I normally try not to use the word "white privilege" because I have seen a couple of my black friends overuse that word. But after seeing the reaction by some "tv experts" on this case, I am going to use it because I can't think of any other phrase to describe what I saw. I actually used to like her in the past, so it pains me to have to use it on her. And let me say a lot of my white friends have found this to be an open and shut case of Dunn being guilty. But I know some people from Jacksonville and they share some of the same seething anger that Dunn has on race and ideology, though they are not quite at Dunn's level.
Ashleigh Banfield of CNN does not get it. She is obviously more of a well meaning liberal leaning person than a right wing nut. I would not even say she is racist. But I was infuriated by what this woman keeps spouting off on CNN. Her tone and her incessant defense of the jurors just struck me as wrong and tone deaf. She is acting like some naïve sheltered person who, while she acknowledges that Dunn should be guilty, is giving way too much allowance for the jurors who believed his testimony. As bad as the prosecutors were, the case was such a slam dunk case, that even mediocre prosecutors gave enough evidence to fry this guy.
For me, Ashleigh is more of a frustrating person to deal with than some of the more conservative people. here are some of the gems she blabbered on to Don Lemon on CNN
1) Ashleigh says that if the situation was reversed, maybe a black guy would feel the same fear and maybe do the same thing if surrounded by 4 big white guys. BULLSHIT.
2) Ashleigh then says we should not judge the jury on what was said on TV but what was said in the courtroom and if you just go by what was said in the courtroom, it is not unreasonable to think some jurors could be reasonable about finding Dunn credible.
OK HERE IS WHERE SHE REVEALS HER WHITE PRIVILEGE. I am culturally more white and Indian than black. And I could tell he was spouting BS based on my own friends and acquaintances(my social circle is majority white). I saw that same COURTROOM TESTIMONY. are you fucking kidding me? His own fiancée contradicted him. He looked stupid when trying to explain why he would leave his gun in the car and not call 911 while claiming to be scared the black gangstas would retaliate at the hotel.
And while some reasonable person can give him allowance for freezing and fleeing, not calling 911 for 15 hours is credible when you claim you are scared?
3) Ashleigh Banfield - you don't get it again. You kept saying there should be a presumption of innocence to such a high degree that the jury sometimes have no option but to believe everything he says at face value under such laws. THEN WHY DON"T YOU EXPLAIN WHY THERE ARE SEVERAL CASES WHERE DEFENDANTS WERE NOT TAKEN AT FACE VALUE WHEN USING THIS ARGUMENT? There was that infamous case of a black older guy who shot a white father at a playground. Guess what, contrary to what the right wingers claim, he did not go scott free. He wsa convicted.
Then Ashleigh, for some reason, keeps going on with her nonsense in some inexplicable desperate bid to defend this jury. She comes up with some ridiculous example that if she is sees 4 big guys on the street, she would cross the street away from them. She then makes a disclaimer that the race of the guys would not be a factor.
Ashleigh, do me a favor. it is OK to admit it. It is perfectly fine to avoid walking near four guys, even if they are black and ghetto. You do not have to act like it is not a factor. I won't judge you. I have friends of color who would do the same. What galls me is that you use that as an example to compare that situation to this Michael Dunn case. Let me start off by saying is that in the example you gave us, you did not mention shooting at those ghetto guys(I know she didn't mention that term, but we know what she meant and like I said, that is not offensive to me as long as she keeps it real). So why didn't Dunn cross the street metaphorically like you did in your example? And what testimony did the jury base their possible belief that these 4 teens were comparable to the thugs you referred to.
Ashleigh, go F yourself. You showed your true colors today.
I am not the only who has picked up on this unknown facet of Banfield's personality.
I gotta also add that I would have gone easier on Ashleigh if she merely expressed this sentiment initially out of misplaced but honest perspective and later was willing to alter her perception. But she calls into the studio an hour later and still says the same exact crap and kept digging herself a deeper hole with that final analogy of four guys walking on the street making her want to cross it as if anyone said she would be racist for doing so. It's like she lacked the capacity to evolve during the discussion a far from radical Don Lemon was having with her.
I am adding more clarification on what I think based on comments about the believability of the testimony.
If Michael Dunn were a white old lady not exposed to the world and she called the cops at SOME point that night , I can see some of the jury being conflicted with the law the way it is and think that while the old lady still had no right to be shoot that kid , maybe she had a genuine albeit unwarranted fear. I personally would still convict that lady of something, but that's me. Still, I would have given Ashleigh a pass if that is what she would have referred to as a case where an old lady had no business shooting a kid but the jury may buy into the claims of genuine fear and the law corners them here.
But she was not. she was referring to this case and the jury buying Dunn's testimony as believable. Do you know how many cases the defendant actually takes the stand and sounds pretty believable and is still found guilty? In this case, objectively, his story has been contradicted by many witnesses, including his own fiancée who still supports him on facebook. Defense lawyers were pointing to her hysterical state of mind to discount her testimony. But a hysterical state does not force her to invent a claim that her beloved fiance was complaining about the "thug music" as they drove into the parking lot. MAYBE it will make her not pay attention to him as he drives home and even if he told you that they had a gun, she was not paying attention to him. So maybe she can be guilty of omission , but not inclusion of what he said. BUt then that would bring you to other point.
If the fiancee was that hysterical where she clearly preferred apizza to the cops, does that not tell us she was scared of what trouble he would get into if they called the cops? Not far fetched when Michael Dunn testified that she didn't seem to understand what self defense was. Which tells me he clearly got some feedback from her on the way to the hotel that she thought he did something wrong. This inference is directly based oin TESTIMONY during the trial and action/inactions by Dunn we know for fact. And I still can't get how he can leave the gun in the car AND not call the cops at the hotel if he was still that much in fear of his life. So he was ready to fist fight them at the hotel?
You bought his tears about his fiancée's welfare when he started shooting at them? He himself did not know where she was until she popped up next to him after the shooting. If he was really concerned for her as he testified, wouldn't he have glanced for a second to make sure she was in a safe place? It was clear he didn't, by his own testimony. Does that not clearly add to the contradictions with common sense that keep piling up?