I talk a LOT about being AWAKE and sending out the call for everyone to WAKE UP and by that I mean all of the levels of awareness. Basic #StayWoke policies and all that.
In case you didn’t click the above link and listen (hey you can do it later) here it is again:
There was a moment during the podcast (at about 0:50:00) where Dr. Kelly was exploring the legacy of fear and violence that has been poured down upon us – from an historical perspective.
She talked about the laws and policies created based around “I feel threatened”. I’ve written a lot about those things myself. So I thought I had gotten the whole picture. But it was just a small tilting of the lens, a few degrees in one direction and I was able to see things in a different way. It was a small thing and yet so HUGE.
She said that murderers are going free/unpunished for their murders, and Black people and POC in general are put through the wringer – tougher sentencing rates, longer prison terms, justice being put on the wayside – etc. all due to FEELINGS rather than FACTS.
For example the focus is on how the defendant up on murder charges FELT during the situation in which they committed their crime. They FELT like their life was in danger. They FELT threatened.
Instead of focusing on the FACTS. Were you in FACT actually in danger for your life? Were you in FACT actually threatened? Who in FACT actually escalated the situation? And so on.
When we exist in a society that deems me and people like me to be threatening just as we are – Sitting waiting for a table in a restaurant, waiting for a bus, sitting in a car playing music, walking in the rain – and then to build laws that back up those irrational fears, so much so, that you can simply state your FEELINGS and have that become a legal option for you to not have to pay for the crime you committed – well you tell ME what chance in hell do we have for justice?
There is no level playing field here at all. The inequalities are glaring.
I hadn’t thought about it in those specific terms. FEELINGS vs. FACTS. That is what it boils down to.
Just recently a man who was convicted of raping his three year old daughter got no jailtime whatsoever because the prosecuting judge FELT that he “wouldn’t fare well” in prison. The convicted rapist in question is a white male and heir to the Dupont fortune. Never mind the FACT that he raped his child and was convicted.
But a poor Black woman who was trying to change her circumstances in the best way she could, and get a job to be able to feed her children gets thrown in jail. Where are all the FEELINGS for her and her situation?
“You commit a crime, you do the time”. Well only for SOME people.
Please let someone walk based on FACTS not FEELINGS. Please serve sentences and prosecute with EQUITY ACROSS THE BOARD.
I’m not asking for much. We never are.
My existence is indescribable when I draw breath in a world that operates like this.