Short Take: Should Vance Be Anti-Racist?

There is a serious question whether it’s wise to pursue Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree. For one thing, she’s already suffered substantial consequences for what happened without benefit of due process. Yeah, yeah, we all know how every woke anticarceral activists wants her to be burned at the stake. No need to explain why killers deserve our empathy but Cooper deserves life plus cancer. We got it.

For another thing, we’ve promoted the notion that women are entitled to feel threatened, even if irrationally, to make false claims because that’s “their truth” twisted by the litany of excuses as to why it’s too hard to be rational and honest when one’s emotions run rampant. Except when it’s caught on video against a black guy, in which case every absolute tenet of social justice flips on its head and the woman becomes the criminal.

Much as we might want to dissuade people, women included, from falsely reporting crimes against anyone, black guys included, is the point now that a woman acts upon her feelings of fear or threat at her peril? She could be the hero or the criminal of the story, according to what a swarm of gnats on twitter decides?

Enter New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

“Our Office is committed to safety, justice, and anti-racism, and we will hold people who make false and racist 911 calls accountable,” said District Attorney Vance. “As alleged in the complaint, Amy Cooper engaged in racist criminal conduct when she falsely accused a Black man of trying to assault her in a previously unreported second call with a 911 dispatcher. Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the police response to Ms. Cooper’s hoax. Our Office will pursue a resolution of this case which holds Ms. Cooper accountable while healing our community, restoring justice, and deterring others from perpetuating this racist practice.”

Whether Cy appreciates the language he used is unclear. Is he now a closet Kendian? Maybe. He is, after all, up for re-election, facing the new breed of progressive prosecutors who would wield their power for their ideology, with its supporters on Sutton Place and in the Hamptons.

But if this suggests that his decision to prosecute Amy Cooper is not based solely on her falsely reporting as it would be with any false reporting, an offense almost never prosecuted, then there’s a problem. Is she being prosecuted for her race? Is she being prosecuted because a white woman called 911 on a black man?

But what if the races were reversed? What role does the sex of the person involved play? Does this matter?

It’s not a new trick, but it’s one I try to play. Change the race. Change the gender. Change the politics. Does the outcome change with it? If the Karen were black and the victim white, would people still be outraged? If so, then race or gender is the distinguishing factor, and accordingly, the outcome isn’t so much dependent on conduct but on race or gender. Guess what that makes it?

Just as it’s wrong and racist to prosecute conduct when committed by a black person that would be shrugged off if committed by a white person, it’s the same when the races are reversed. Yet, Cy harps on race here, and expressly says that his office is “committed . . . to anti-racism.” As laughably dubious as that assertion may be given his office’s treatment of black people in Part AR-1, it should play no more role in the exercise of prosecutorial power against Amy Cooper than Christian Cooper, her “victim,” who didn’t seek her prosecution.

Whether Amy Cooper “deserves” to be prosecuted is a matter of some fair dispute, where one would normally expect waves of women to step forward to demand her right to be irrationally afraid without fear of going to jail for it. And yet, will none of the erstwhile woke activists step up to decry her prosecution because Christian was a black man and Cy Vance has taken a sudden interest in being anti-racist?

22 thoughts on “Short Take: Should Vance Be Anti-Racist?

  1. Rengit

    In referring to what Amy Cooper did as a “hoax”, Mr. Vance sounds a lot like another politician from New York City, one with a more orange patina. “Hoax” used to mean a scheme that was objectively untrue on a material basis, something like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Piltdown Man, or the Tawana Brawley incident; now it just means that other people subjectively felt differently about things.

    I know where this characterization is coming from. Though the two Coopers were in fact having a confrontation, a lot of people said Amy Cooper’s fear was obviously false, which is why the phone call was false, but how would they know that? Even if you can judge her fear as unreasonable, a classic question for a jury, how do you know that her fear is false? “I wouldn’t be afraid in that situation because I am not a racist who is afraid of black men” is one thing, a judgment on reasonableness, but it is not a rationale to determine whether or not another person is *actually afraid*, not a rationale to say “therefore anyone who says they feel differently from me is making it up and is a racist”. People in this country call 911 because they are in distress that their microwave isn’t working or the employee at the drive-thru window forgot to put two orders of fries in their take-out bag.

    1. SHG Post author

      Whether a person’s fear is rational or irrational is not just a subjective call, but something of an irrelevant call. It’s still fear. Is it a crime to be irrational? It is now. Does one call 911 at one’s peril if it turns out that their fear isn’t shared by the twitter mob and the DA? Apparently so.

  2. szr

    Mr. Vance is really something.

    How many other county district attorneys put out a press release proudly announcing a prosecution of a misdemeanor offense? And how many of those DAs did so mere months after putting out a press release explaining that “the D.A.’s Office’s policy is designed to minimize unnecessary interactions with the criminal justice system, reduce racial disparities and collateral consequences in low-level offense prosecutions, and enable the Office and court system to preserve resources for the prosecution of serious crimes.”? (June 5, 2020 press release).

    I guess we now know the “serious crime” for which Mr. Vance preserved his resources.

      1. Gregory Smith

        That is the heart of the matter. The “justice” system almost always seeks to present itself as “above politics” but the reality is that political considerations are usually paramount in decisions about charging, nolle prossing and ruling. In other words, too often, the desired outcome is first determined and the legal justifications reverse engineered from that, rather than objectively following law and principle while accepting wherever that approach takes us. Judges, prosecutors AND defence attorneys seek to cloak their political objectives in objective legal terms. Is this actually political? Obviously, in my view. Is it unusual in that sense? I would say no. YMMV.

        1. SHG Post author

          It’s all a huge deep state conspiracy to conceal satanic pedophilia cannibal rings. You figured it out.

          Most of the legal system is sadly routine and ordinary, no matter what they say on twitter. Sorry to burst your bubble.

        2. Skink

          “Obviously, in my view. Is it unusual in that sense?”

          Yes, but only because you have no idea what you’re trying to say or what you’re talking about. Please take it to a forum where that is seen as intelligent. This ain’t that.

          1. SHG Post author

            What non-lawyers fail to grasp is that they only hear about the outliers stoking outrage, and know nothing about the 99% of the cases that no one mentions because they’re so uneventful.

    1. Rengit

      Taking a guess that Vance’s counterargument would be that Amy Cooper was about to make Christian Cooper have an “unnecessary interaction with the criminal justice system” whenever the cops would have showed up, and since Mr. Cooper was black, that would not work towards the goal of reducing racial disparities. This follows the logic of antiracism, which is how Vance is now touting his office.

  3. Jake

    “…an offense almost never prosecuted…”

    Almost never is such a slippery fraction. You wouldn’t happen to know what the introduction of video evidence does to the numerator in the ‘almost never’ equation, would you?

    1. SHG Post author

      The only time it’s prosecuted is when it somehow makes it into the news for other reasons. Otherwise, it’s never prosecuted. Now what were you asking?

      1. rsf

        Now, that’s not true. In my ADA days I prosecuted a false report misdemeanor that never made the news. Some meth heads were falsely accused of raping a different young lady meth addict. Turns out there was a video of the alleged rape and it was, shockingly I’m sure, very consensual.

        Yes, this was an excuse to bring up a case which still gives me nightmares. You can never unsee what I saw. It was so much worse than child sex cases or dead body cases.

  4. RCJP

    The anti-racist language is frightening, but fake 911 calls should be prosecuted. They led directly to the death of John Crawford and indirectly to that of Kendrec McDade.

    Give her time served, but it’s an abuse that shouldn’t be tolerated, regardless of motive or race.

    1. SHG Post author

      There are two kinds of “fake” 911 calls, the ones that are baseless and done with malevolent intent and the ones like Coopers, which was irrational and exaggerated, but otherwise legitimate. The baseless ones are an easy call. As for Cooper, any one else in this position would get an ACD at arraignment with a few hours of community service, but that won’t likely be the case here.

    1. SHG Post author

      Was that not clear enough a question in the post that you felt compelled to restate it, or did you just want to use “person of pallor”?

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