?
[Eek!] Careful with the TOS here, dude.
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Rakeesh
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The emoticon makes me wonder how serious or silly you're being, Destineer. I suppose to apply some safeguards, though really it shouldn't be necessary, I was speaking about the statement: it pretty clearly suggests a fear of unknown random white people of being potentially easily duped, frightened racists-and the only adjective used for them was 'white'.

Seems pretty straightforward.

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Destineer
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Sorry about that. But I am serious.

If you really think what Blayne said was racist, it seems like you should report his post. Did you do that?

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Rakeesh
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Nope. For one thing, we haven't tabbed about it and I got a mobile or on-the-run feel from his post, as if he hadn't spoken his mind entirely on the subject. For another, fast-whistling of posts isn't really my style, at least not with posters who are (in my opinion, anyway) worth talking to.

If you feel my suggestion that there was racism in that statement was objectionable, though (not that you say one way or the other), by all means hit the whistle, if you haven't already.

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jebus202
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This thread is full of wut.
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Destineer
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I have indeed already done so. Makes me feel like a bit of a narc, though.

Still buddies, I hope?

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Rakeesh
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Well, then, could you tell me this: was I wrong? Is there not in fact a tinge of racism in stating, "I'm worried about the potential racism of white jurors." Not of, say, xenophobic or nationalistic or isolationist or reactionary white jurors-just white jurors. I think it's likely this is what Blayne meant, by the way.

As for the whistling, I admit I'm rritated that I had to ask to be informed of it, and that apparently one cannot even make an observation/clarification of a racist expression without it being attempted to be quashed, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do.

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Destineer
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Yeah, sorry. I did register my objection, but you're probably right that I should've been fully forthcoming.

No, I don't think what he said was at all racist. There are a lot of completely non-racist judgements that could be behind it. Worst case scenario, what he said was like saying "Chinese people can be pretty racist against Koreans."

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Destineer
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Like if someone said, "I'm worried about this Korean guy going in front of an all-Chinese jury," I would not call that racist in any way.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
No, I don't think what he said was at all racist. There are a lot of completely non-racist judgements that could be behind it. Worst case scenario, what he said was like saying "Chinese people can be pretty racist against Koreans."
Would there not be a tint of racism if I were to say, "I'm worried a white guy might not get a fair trial in a primarily-minority jury." Or the hypothetical statements you're using. They're founded on at least a mild and negative prejudgment of the future actions of a given group of people based on their race. Seems pretty straightforward to me, and I don't even in all cases disagree. Had you said in the 1950s, "I'm afraid a black man won't get a fair trial in front of a white jury," I would of course agree that's a valid, useful concern while also noting the racism in it. I'm not, I think, using the same definition as you.
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Destineer
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In your example, I would say it wasn't racist if, in fact, members of the minority in question are more likely than average to judge white people unfairly in a jury trial. But as a matter of fact, I'm not sure any of the other races tend to stereotype white people as being prone to crime.

I guess it would be a little weird, to me at least, if there were valid and useful concerns that one couldn't express without some degree of racism. But if you don't agree--if valid judgements can, in your opinion, also be unavoidably tinted with racism--maybe your diagnosis of Blayne's concern was less pejorative than I took it to be.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
[Eek!] Careful with the TOS here, dude.

White people are dumb. I should know, I am one. Addendum: human beings have sex, and Vishnu doesn't exist. Join Scientology!
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