Thursday, August 07, 2008

I Hope I'm Wrong

I was genuinely surprised at the headline on today's Start Tribune - "Franco Guilty in Crash" - though I probably shouldn't be. I'm been making Minnesota red-state jokes for a couple years now, so I know that anti-immigrant negativity is alive & well here. But seeing that Olga Franco was found guilty in that bus crash was jarring: I still don't expect that from Minnesotans.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope there was compelling evidence that she did it, and somehow it just didn't make it into the newspaper. All I know about the case is what I've read in the StarTribune, so I realize that may leave much to be desired. But there is so much reasonable doubt in my mind that I can't help but wonder what role anti-immigrant sentiment - read racism - played in the verdict.

For the first time this year, I can envision McCain winning the presidency. I hope I'm wrong.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gee honey, maybe they just reviewed the FACTS of the case, listened to the EXPERT testimony, and were able to conclude after deliberations that she WAS guilty of the charges. It's pretty funny how you care less about the deaths of four children-one of them non-white- than in hoping to see the person who killed them get off scott-free because of your political biases. Would it have made you any happier if her name was Olga Frankovitch instead?

Emily Lilja said...

Hmm.. food for thought!

I would love to believe that the FACTS were what determined the decision in this case - that is as it should be.

I'm not sure what politics has to do with caring about dead children (see prior posts on subject of dead children) or with expecting justice to be served in America... do we have different definitions of justice depending on our political views?

As for Frankovitch, I'm not sure I get it - maybe the point is that if she was white, would I be as surprised? Or as concerned? I think I would be surprised and disappointed regardless because it wasn't clear to me that the facts supported the verdict. Am I also concerned because I am wondering what role racism played in it? Absolutely.

I think what's really interesting is that this is a subject that requires anonymity in order to comment. It's just not easy to talk about race in America. This will be an interesting Presidential campaign to watch!

Mark Germscheid said...

The fact is that Olga Franco was the passenger. The members of the jury, some of whom probably knew parents of the kids who had died, were in a position where they would face those parents regardless of the verdict they returned. They made a decision to heal the community at the expense of a person, an illegal immigrant they didn't know. A good public defender would have had the case moved out of the community the accident happened in for a unbiased verdict. Hopefully it is being appealed.

Emily Lilja said...

Sad but true, Mark. It will be interesting to see what happens on appeal.

MBerg said...

I'm been making Minnesota red-state jokes for a couple years now, so I know that anti-immigrant negativity is alive & well here.

Er, absent any evidence of malfeasance on the jury's part, wouldn't your jokes be the evidence of negativity?

And let's be accurate; such negativity as exists is against illegal immigrants. Y'know - the ones that broke the law to get here.

Just saying...

But seeing that Olga Franco was found guilty in that bus crash was jarring: I still don't expect that from Minnesotans.

You didn't expect what? A jury to look at evidence and reach a verdict?

Or are l
I hope there was compelling evidence that she did it, and somehow it just didn't make it into the newspaper.

It's interesting, though, that you seem to be assuming there was not.

But there is so much reasonable doubt in my mind that I can't help but wonder what role anti-immigrant sentiment - read racism - played in the verdict.

OK, so try to move beyond "can't help but wonder", and see if you can come up with evidence of this alleged racism (and "finding an illegal guilty of something" isn't "evidence"). Because if you want to find racists under every rug, it really won't take too long to render our entire justice system moot.

For the first time this year, I can envision McCain winning the presidency. I hope I'm wrong.

Interesting that you'd tie the two, since his conciliatory approach on immigration has cost Mac a zillion points among conservatives.

But yes, Mac is totally going to win at this rate. He's even going to make a run of it in Minnesota.