Stir It Up
Remembering the Central Park Five case, a twisted rush to judgment
Published: December 12, 2012
Most folks know about the killing of Trayvon Martin last February, when a self-appointed neighborhood watchman claimed he was standing his ground after he stalked and confronted the 17-year-old — who carried only a package of Skittles candy and a can of Arizona iced tea. When it comes to young men of color, it's all too easy to appoint yourself judge, jury and executioner on the spot.
That's why The Central Park Five is such an important movie. It's a reminder that anybody can be demonized at any moment and the results are usually tragic.
"Part of the underlying problem in this case are those racist assumptions that those kids must have been up to no good," says Burns of the Central Park Five. Her interest in the case started as a subject for her senior essay at Yale. She published a book on the subject in 2011. "That suspicion in 1989 made it so easy for people to believe this story even when it fell apart."
We're still pretty much playing by the same rules.
The Central Park Five opens Friday, Dec. 14, at the Main Art Theatre, 118 N. Main, Royal Oak, 248-263-2111.
See Jeff Meyers' review of The
Central Park Five in the Watch section of this week's paper.
Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
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