Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Good Ol' Joe

I know it's fashionable to bash Texas in general, especially those of you who've never been here. Now with Good Ol' Joe Horn all over the news for blasting a couple of alleged thieves burglarizing his neighbors home, the bashing is in overdrive. Which puts those of us who were born here in a bit of a bind. Granted, the Texas legal system definitely has its flaws, particularly in regard to gun ownership and the usage of said weapons.

But please don't miss the point here.

The issue, as usual, is equal justice before the law, and the fact that minorities are far more likely to feel the full brunt of said laws than our Caucasian counterparts are. Not to mention being on the receiving end of "frontier" justice. That's hardly unique to Texas, or to the southern states, as a glance around the America will quickly tell you. But it does seem there's a special breed down here, the same bunch that are currently running the country and by extension the world. But there are strong Black folks here too, as we deal with them everyday and yet "still we rise."

Now, I was withholding posting on this issue because it's kinda hard to evoke too much sympathy for people who were breaking into someone's house, and originally Joe Horn, as unlikely as it sounds, claimed these fellas lunged at him after he told them to stop, therefore making the issue one of self-defense. However it's now become clear that Joe's mind was set before he went outside. He was going to kill those burglars no matter what, told a 911 operator as much, and gave a play-by-play as it was going on.
From that point all hell has broken loose, with protests and counter-protests, skin color basically determining which side you're on. Not a word from the neighbors Horn was "protecting" who are immigrants from Vietnam. Joe's actions have made him a hero in the minds of certain sectors of the community, and a cold-blooded murderer to others.

That's just the sideshow however as it looks like the typical White man shoots a Black man cover-up is on. Because as it turns out, the burglars were both shot in the back! There goes the self-defense argument. An undercover cop also supposedly witnessed the whole thing, except when he was ducking the shotgun blasts. Despite these facts, we're still waiting to hear from the Harris County DA regarding charges against Mr. Horn. Suffice it to say, no one's holding their breath.

The amazing thing has been the transformation of the burglars themselves from a couple of two-bit thieves to members of a huge international crime ring involved in everything you can imagine, from drugs, to people smuggling, to, well you get the idea, everything. And..., wait for it..., they're ILLEGAL ALIENS to boot, from Colombia. Which makes me wonder how the Hispanic community is reacting to all of this. Anyone?

Well Joe Horn didn't know all that when he went outside. He just saw two Black dudes. And in the eyes of many of my fellow Texans, despite the fact that burglary has NEVER been deemed a capital offense, and that a man is supposedly innocent until proven guilty; that is justification enough to get away with murder.

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