Thursday, July 18, 2013

Does Black Justice Exist In The Criminal Justice System?

"The popular narrative that emphasizes the death of slavery and Jim Crow and celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama is dangerously misguided. The colorblind public consensus that prevails in America today-i.e., the widespread belief that race no longer matters- has blinded us to the realities of race in our society and facilitated the emergence of a new caste system. " ~ Alexander, Michelle "The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness [The New Press, NY 2012}Pg. 12

Although I have tried to refrain from an indepth commentary, and don't plan on spending a lot of time on the subject, because there is far too much work to do within the church when addressing mindsets and stereotypes of victimization and abuse, I couldn't really go without at least addressing some of the issues surrounding the killing of Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman and Mr. Zimmerman's subsequent not guilty verdict. 
In all that has been said and done over the last year or so and through the verdict of this trial, we have heard some pretty polarizing statements and sentiments on both sides of the issue. We have seen people say that Trayvon should have simply gone home, or that George should not have stalked, yet alone, killed Trayvon (a sentiment to which I agree) and it seems that admonitions on at least what should have happened run along racial and ethnic lines.

In my mind this only further solidifies the understanding that America is divided into casts or sects and that

there are at least two philosophical views of America within the USA. There is an America whose systems and laws are fashioned for the people, and there is an America whose systems and laws are USED against certain of her own people. Although both of these Americas exist together; they even entertain one another, they do not exist in union with one another no matter how much they may appear to do so. Then there is an underlying mistrust, distrust and broken union among many of America's citizens that live in her everyday. This has caused much recent and modern controversy as we all remember the sentiments of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright who instead of saying "God bless America" said, "...God dxxx America, for what she has done..."
Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Can these things simply be written off as mainstream White dominated media wish to do with such sentiments? Can they or should they be simply be disavowed for political and mass social appeal? Are we experiencing a reemergence of ultra-classism, sectarianism and creedalism? Can we as a people stand it, and how should we address it? 

In this article I would like to look a a few pieces to the current puzzle in America. I don't think it is a debate in any other civilized nation that there is something wrong when an adult (or anyone else for that matter) stalks another person who is doing nothing wrong, and ultimately confronts and kills them, that an offence has occurred. But somehow part of America feels that the opinion in favor of death for the Black youth is somehow justified and understandable to whatever degree....      


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