Aug 26, 2011


Despite my love for mush and poetry, I’m a tough nut and nothing fazes me much these days. So it was a wonder of sorts when I was badly rattled by the way the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair ended. Of course, it was unthinkable at any point that DSK would face rigorous imprisonment but I did believe that he would pay – right through his fat fucking French nose. Out of court settlements are known to have set up victims for life and I thought at least it would entitle Nafissatou Diallo and her daughter to a lifetime of security and comfort.
For a woman who is an immigrant housekeeper in a NY hotel and one who’d escaped from a life of gruesome poverty, civil war and genital mutilation, you couldn’t ask for more. But it was not to be. And no, I don’t think Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is at fault in this case. Vance is absolutely right in dropping the charges when he knows they would be difficult (more likely impossible) to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in front of a jury. Nowhere has he stated that Diallo was not the victim of a wrongful sexual assault; no, he’s simply saying that certain omissions and lies in her past behavior would unduly influence a jury’s decision and make it impossible for them to convict DSK.

So, who the hell am I mad at, you may ask? Certainly not DSK who was seen smiling as he emerged with his wife and daughter after dinner on Wednesday. He is a predator and acted according to his nature – prey upon those who are most likely to keep silent. Nothing out of the ordinary, if you ask me. I am mad, indeed exhausted, at the truth Vance points at – the jury’s verdict, the truth about us. The jury is made up of people like you and me, people who demand that a victim of rape have an impeccable history, who demand that a victim of rape should be a model citizen, who think a victim of rape is sure to be lying if she has lived with multiple partners, who swap a person’s past with her living present. Because dear reader, when you think about it, that’s what Vance’s decision is saying. He writes that she lied on her application for asylum in the US. Ok, so she made up a story of having been raped by the militia in Somalia. How many of us would consider fleeing to an alien land, whose language we don’t speak, unless there are compelling circumstances? And if the circumstances are compelling, wouldn’t all of us lie? Hell, we lie even when it is not required! How could her lie be any greater than ours?

The second blot against Diallo is her association with Amara Tarawally, an illegal immigrant now behind bars on drug charges. I am sure, given a choice, the poor woman would no doubt have preferred lighting cigars for the likes of Bill Clinton but choice is not something that’s the prerogative of a penniless, black, immigrant single mother.  Whew! As I was writing this I became aware of the number of things Diallo was actually guilty of: 5 counts to be precise. Poor/Colored/Immigrant/Single/Woman. How could any jury on earth have believed her story?

Justice has been done. 


Sunil Deepak said...

Compared to the US courts, I was thinking that at least the system in India did work for Shiney Ahuja!

What my lawyer friend was telling me was that Strauss Kahn has been acquitted because the presecuter is not sure that there is evidence for a clear verdict but it does not say that he didn't do it, so the shadow against his name will remain.

drift wood said...


As i said, DSK doesn't bother me. The fact that we are all enmeshed in a system where he didn't have to face trial (where he may have been convicted) bothers me.

Grazie tanto (that's the extent of my Italian) for including this blog in your list :)

Shoumitro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shoumitro said...

Cannot understand this Jury system--so subjective! if you are pretty, white, rich, etc, you have more chance of influencing the jury. strange! Yes, DSK's release without even haing to go through a trial is miscarriage of justice.

drift wood said...


It's about public perceptions, about the 'evidence' being larger than the fact. Stuff like that. O.J wasn't white but look at how he got away - one of the worst instances of injustice, I'd say.