Tuesday, February 26, 2013
In recent years, we have witness torture inflected upon people supposedly to protect America. I'm not talking about the wars abroad supposedly to bring freedom. I'm talking about right here where racism was born. In nearly every city in America African American's are victims of abuse at the hands of the police, vigilantes, and murdered that seems, often times, to go unnoticed by the system of justice.
Let me remind you that it’s been one year since the assassination of a young black child in Florida – Travon Martin – similar to little Emmett Till over a half century ago.
The Klan is on the rise and most conservative law makers are trying to turn back the hands of time. During this month in the year of our Lord 2013, we still face the evils of those who are sick, like a Bull Connor, with the seemingly incurable disease of ricism. The mass incarceration rate of people of color and minorities are at an unprecedented rate; only compared to the captured soul’s once held in the evil system of slavery.
The Constitution and Western jurisprudence, going back to the Magna Carta and before, do not require a person accused of a crime to prove his or her innocence. The burden of proof is on the prosecutors to convince a jury of one's "peers" to unanimously agree on guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt."
The odds were stacked against minorities, and African Americans in particular, from the beginning. This is evident today because African American’s are sentenced to jailed at astounding numbers.
I was struck by something Hip-hop duo Dead Prez once said, "Behind me on the wall it says this place is a place of hallowed justice, it should say this is a place of hollow justice, there's no justice. We're right in front of the injustice department because for over 40 years we've seen Mumia Abu Jamal get no justice, we've seen Eddy Conway, we've seen Mutulu Shakur, we've seen Herman Bell, we've seen Jalil Muntaqim, and countless other colonial subjects shot down by the police departments inside this country, no justice."
Some might say this is “Modern Lynching" or as Michelle Alexander calls it "The New Jim Crow". It could also could be called "American Apartheid"!
Today, the prison industry is traded on the Stock Exchange. Did you know that the place where the Stock Exchange exists was once a place where slaves were sold? When laws are made to support the interests of an industry that is now designed for profit and to benefit its stockholders; there is not much difference in the once profitable slave industry.
Right now the United States represents 5 percent of the world's population but we incarcerate 25 percent of the world's prisoners. And guess which group of people is disproportionately represented in the American criminal injustice system – Just Us. This group also represents a large number of what I call the incarceration of the “un-justiced” or who they call Felons.
If we want to celebrate Black History (1) make it 365 days a year knowing that Black History is American History. (2) Lift every voice and demand justice thereby remove the stigma of “Just Us”. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…