If justice has been served, why is my stomach in knots? Why do I have this queasy feeling and a sense of dread weighing heavily on my shoulders? To be sure, there is no justice here. There is no justice in the execution of a man who may have been innocent. I think about my brown-skinned husband…about how many times he has been convicted by others for the color of his skin, for the accent in his voice and for his insecure mumble in the presence of white authorities. Would officers have taken his insecurity as a sign of guilt? Would they have convicted him despite the coerced testimonies? Would they have seen justice in his suffering, regardless of whether there was proof of his guilt? Would they have taken the “innocent” white family’s word over his…over ours?
I can’t trust a justice system that would put a man to death simply because the privilege of some demands it so. I can’t trust a government that locks up our brown boys and men and views them as degenerates and criminals. I refuse to trust a government and judicial system that puts white justice over brown justice and white voices over brown voices.
We heard and outcry from the black community that has gone ignored, an outcry from all those who believe in justice for everyone and not just for those of privilege.
Sitting here at my desk and reading the news of Troy Davis’ execution, I have to wonder…does this country care about black people at all? Did we care in Katrina? Did we care when we published a 9/11 tribute that included zero black faces? Do we care now, that a black man’s life has been taken without JUST CAUSE?
Fine, let’s argue that he may have been guilty, but without any evidence other than heresay, how can we know with a certainty that warrants the destruction of a human life?
I don’t trust Georgia. I don’t believe this country understands what justice is. It’s a system awarded to a privileged few and that is a shame far beyond any other. America, I wouldn’t trust you with my husband’s life…you only aim to take brown lives away…to hold them down…to punish them…to force your “justice” upon them and form convictions based on the story that works for you.
Well, I’m not buying what you’re selling…and there are millions of Americans across this country who aren’t buying it tonight either.
© 2011, Chantilly Patiño. All rights reserved.