On The Juxtapositions That Never Matter To Systemic Racism

March 24, 2018

Stephon Clark. Mark Conditt. Two young American men both dead under wildly different circumstances. Conditt, dead by suicide bombing after planting bombs around Austin, TX that claimed the lives of innocent people. Clark, dead by way of 20 shots fired upon him by Sacramento police who misidentified his cell phone as a gun. Both deaths, indicative of trends of violence that has claimed many American lives: police brutality & ideology-based mass murder. It can be reasoned that there is an intersection between these trends. That the people who are responsible for these types of violent crimes share a similar identity (white/male) and the people who are victims of these crimes often share a similar identity (person of color/marginalized person). And because these identities are consistent more often than not, the natural inclination is to make “what if” comparisons of the criminal and the victims switching places. But here’s the thing, those who uphold a racially biased criminal justice system do not care about the juxtaposed unfairness presented by disenfranchised peoples. They know the imbalance/slant/partiality exists because they put it there. It’s there by design. Always has been. And us stating the obvious is not curing what the powers that be are not oblivious to.

America is a hotbed of insidious racism. A dichotomous land in regards to laws & crime & punishment & culpability & intent & evidence. Comparisons of treatment along racial lines makes for retweets & amens from folks who already recognize the unfairness, but what does it do for those who gate keep an unjust system? Because their position has not budged for centuries. And they are not looking to revise their perspective any time soon.

I am a poet, educator, essayist, activist & cultural critic from Baton Rouge. I write things so that things make sense even when they don't.

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