Transcript, Web links and Credits below.
Last week, a court ruling determined that white men are now a protected minority. Yeah, I’m dead serious. It’s a big deal and it’s highly problematic. I have to unpack and explain why it’s such a big deal and the impact this decision could end up having.
Let’s dig in.
This is Shaun King and you are listening to (The Breakdown)!
Last Wednesday, quietly, the Third District Court of Appeals in Florida issued a decision that really hasn’t made the news yet. It will. And at the root of this opinion they issued is something that I’m going to circle back on with our final segment at the end of today’s show. But this decision, and issues like this, is really why we started The North Star and why we launched this podcast. Because some of the biggest, most important, most impactful issues in our nation just don’t get the coverage they deserve. They happen under the radar.
Let me break this one down for you. (Quick break it down voice).
In Miami, Florida a man named Timmy Beal was accused of stealing a car, driving without a license, and reckless driving. The jury actually ended up dropping the grand theft auto charge and ended up convicting him of trespassing and reckless driving — lesser offenses. It was a pretty good break for Beal. But something very interesting happened during the jury selection. And 99.9% of the time, when something like this happens, it’s never appealed and the public would never hear about it. But this just so happens to be that case that is the one tenth of one percent that sees the light of day.
When juries are chosen for a case, something called a jury panel is formed. A jury panel can be 40-60 potential jurors that are normally randomly chosen by computer software — and prosecutors and defense attorneys will then have a process where they fight it out to select their 12 jurors and a few alternates from that pool of 40-60 jurors.
And I have to admit — that process is weird. It’s full of problems. Even how those initial 40-60 jurors are chosen by the software is weird. But when prosecutors and defense attorneys begin to argue for their top 12 jurors, lots of strange stuff goes down. I should do a whole episode on that process. It’s one of the dirty little secrets of this nation. The defense and prosecution go back and forth arguing for and against certain jurors until they whittle it all the way down to 12.
So in this case, the prosecution said they wanted to strike down juror number 14 and have him removed from contention. And normally, it would’ve happened without an interjection, but the defense then said something that is about as 2019 as 2019 gets.
The defense objected to striking down juror number 14, who we later come to know only as Mr. Weiser —we don’t have his first name. The defense objected to the judge for striking Mr. Weiser, saying that he comes from a protected class of people.
And the judge was weirded out. And the prosecution was weirded out. I read the transcript. The defense said that juror number 14, Mr. Weiser, came from a protected class of people. And the judge and prosecution, both stumped, asked the defense what protected class of people Mr. Weiser belongs to. And you’re not gonna believe the answer… white men.
The defense said that white men belong to a protected class of people. Now, to clarify what that means, all the way back to the 1860s, the courts started making rulings to protect oppressed and marginalized groups of people — including Black folk, other people of color, and women. Inherent in the court rulings over the past 150 years is that this nation has one group of people, white men, who don’t need extra protections, because the whole system was built from the ground up to benefit them. But, other people need extra protections because the system was actually built to oppress and marginalize them.
So when the defense said that white men belonged to a protected class of marginalized people, the judge was stumped. And I’m going to read a quote from the judge, “It’s not a protected class, stop right there. It’s not a protected class, okay? So that’s where it’s not a proper challenge.” And the judge then allowed the juror to be struck down. And they moved forward, selected the jury, then convicted Timmy Beal.
But Beal appealed his conviction, and I’m fine with that. I’m not here to advocate for more jail time or any jail time for a man who made a stupid, non-violent mistake. Get him some support and let that man move on. But Timmy Beal and his attorneys appealed his conviction, saying that he didn’t get a fair trial because white men belong to a protected class of people and that the white man who was struck from the jury should’ve been protected.
And I am about to scream, because guess what happened? Timmy Beal, on July 24, 2019 won his appeal. His conviction was thrown out. He was granted a new trial. Which is fine. But he was granted a new trial, because the court determined something that they have literally never determined before. The appeals court determined… wait for it… wait for it… that white men belong to a class of people that deserve extra protections before the court.
It’s preposterous. This phrase, “protected class of people” was literally created to protect people from white male power. That phrase, and the laws behind it, were designed to give balance and fairness to a system that was never built to be either balanced or fair. And what happens when white men are then determined to be a new protected class of people? It basically means that nobody is protected. If the single most powerful, most privileged group of people in this nation are now preposterously determined to need special protections under the law, the net effect is that nobody gets special protections.
And that’s what is so problematic. White men don’t need one single extra protection in this nation. No group is more protected. No group has more power, more wealth, more position, more status, more control.
In the three years Trump has been in office, he has single handedly nominated more judges to federal district courts and appeals courts than most Presidents do in two terms. And guess what? They’ve been fast-tracked through the Senate, which conservatives control, and then approved at a record pace.
Which takes me to today’s Action Step. (Action Step Music)
Today I’m about to give all of the listeners of The Breakdown a sneak peek into the work of The Action PAC that we are going to be announcing publicly very, very soon.
Listen to me — defeating Donald Trump matters. It’s a HUGE deal. He is an open bigot, a liar, a racist, a misogynist, and he’s a danger in so many ways. He needs to be defeated. And I’ve endorsed a candidate for President and encourage you to do the same thing, and throw your heart and soul behind a candidate that you believe in and that you believe can beat Trump, but, behind the scenes, the team at The Action PAC is building a campaign to flip the senate.
It won’t be easy. It’s going to take everything we’ve got, but in my opinion flipping the Senate is as important as any political fight in front of us. If Democrats had already done it, they could’ve stopped Trump from causing so much harm. And can I be real? I don’t trust established Democrats to do this on their own. They actually lost seats in 2018, during the blue wave. For this to happen, we are going to be the ones who make it happen.
And I want you to join the team that’s going to flip the Senate.
Go now to: TheActionPAC.com. Sign up to volunteer, make your donation, follow @TheActionPAC on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and let’s plan on flipping the Senate. Because without the Senate — even if Trump won reelection — he couldn’t stack these courts or stack the Supreme Court.
Thank you all for making it all the way through this episode of The Breakdown!
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Take care everybody.
Produced by Willis Polk II
Additional production by Christian “Idrys” Shannon
Additional Instrumentation by Christian “Idrys” Shannon, Lance “Lance Fury” Powlis & Markeith Black
Additional Engineering by Amond “AJ” Jackson for Salem Psalms Library
Additional Vocals by Garnett “Natti” Bush & Jason Coffey
Scratches by Kenny “DJ FlipFlop” Vanderberg