Friday, September 12, 2014

More Ray Rice thoughts

Part of the reason that people dismiss Janay Rice as being misguided and suffering from some sort of battered women syndrome is that the only reason they can imagine she would defend her husband is that she is suffering from some sort of diminished capacity or she is a gold digger. The possibility that she loves her husband and wishes for his success, or that she does reasonably feel some responsibility for what happened, or that she has just forgiven him, or that she thinks he has been punished enough, seems not to have occurred to anyone.

I don’t know, if I hit my wife and my wife forgave me would I still be fired from my job as a professor? Would they be obligated to fire me? What if I were a shoe salesman or an auto mechanic? Would my employer be expected to fire me and, to complete analogy, see to it that no other college, shoe store or auto repair shop ever employed me? And would everyone expect as a matter of course my wife to encourage them to do so?

Has anyone noticed that this is a bunch of white men deciding how much to punish a bunch of black men?

The thing that is odd about the complaint that the commissioner should have seen the video is that the video admittedly does not add any new information? If so, what is the point? The visceral reaction of the viewers is so important? There is such a difference between knowing that someone got knocked out and seeing them get knocked out by a punch? Is there squeamishness in itself a sign of virtue, of their superior sensibility? Their physical revulsion at the sight of the act is to be taken as evidence of their moral superiority? Isn’t this precisely the sort of thing we are told should be kept from juries because it is inflammatory, shocking and sickening?

Why should he have tried harder to get the video? There were no facts in dispute. The what did he know and when did he know it angle is so habitual it is treated as the focus of controversy without even thinking about it. Did the NFL have a legal right to see the video, let alone a responsibility? I have heard people go on the radio about how the NFL could have gotten the tape because they have former law enforcement on staff and could have gone through back channels, but does that make it right, let alone obligatory? 

No comments: