Do you have an inherent need for justice? Do you believe equality is an important trait for people in society to have? On the other hand, maybe you know people who are indifferent to financial and psychological struggles.
In 1943 Abraham Maslow made a name for himself in the field of Educational Psychology by discussing people’s needs. He, of course, discussed obvious needs like the need for food, water, and air. He then went on to discuss emotional needs, for example the need to feel safe, loved, and have a sense of belonging. They fall into the category of emotional needs. He explained that if people don’t feel like they belong, their esteem, another need, will suffer, and their psyche will deteriorate instead of grow. I believe African-Americans in our country have fit this description ever since Officer Wilson and Officer Pantaleo were exonerated for killing Michael Brown and Eric Garner respectively (What do Eric Garner and Michael Brown Have in Common?).
Furthermore, Maslow discussed the need for understanding among the eight in his list (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). People of all colors can’t understand the seeming injustice not only by the officers that killed Mr. Brown and Mr. Garner but by the juries that acquitted them. How do I know? I haven’t written a post about the Brown-Garner situation since December 29, yet many readers have been writing me, not to ask about the situation, but to attempt to explain it. Answers vary from “no racism occurred,” the view presented by the officer in my interview (Lies the Media Told About Michael Brown and Eric Garner), to “totally racist”. Even my students were split (How to Know if Eric Garner and Michael Brown were Victims of Racism).
This is all recap. This situation is a travesty of justice. It has to be if both sides are upset. People accusing the white officers of racism are upset due to the injustice in our system. (I had one lady write me on Twitter saying that all New York Police Department officers are racist due to the corruption in the NYPD.) The people who don’t feel this situation smacks of racism are upset due to the destruction and violence they see occurring for no reason at all (Minimalist’s Guide to Understanding Protests in New York). such as the shooting deaths of two NYPD policemen subsequent to Mr. Brown and Mr.Garner’s deaths.
Now, the situation has taken a new twist. One of the grand jurors who acquitted Officer Wilson is suing to be allowed to talk about the case. Apparently, a lifetime gag order has been put on him and the other grand jurors. However, the American Civil Liberties Union believes the gag order violates the First Amendment, the right to free speech.
His desire to speak reminds me of the jurors that were interviewed after they acquitted OJ Simpson of a double murder. (OJ was a star in both the world of entertainment and sports.) It was the greatest DNA evidence in the history of crime, according to Prosecutor Garcetti. There was blood all over OJ’s car, for example.
One of Maslow’s needs, as explained above, is the need for understanding, so the world listened as the jurors were interviewed on television. When people heard the views of the jurors, they were as dumbfounded as ever! The rationale of the jurors for acquittal was downright silly. I remember one juror explaining that OJ had to be not guilty or there would be blood on the leaves in the trees.
Is that what will happen if the unnamed juror speaks? Will the furor be renewed? NYPD Officers Liu and Ramos are dead because of that furor. People have speculated that the unnamed juror wants to milk this “15 Minutes of Fame.” Will more damage occur if he speaks?
Readers, what do you think? Should he be allowed to speak or should the gag order stand, and why? I look forward to your views.