I understand and have even blogged on the fact that a lawyer’s job is to represent the interests of their client.
But often the lawyer sounds like an idiot doing so and makes all other lawyers look bad by how ridiculous they sound. For example, almost anything done by Drew Peterson’s old attorney is a terrible reflection on the legal community.
That said, the new leader in the clubhouse for making ridiculous statements is Marcia Shein, who represents an Idaho businessman who was arrested for assaulting a baby on a Delta flight.
Ms. Shein said, "This has escalated into a racist issue and I want to be clear he is not a racist.” That in of itself is not a terrible thing to say. Or at least not until you learn that her client is being called a racist because he allegedly told the mother of the child to “Shut that n-word baby up!”
The kid was crying on the flight and yes that can be annoying. But to throw out racial comments and then slap a baby is ridiculous.
The lawyer would have been better served to say nothing at all. What is there to say that can help his defense other than I’m sorry? How much worse can it get than to slap a baby?
Shein also said that using the n-word doesn’t make her client a racist. That’s the biggest load of crap I ever heard. If you are racist, just own it. Nobody that isn’t racist would scream “shut that n-word up.” Just as no one who isn’t racist would put a noose in a black co-worker’s locker or make slanty eyes toward an Asian co-worker.
In the same vein, I’m Jewish and plenty of times in my life have heard people say something that is Jewy or that someone Jewed them on a payment that was owed. Are you telling me that those people aren’t anti-semetic? Of course they are. Just as I’m not writing out the N-word or saying it (although Louis CK would say I’m worse because I’m making you say it in your head), nobody that does or says things that are construed as racist can say that they aren’t racist.
It doesn’t mean that you are Hitler or David Duke or Mel Gibson, but saying racist things is what a racist does. Denying it, even through your lawyer, makes you look even more ridiculous and quite honestly, it’s the sign of a coward.
There is no law against using racial epithets against a baby, so this passenger should have apologized profusely and moved on with his life as best he can. Instead he lost his job and is getting death threats. And if the family of the toddler pushes hard enough, he’ll probably spend some time in jail.
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