August 22, 2014

The Other is an African-American Woman

So today on the radio a few fairly well known commentators were discussing the situation in Ferguson;  one of today's topics was the District Attorney Bob McCullough.

The DA is a real law-and-order guy, according to reports. His dad was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty, and other family members have worked for the police department. Not surprisingly, given his background, some folks in Ferguson and some from outside who are offering assistance and support have called for the DA to voluntarily recuse himself from the Michael Brown case. To be honest, even if his background had been different, I would have expected calls for recusal, given the lack of trust that we've seen and heard expressed since the teenager was killed almost two weeks ago.

So, in discussing this on the show today, the commentator noted that the DA has not yet recused himself, and may very well not. It was also noted that he is not personally presenting the case to the grand jury, but that two others from his office were handling the case.  Here's how they were described:
One is a 27-year veteran prosecutor, and the other is an African-American, woman, I believe. 
Really?  Is it just me, or is there something askew with those descriptions?

And what exactly are we supposed to infer from them?
  • The African American woman has so little experience it's not worthy of mention?
  • She's only on the case because she's African-American, to appease Ferguson residents?
  • The experience and long tenure of the one DA, who I'm thinking is a white male, suggest that this person will be doing the heavy lifting, and that obviously the gravitas gained from experience matters more than gender and skin color.  Unless you're an African-American woman.
Perhaps the 74 year old white woman who made those statements didn't really mean to describe the two district attorneys so very differently.  Perhaps, like Paula Dean, she is what she is and can't help herself.  

But for someone who has such a public stage -- a published author, frequent contributions to print and online media, and who has a fairly regular TV gig -- particularly one who speaks from the left -- she certainly should have known better. 

Or, again, maybe it's just me. 

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