Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stop, You're Embarrassing Us

Today, the trial began for a lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C. This shouldn't be surprising as there are law suits being filed all of the time. But, this one is special for a couple of reasons. The case revolves around one Roy Pearson, a judge in Washington. He took five suits to his local dry cleaners to be altered. Four came back perfectly. One was missing its pants. They probably had been misplaced. This is something that does happen from time to time and usually doesn't upset most people, especially if the rest of their work came back correctly which it did.

Unfortunately, Pearson is not some people. So, he took offense the only way he thought reasonable: by filing a 65 MILLION dollar lawsuit against the dry cleaner, claiming damages on behalf of ALL 550K+ CITIZENS OF WASHINGTON DC. The place only has three stores, and his outlet was in NE. I won't state the obvious here.

He sued because the store said Satisfaction Guaranteed. I'll jump in here, and say that normally when places say Satisfaction Guaranteed, they will give you the item for free or give you a credit if something is done to your displeasure. There is normally not a need to sue the store in any way. And the story continues...

As he took the stand in his own defense, Pearson began to CRY about the fact that he had been given the wrong pair of pants by the dry cleaner. To bolster his case, he brings out a 89-year-old woman who claimed that Custom Cleaners, the store being sued, is like the Nazis. She spoke of being chased out of the store. She said:

At 89, I'm not ready to be chased. But I was in World War II as a WAC, so I think I can take care of myself. Having lived in Germany and knowing the people who were victims of the Nazis, I thought he was going to beat me up. I thought of what Hitler had done to thousands of Jews."
I only really have one comment about this: is getting chased out of a dry cleaning facility really like fearing for your life because you aren't the right race and/or religion? I'm not one to say that getting chased out of a store with a trick hip is fun, but I think that it's better than not knowing whether or not you will live through the night.

Pearson paraded other witnesses before the court as well. Their commentary is summarized by Metro columnist for The Washington Post Marc Fisher:
Pearson presented a series of witnesses who told of unhappy experiences at Custom. Their satisfaction, they said, was hardly guaranteed. But every one of Pearson's witnesses told the defense that in fact, they would have been entirely satisfied if they had been given credit for free cleaning or compensation in the amount of the value of their damaged or lost garment. Most of the witnesses said they'd generally had good experiences at Custom, and not one of Pearson's witnesses said anything about deserving millions of dollars.

So, after all of these witnesses, Pearson cried on the stand while talking about the dialogue between himself and Soo Chung, the female proprietor.

Honestly, I don't need to tell you why this is ridiculous. The reason that it is embarrassing for me is because this guy is Black. Black people and Asians have tense relationships in the hood. If you've never read Black Power, I implore you to read it to further understand why this relationship is so tense. But, this is just me dropping radical politics. The only reason this is embarrassing me is because he's Black. If he was White, I'd be embarrassed as a born-and-bred Washingtonian because he's making us look bad. But, because he's Black, he's not only shaming the city, he's shaming Black people, making us look petty and money-grubbing. We already have rap doing that. I don't need a judge who got a bad alteration and probably could afford to replace the pants after a couple of weeks to add on.