The media have been a-titter the past few days because of the justly infamous case of the lenient treatment accorded Jeffrey Epstein, the serial billionaire rapist of pubescent girls. The prosecution case was apparently superintended by Alexander Acosta, who is now the Secretary of Labor. Acosta took the podium yesterday to (unconvincingly) defend himself.
I don’t blame anyone for feeling peevish about the kid-glove treatment given Epstein — but pardon me if I’m feeling a bit jaded toward all the huff-and-puff.
Where were the indignant when congregations frankly urged leniency for pastors who admitted raping half the children’s choir — and got it? Where were the indignant when Broadus Crabtree, the confessed murderer of Shelby Rigsbee, was given probation? Where were the indignant when the investigation of the murder of Kathryn Nankervis went cold when she was scarcely buried?
As I wrote about such cases three years ago:
I’m put in mind of the sad story of Shelby Rigsbee, the Durham, North Carolina prostitute whose killer was sentenced to probation. She, like Kathryn Nankervis, was on the outskirts of polite society; her death was scarcely noticed, and not much effort was given to finding justice for her.
The irony is that, though it’s true that violent crime might strike just about anywhere, it most often does strike amongst those for whom there is little public sympathy or concern. The obscure, the out-of-step, those with no knack for fitting-in — they know that: Nobody cares if they leave the party early.
Though it is doubtless true that Epstein’s money helped grease the wheels of justice, it would be misguided to think that was the decisive element. It’s the obscurity of the victims that is critical; nobody cares about nobodies, and so they get eaten with scarcely any public notice.