Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ariel Castro takes himself out of the human race...

I woke up early this morning because the dogs needed a pee break and Bill let them go out.   Zane started bugling, which made it impossible for me to go back to sleep.  A lot of times, when I am waking up, I'll use my iPad to check out what's going on in the world.  Someone on RfM posted about Castro being dead.  At first I wondered if he meant Cuba, but then it became clear that he was referring to Ariel Castro, the subhuman piece of shit who kidnapped, raped, and tortured three young women for up to eleven years.

Last month, he was sentenced to 1000 years in prison.  I guess it was too hard for him to fathom being in prison for that long, so he killed himself last night.  I read about that and my first thought was that he couldn't take what he had subjected those women to.  That makes him a coward.  Good riddance.  I don't know if it's better that he's dead, since he really deserved to be punished for what he did.  But at least we know he won't be hurting anyone else and Ohio's taxpayers won't have to support his miserable ass in prison for the rest of what would have been his natural life.  If there is an actual Hell, I am sure he is now there, where he really belongs.

In other news, I read about another person being busted for using the word "nigger" in the workplace.  What makes this case especially interesting is that it involved two black people.  The defendant, Rob Carmona, started a non-profit employment center called STRIVE in 1984.  Brandi Johnson, the plaintiff, worked at the employment center.  In his abusive rant, Carmona called Johnson the "n-word" eight times.  She happened to record it and now Carmona must pay $280,000.

If you click the above link, you will hear an interesting debate as to whether or not the n-word is ever appropriate.  I am not a fan of burying language and I think all words have their place-- even the so-called n-word.  However, I also think that if you're going to make certain words unacceptable, you have to apply that rule to everyone.  That means that if it's wrong for white people to use the n-word to the point at which a person could be sued over it, it should be just as wrong for black people to use it.  Regardless of who you are and what color you are, it's definitely not appropriate to use that kind of language in a work setting.

I thought it was interesting that Carmona used an excuse very similar to Paula Deen's when he was confronted about his language.  He said,

"I come from a different time ... What I'm trying to do is help ... that's the transition... (this case) has showed me I got to take stock in that at my age," said Carmona, 61. 
Seriously?  At age 61, you don't know that the n-word is derogatory and abusive when used in the workplace?  I know some people use that word in an almost friendly way.  And, in listening to the folks on the video in the CNN article, I think I agree with the guy, who says you have to apply common sense and context as to whether or not someone is using "hate speech".  But I do think that if you use words that are considered racist toward co-workers while you are working, even if you happen to own your workplace, you run the risk of ending up in legal hot water.  That is what Rob Carmona is finding out right now.

What's really sad is that it sounds like Carmona's non-profit was a good venture and did fine things for the community.  Now, thanks to his insistence on being abusive toward his former employee, his business and his reputation will suffer.  That can't be good for the people who were served by STRIVE.  A friend of mine, who is "sick of hurt feelings lawsuits", pointed out that Carmona was calling out Johnson for acting "ghetto".  That may be true, but it seems to me that Carmona is intelligent enough to come up with another way to express the same thing.  When you start throwing around the n-word, most people stop listening to the content of your message anyway, and just focus on your use of that one very controversial and scandalous word.  It's a pity that Carmona lacked the vocabulary to call out Johnson more effectively.

And finally, I read an interesting story about a man in Missouri who owned property next to the Meramec River.  A group of people were floating down the river and stopped so one of the group could urinate.  The property owner confronted the urinating trespasser and ordered him off his property.  The group claimed the property was public.  The property owner then drew a gun and shot one of the intruders.  He has been charged with second degree murder, but may get off because Missouri has vague laws regarding a person's right to defend their property.

I can sort of see both sides of this case.  While I definitely think the man was wrong to shoot over someone peeing on his land, I also think that people should have the right to defend their property or their own bodies.  Using deadly force is probably not appropriate in the vast majority of situations, but I couldn't say that it would never be appropriate.

Nevertheless, this man sounds like he was out of control and probably belongs in prison, even if the floaters were rude for peeing on his land.  He may very well walk, though.  Perhaps it's time for states to take a look at these laws and amend them.

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