Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Book on Central Park Jogger Case

In 1989, five young men of color were tried and convicted of the brutal rape of a young white investment banker. The case sparked a profound wave of racialized hysteria, including full-page newspaper advertisements--financed by none other than Donald Trump--calling for the execution of the five suspects. In 2002, after another man confessed to acting alone in the attack, the state vacated the original convictions. This new book, written by Sarah Burns, details how the "same racist language that had been used to justify lynchings earlier in the century" helped create a climate of fear and irrationality around this case.