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Location:near Houston, Gulf Coast, United States

Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Race: the ever-present trump card

Even after reading this article twice, I'm at sea. In today's online Houston Chronicle is a story by Allan Turner and Cynthia Garza called, "Efforts to halt execution of black woman surge".

Is the issue that Frances Newton is black? That would certainly be an assumption based on the title. Yet other than noting that she'd be the first black female executed in Texas since the Civil War, race isn't discussed in the article.

Maybe the problem is that she's female? Apparently (if the stay is not granted) she will be only the third woman - of any race - to be executed since that same War. Is the fairer, gentler sex immune somehow from societal punishments? (Seems a bit of a double standard, eh?)

I had to conclude that it is somehow worse to be a black female about to face execution whilst maintaining innocence than it is to be a green martian or a purple pygmy. Either that, or the title's inclusion of Mrs. Newton's race is merely a shallow attempt to rally support based on an inflammatory irrelevancy.

I sure do wonder why race has to be dragged into everything.