As much as everyone likes the feel good stories and tales of perseverance when it comes to the disabled; this isn't one of them. Pistorius is the South African born amputee turned Olympian that a midst all his fame and valor would stand on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013. And while I won't mull over the details of the trial and the death of his girlfriend, I would like to explore the recent uprising in domestic violence and how as of late it seems to become a polarizing subject.
In the last few weeks, we have all seen the Ray and Janay Rice incident on every news channel and social media outlet. We all know the deal, Ray punched his wife and knocked her out. We've all seen the video of him dragging her out of the elevator and dropping her before completely getting her clear of the doors. What a horrible visual! But what perplexes me and many in my immediate circle is that while watching ESPN this story was being ran back to back on every show. However, the Oscar Pistorius story casually strolls across the update ticker and not at all did it draw one mention on any mainstream news circuit. NONE. Pistorius wasn't found guilty of murder, but was found guilty of culpable homicide and the United States version of reckless discharge of a weapon. After the verdict, Pistorius was granted bail and free to leave the court.
If you delve into court documents and testimony from neighbors, there are clear signs of domestic violence in the household prior to the murder that seemingly weren't included in the prosecution of the case. Two neighbors said they could hear screams from a woman in the apartment, those screams were later determined to be screams from Oscar. Oscar states that he saw what he thought WAS a woman's silhouette moving in the bathroom and that he believed his girlfriend was still in the bed when he engaged what he thought was an intruder. Oscar who kept his gun next to his bed like many gun owners do, shot through the bathroom door and killed Ms. Steenkamp because he thought she was in fact intruder. Okay its possible to be startled when you wake up yes, but how do you accidentally kill your girlfriend. This is the part where I say what I’m thinking... It’s no way.
Now let's say if you are suddenly startled in your sleep, there is no way the first thought in your head is to grab your gun and shoot at toward the bathroom door without checking to see if the person next to you is okay first. We’ve seen this in scary movie after scary movie, when something is happening in the house the woman usually wakes up first and the man has to go and investigate. He usually whines or will dismiss the woman as being too worrisome, but he always gets up. I understand Pistorius has to get up and put on his prosthetic legs to conduct this investigation, but at what point does his disability give him a license to shoot before knowing who is on the other side of that door? A burglar usually stays away from anything that would get him into a confrontation with a home owner because he wants to get away so, the bathroom in your BEDROOM usually isn't the best option. Most burglars will usually hover around the exits. I mean I’m no "breaking and entering" specialist, but common sense tells you that the woman's silhouette in your bathroom probably isn't in your medicine cabinet looking for prescription oxy’s.
The biggest question I ask is why wouldn't you look on the other side of the bed and see if the woman you laid down with is still there or not, Right?? As a man we are supposed to protect the women we are with. Those are just society standards. So, the first thing I’m going to do if I think someone is robbing my house is make sure she is okay. so those are some of the facts. The issue I see with the topic is that if you check on the woman next to me and my child. He could have prevented this whole situation by a simple “Hey Babe”. And this is all depending on if the incident went completely as Pistorius described and was accepted as admissible evidence in the case. I’m not here to speculate but, this case screams murder.
Overall, I think my biggest issue throughout this whole ordeal is that he’s being allowed to compete for his country in full Olympic capacity and his sentence hasn't even been handed down yet, which is scheduled for next month. Now, here at home we’ve seen Ray Rice’s career seemingly cut short because of the mistake he made and from the video going viral as of late. Rice represents ONE team in a league that provides entertainment to the country. While Pistorius is an Olympic athlete that represents an entire nation. Let that sink in... an ENTIRE NATION. This man impacted his entire nation when news of him facing murder charges came about. On the other hand, Ray Rice who saw a judge and was handed his punishment (fines, counseling etc.) is indefinitely suspended and subsequently labeled the face of Domestic Violence. Goes to show that the crime wasn’t the problem. It’s that there was video. Is it a cultural divide since this is South African law? Is it that Rice is more expendable in his league? Is it because Postorius is handicapped? Or is it racial? Again, I can't speculate. But I will say this, this double standard in society is almost sickening.
The average American may not even know Oscar Pistorius. You have to put a tie to his fame for his prosthetic legs and black America identifies with him as "Poor Lil Tink Tink" from a popular Katt Williams comedy show. But on the scheme of the world... Oscar is kind of a big deal; medal placing in the Para-Olympics since 2004 and making waves to qualify in regular Olympic events since 2010. So why hasn't he been held to the standard of scrutiny we give our stars in this country? Seems like his trial would bring in more social buzz than it has or maybe the illustriousness has just died down. Nevertheless, I’ll be watching next month to see what double standards and privilege he is granted when his disability weighs in on his sentencing. The judge on his case has complete control over his fate. Under South African law, he can face between 0-15 Years while Ray Rice awaits appeal on his case to see if he will play football past this season. Hey there are plenty of unmitigated facts about this case and this whole issue is touchy as of late in the media but Let’s be Frank... Another White guy kills someone using excessive force and he could literally get away with murder. The system has made excuse after excuse for him. It’s time to question our society and what we deem acceptable. The more money you can make the more indispensable you are.
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