This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.Proposed By: isitkin on Oct 6th 2011 at 9:49:47 AM
Last Edited By: isitkin on Oct 7th 2011 at 6:23:01 AMName Space: Main
Page Type: Trope
it was not pleasant to go through life telling yourself “What I Do for a living, I pack blacks and Latins off to jail”–> The Bonfire Of The Vanities”’
Trope Namer is The Bonfire Of The Vanities, written by Tom Wolfe. In the novel, the District Attorney, Abe Weiss, is nicknamed Captain Ahab because he obsessively hunts for the Great White Defendant, a hoped-for criminal that will assuage his sense of impropriety and guilt over being a non-minority, but required by his job to prosecute minority criminals. Because of the way the Great White Defendant fills a physchological and political need of the prosecutor, he will pursue the case obsessively, even though it becomes clear the defendant is not actually, y’know, guilty. He’s an Acceptable Target.
The defendant has usually done something, or is accused of having done something to harmed someone who is a racially Once Acceptable Target.
Compare Missing White Woman Syndrome.
- The Bonfire Of The Vanities : the trope namer.
Feedback: 6 replies
Yeah, definitely stay away from Real Life examples. Especially since it’s still kind of contentious whether the Duke boys are in fact innocent.
I think this may be Too Rare To Trope.Especially since it’s still kind of contentious whether the Duke boys are in fact innocent.
The DA who took over after Mike Nifong resigned (Nifong was later convicted of lying and disbarred because of this) announced that they are totally innocent. There is zero contentiousness about their innocence.
Hmm. Surely there’s a Law And Order example, since the show’s been on so long.
Yeah, it seems to me that this is the very rare inverse of a common trope* in which a minority scapegoat is sought by the police when a significant crime goes down. In any case, the wiki does seem to lack a trope for mundane race-based legal scapegoating. Maybe that’s a place to start, and if lots of examples accrue, a split could be considered down the line.
- In fiction, of course. I don’t want to debate supposed Real Life Examples of either side of this one, and I doubt anyone else does either.
I can certainly recall McCoy getting accused of it often enough.
In Law And Order UK a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Nick Griffin[[hottip:*:Chairman of the far right British Nationalist Party]] accuses Steele of this being the reason he was (wrongly, but not sympathetically) locked up for the murders of several black youths. In reality all the evidence pointed towards him, but infomation which pointed to another suspect was withheld.
Oct 6th 2011 at 10:13:01 AM
It might be a good idea to avoid Real Life examples in this trope. Rule Of Cautious Editing Judgement and all.