By Mark David Blum, Esq.
When a local newspaper reported a group of young black teenagers getting into a fight at Destiny Mall, my dear friend Sal Lanza says on Facebook in response to this story that, "Be very aware when you are at Destiny. Do not eat near any brothers or members of the hood. Keep your distance."
To Sal I say that I cant believe you went down this path. thankfully there are others out there who are also telling you that your ideas are wrongheaded, you sound ignorant, and well you are an embarrassment to our profession.
afraid to go to destiny; hey yo -- Americans don't run. We don't hide. We don't cower. We don't give up one inch to bad guys. You sir are teaching the wrong lesson to your daughter. You are teaching her to be afraid of "what-ifs" instead of teaching her how to deal with a world that is filled with people. as you know, when you have human beings, you get idiots. unless you are going to lock your daughter in a bubble, there is always going to be risk. I suggest you teach her to stand strong, not run in fear, defend herself, learn to accept dumbasses for who they are, and not see stereotypes as the barometer for future behavior.
last, you bring shame to our profession because of all people on this planet, tis us who stand there next to people like mister jones and others and we vigorously defend them. jeezuz bro, right now. you and I are standing shoulder to shoulder fighting viciously to defend not one but two accused of horrific sexual acts to a couple of young pre-teens -- and we are going to win the day and you know it. you want to let stereotypes rule the day? you want to let false assumptions based on appearances control your thinking?
we are the ones who stand that wall and we are the ones who put ourselves before government and firebreathing torch bearers -- and the client. we both know that no matter how heinous the crime, the person we meet is not the violent crazy wackjob -- but rather we see them as a person. we seem as their friends and family see them which is oft times very different from the person portrayed in the media.
so mister lanza, if you are going to spend your golden years cowering in the corner because of how another human being appears, that is always your choice. teaching your daughter to feel the same way and to keep her locked away from the world is, in my book, child abuse. you are not raising a child, you are training an adult. teacher your daughter well my friend. that will be your legacy.