Guilty of Manslaughter, but Oscar Pistorius will not go to jail

Grimot NaneThe verdict on Oscar Pistorius’ case is not of any importance beyond the media circus value. Although found guilty of manslaughter, Pistorius is unlikely to ever go to jail. The man is simply living according to the order of Planet Earth under the auspices of Western Civilisation and white supremacy. Caster Semenya, another South African athlete, suffered a lot more humiliation, suspicion, privacy invasion and public/media hostility, simply for running “too fast” and being “too masculine” for a female. Someone died at the hands of Pistorius under unclear circumstances; that is important. However, I do not see the need for the race dimension in the Pistorius case and I will not attempt the counterfactual of “if Pistorius was black.”

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In societies with white majorities or minorities, white supremacy determination of the outcomes of law enforcement actions and the deliberations of the justice system is as consistent and as much of a natural law as Newton’s Law of Gravity. In fact, a constant should be developed for it. People do not like death but cannot stop it happening. Pretty women bring down powerful men routinely (and many have to be bought off). And the rich will always punish the poor for being poor. Complaints of such are fringe activities. Why then is there uproar when a white male, especially a highly successful one, beats a serious crime rap? This is Planet Earth’s justice system at work.

Over the Christmas of 1981, I read two novels written in the 1960s – The Godfather by Mario Puzo and Wheels by Arthur Hailey. I was shocked by what I read. The former novel depicts how, at the peace-meeting Don Corleone called to ensure the safe return of his son, Michael Corleone, to the USA, another Don Zaluchi said of the heroin business, In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people, the coloreds. They’re animals anyway, so let them lose their souls. This was and remains the favourite novel of African males born since the 1950s; the romance of the crime matters to them, never ever the prejudice. How dare such people then jump on the bandwagon of claiming racism in the Pistorius case? Have they not been on Planet Earth?

The latter novel about the US auto industry portrays Rollie Knight, a black male, who as a teenager commits an offence and his lawyer advises him, like most underage black offenders, to plead guilty. If the kid was white the same lawyer for the same offence would advise him to plead not guilty. The outcome was the same in that no punishment occurred but the black kid had a criminal record that would affect his life and career until death; the white kid had a clean record. Again, this is regular expected stuff on Planet Earth.

O.J. Simpson was guilty before trial. Even his blood relatives and most fellow Black celebrities wanted him in jail, perhaps, because he was an unrepentant Uncle Tom, a black who behaves like and he is sympathetic to all things white. Those same people complain about white supremacy when their turn for injustice arrives. Naomi Campbell once said that black should go and take their place in society, until she saw white models of lesser status earning more money than she did, and then she cried “racism.” She was on Planet Jupiter until her sober awakening. O.J.’s was a case troubled by evidence tampering, racist commentary and supervised jury transportation on their way to court. Many still “think” he did it, but like in the Pistorius case, show us the proof, please! Mike Tyson went to jail by the hindsight consensus of lawyers because “his lawyer put him on the stand.” You may now see another reason why Rollie Knight’s story in Wheels is relevant.

We must, if we can find it in our hearts, sympathise sincerely with family, friends and well-wishers of Reeva Steenkamp. Her death was unnecessary, premature and devastating; the life of another gifted young person ended as if by way of a curse. Will Pistorius go to jail for Reeva’s death? He has the benefit of the doubt: disability; national hero status; good character; and potential future success are mitigating circumstances that may keep him out of jail even for a derisory term. A suspended sentence is most likely.

Accusations of racism do have a time and a place as I have highlighted, but not in the Pistorius case because Pistorius and Reeva are both white. What has imbued the plot of their narrative with convoluted pattern is that the female judge presiding over the case is black.

  • Dr. Nane is an errant scholar and economist. Follow him on Twitter @Grimot

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