Saturday, May 05, 2007

a Marmotic faux pas

Robert Koehler recently blogged about the bizarre case of Judge Roy L. Pearson versus the Chung family. Judge Pearson is suing the Chungs, who run a dry cleaning service, for $67 million. Why? Essentially because he didn't receive a pair of pants on time. I agree with Robert's exasperation at the judge, and had no trouble with Robert's main post.

But then he added this update:

Now, I know I’m treading on dangerous territory here, but might I suggest that race could be a factor here-- Pearson is black, and this being Northeast DC, I’m going to assume for the moment that many of Pearson’s neighbors and fellow customers are, too. Black community, Korean business...

I respect Robert and believe he's sincere in writing the above, but I think this observation is uncalled for because it seems to assume that people in the black community will not share non-black folks' astonishment at the enormity of the suit.

We don't really know what Judge Pearson's deeper motives are in suing the Chungs for this ridiculous amount (and I agree he's way out of line), but to assume this is motivated by race is to make a rather large intuitive leap.

Taken literally, Robert's words aren't controversial. It's entirely possible that, as Robert phrases it, race could be a factor in Pearson's actions. But moving straight to that speculation without first wondering whether, say, Pearson is simply a nutcase, is a bit disturbing to me.


1 comment:

Elisson said...

When I first heard about this, I did not realize that Pearson - the guy "pressing the suit," as it were, was black. Not that it makes a scintilla of difference.

He's an asshole who needs to be booted out of his job, have his suit dismissed, and be forced to pay restitution to the Chungs...minus the cost of a pair of pants, which they have already paid him.

Fuck him. Fuck him to death.