Thursday, September 21, 2006

Gone Country

My husband and I have a dilemma on long car trips: he prefers classical music, and I have come to like Country Western. Sometimes, he will indulge me for short intervals, but my effort to "convert" him has been largely unsuccessful. I have made one small inroad, however. Being a writer and lover of the fine tuned phrase, I appreciate the play on words and vivid homey imagery present in many of those country songs... not to mention the comic relief. And even The Husband has come to enjoy my collection of down-home wisdom....gleaned from those philosopher-songwriters who write those country-music songs.
I actually had a list of favorites going for awhile. Here are some from our top ten:
  • On the difficulties of divorce: "Things like this are never final...I'm still paying on the vinyl,"
  • On the elusiveness of success: "Every time I make my mark, somebody paints the wall,"
  • On incompatibility: "She never cried when Ole Yeller died, does she think I'll cry when she's gone?"
  • On geographical necessity: "All my ex's live in Texas...that's why I reside in Tennessee."

And, yes, I have a country western song that makes me think about Mike Nifong..."I wish I didn't know now...what I didn't know then."

The things we are learning about this "investigation" and Nifong's procedural behavior to date have shaken my faith in the justice system almost till breaking. I always thought police and prosecutors were the good guys, the heroes. I don't like finding out I was so naive.

The other LieStoppers are much better at elucidating the fine details of Nifong's misuse and abuse of the law. In addition, K.C. Johnson, William Anderson, and other masterful minds have dissected the sorry details. I just wonder, if reading those posts, you feel as I do? How long and how often has the game been "played" this way? What can we do to stop it?

Our friends in the minority communities have tried to tell us of rogue cops and abusive prosecutors for years. This, folks, should be an "AHA!" moment for the rest of us. "Yes," we should say, "we see it now." We can no longer allow ourselves to write off each other's children, label them "homeboys" or "hooligans"…and tolerate "shortcuts" by police or prosecutor to help us be rid of them. THESE PRACTICES, THESE ABUSES HAVE TO STOP. We must link hands and join hearts and demand it! This should actually be a moment of unification. A prosecutor who would indict before investigation, rig line-ups, and refuse to see exculpatory evidence...will not limit himself to these practices in just one trial. Honesty and integrity are not coats you shed as it suits you. Integrity is not a 90% thing, not a 95% either have it or you don't.

John D. MacDonald wrote the following:

"Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn't blow with the wind or change with the weather. It's your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won't cheat, then you know he never will."

Let's look in the mirror with Mike Nifong. See him doing chokeholds, hear him talking condoms...oh, you know it all too. Mike Nifong is not encumbered with integrity. He needs to win...elections, trials, all of it. A small man with a small heart. He feels only for himself. The lacrosse kids are not going to be his only target. It might be anybody. It can be anybody. He is not burdened by a need for integrity or the truth. He has played with our legal procedures. That's his style.

We know you can't be "partially" pregnant, nor can you be partially honest. Either you believe in our system of justice, our laws, our safeguards, and you uphold them…or you subvert them. If you have the mindset that YOU are above those rules…that YOU can decide WHERE and WHEN to suspend them, that mindset or rationale will continue long after this case. In short, Durham residents…the very real question applies..."Will you or someone you love be Nifonged next?"

So we get ready to go into court again Friday with the same ethically impaired prosecutor...but a new Judge. Will there be more of Nifong’s snarky comments, discovery "dodges", and sleight of hand? Will this new Judge be as tolerant as the hometown twosome that went before? Tracy Lawrence, a country western super-star might have a few words of advice to croon to Judge Osmond Smith, as he prepares to meet Mr. Nifong for the very first time....(paraphrased , of course).

"Nifong's alibis and lying eyes, and all the best lines…

Lord knows we've heard them all.

We've been cheated on and pushed around and left alone…

Lord knows what he's put us through

And boy, you can bet if a move can be made

He knows how to make one on you."

Joan Foster


gc said...

Joan Foster,

It is such a pleasure to read your work. Thank you for breaking down this complex case into such simple terms.

I read somewhere "Intergrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching". Sorry I don't know the author.

Durham Lawyer said...

Re: "Our friends in the minority communities have tried to tell us of rogue cops and abusive prosecutors for years."

That makes all the more ironic Kim Roberts' statement (almost verbatim) that "If the laccosse players are innocent, they have nothing to worry about --they will be found innocent."

Durham Lawyer