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The Racial Politics of the Pistorius Trial

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

South Africa's Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius hides his face in his hands in the court room during his hearing on charge of murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (AFP/Getty Images)

Race relations are still fraught in South Africa today, 20 years after apartheid ended. Margie Orford, South African novelist and journalist, and Lisa Bloom, legal analyst for Avvo.com, discuss the Pistorius trial through this lens and explain why the runner is using his fear of the "unknown black intruder" as his defense against the charges that he murdered his girlfriend. Bloom is also the author of Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It

Guests:

Lisa Bloom and Margie Orford

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Comments [17]

JFreely from NYC

Getting back to IMHO responding to me: I agree the main point of the trial is determining if he's lying or not. Intent to defend OR intent to kill? These are the questions. I'm not certain as you are that he's lying. IF he is lying he is a very good "actor." I really can't tell...

((Race? He said he was afraid of an "intruder" - not a "black intruder." I don't see any place for race in this particular trial.
Apr. 16 2014 10:54 AM]]

First and foremost, let's keep in mind that he is almost certainly lying and (probably) murdered the woman on purpose. So, black, white, mixed race, Indian...none of that matters.

Apr. 16 2014 12:20 PM
Mailroom john from office

Shelly, good one!!

I fight it every day!!

Apr. 16 2014 11:08 AM
IMHO

[[JFreely from NYC

Race? He said he was afraid of an "intruder" - not a "black intruder." I don't see any place for race in this particular trial.
Apr. 16 2014 10:54 AM]]

First and foremost, let's keep in mind that he is almost certainly lying and (probably) murdered the woman on purpose. So, black, white, mixed race, Indian...none of that matters.

Apr. 16 2014 11:07 AM
oscar from ny

..boing boing boing..knock knock..who's there?...Bang!!!
I can't believe how lucky are made and they're so ungreatful, this is why I don't feel pity for no one but the lord who has to witness all of this..

Apr. 16 2014 11:05 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

@dboy, John from mailroom gets an erection every time there is a topic, where he can spew his racial nonsense. I don't take him seriously, the man fears the Haitian blood that runs through his veins.

Apr. 16 2014 11:04 AM
Jay from Brooklyn

hey silly, dont you know everthing is about racism. entrenched interests need this... what will they do without this issue to divide, conquer or win elections. did that guy not hold the door becuase he is a jerk... no, he must be a racist. perversely, we will never heal, no matter how well the black community does when we indoctrinate each generation to this drivel.

Apr. 16 2014 11:00 AM
JFreely from NYC

Race? He said he was afraid of an "intruder" - not a "black intruder." I don't see any place for race in this particular trial.

Apr. 16 2014 10:54 AM
Bad segment

This is a silly segment.

A dude killed his girlfriend. It would have been better to relate this case to violence against women than to fit this square peg into the round hole of racism.

Apr. 16 2014 10:53 AM
mike from long island

its easy to say crime in S africa isnt what its made out to be, if you dont live there. my neice is married to a guy who emigrated from there, a nice, mild mannered guy. i took them out for some fun in NYC, summer concert in battery park, nice dinner. walking around( from the village to the battery), this guy was so nervous and jittery, i couldnt believe it. he was ashen. when i asked, he said he thought for sure we would be robbed and maybe killed. thats how it is there. he probably would have had a heart attack if we went uptown. i know a girl who lives there, and i was going to mail her some music CD's. she said mail them to a friend on the west coast she will be visiting in a year, if you mail them, she'll never get them, they will be stolen. it very difficult to think and act in an environment of crime and near anarchy. for good or bad, views are formed by your environment.

another note, am i the only one who cant stand jamie floyd's deranged cackle? nails on a chalk board

Apr. 16 2014 10:53 AM
Jackie Brown

[[dboy

I just returned from SA. In more affluent areas, there is ONLY high walls topped with concertina razor wire and electric fencing and ADT® "ARMED RESPONSE" signs posted on EVERY single home. EVERY SINGLE HOME. In addition to a phone booth-sized station on wheels on every street corner of the neighborhood, housing an ARMED guard.

Is this paranoia warranted?? What are the actual crime stats??

My hunch was that it was TOTALLY oversold and racist in nature.
Apr. 16 2014 10:40 AM]]

I think you should move to SA permanently and get a place without all of those defenses and see how that works out for you. In my building, everyone has double locks and some sort of alarm system, in addition to cameras in the hallways. In my neighborhood, it's unlikely that a white person will break in and steal things....it's a black area. Does that make me a racist? If so, don't care.

Apr. 16 2014 10:51 AM
john from office

Wow Africa is a utopian place with no Mass rape, religious violence, amputation, high crime, blood diamonds, I can go on and on. I guess there are no black criminals!! I will go for a walk tonight on 125th street, around 3 am. Oh a bunch of school girls were snatched up today for sexual slavery by BocaHaram, in Nigeria. Guess it was just a class trip into the Jungle.

Apr. 16 2014 10:51 AM
IMHO

You don't need to do all of these gymnastics to involve black people in the Pistorius case or to "sort out" people's fear of black or brown criminals in this country.

He didn't kill a black intruder, BUT IF HE HAD, he would have been seen as justified.

Well, DUH!!! If he had killed a white intruder he still would have been seen as justified.

I'll be glad when this case is over.

Apr. 16 2014 10:44 AM
Joyce from NYC

I find this segment really really disturbing. Having worked in Brooklyn in a certain neighborhood is the 1970s, I know crime can be VERY REAL.

How dare you say I HAVE A PROBLEM !!!!!!!!!

SEVERAL OF MY COLLEAGUES WERE KILLED AT WORK IN BROOKLYN IN THE 70S.

Apr. 16 2014 10:43 AM

WOW!

Racist AND anti-semetic, all in one "office"!

Apr. 16 2014 10:43 AM
MaryA from Westchester

Has there been an analysis of the number of stories the media publishes about crime committed by black people compared to the actual number of crimes? I think the media drives this prejudice and fear.

Apr. 16 2014 10:43 AM
john from office

Have any of these white liberal yentas ever lived in a black area?? I have and there is a degree of high crime. The Hip Hop and Rap movements have not helped the image of black males, with the thug "cool" image.

Apr. 16 2014 10:40 AM

I just returned from SA. In more affluent areas, there is ONLY high walls topped with concertina razor wire and electric fencing and ADT® "ARMED RESPONSE" signs posted on EVERY single home. EVERY SINGLE HOME. In addition to a phone booth-sized station on wheels on every street corner of the neighborhood, housing an ARMED guard.

In Jo'burg in particular, but all over.

Is this paranoia warranted?? What are the actual crime stats??

My hunch was that it was TOTALLY oversold and racist in nature.

Apr. 16 2014 10:40 AM

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