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what’s been building up

I think I’ve begun to look at things with more of a critical eye in the last few months. Or perhaps I am less caring if someone labels me as ‘too sensitive’. Eh. Either way, I’m noticing things – and if I don’t say something – well, I just have to say something.

Like when I was home [Daddy’s house] this wknd for MLK and the local news coverage mentioned kids working together to make their school a better place [yay!] and the Nationalist Movement rally in Jena [BOO!]. They either had a feed from the Jena local news – or they actually had their own reporter there [I’m not sure which], but the camera was on a white girl who looked to be about 15 or 16. She grinned at the camera and then she said something about how she was there to support White Pride.

I think the thing that gets me more than anything else is how people can teach their children to hate. Anyone. For no reason.

The story about this fellow in Colorado who was just released from jail after nine years for a murder he didn’t commit…that’s kinda bugging me. I don’t want anyone to stay in jail for a crime they didn’t commit – I’m just wondering why this guy has had continued media coverage after doing nine years, when I remember something I posted on my myspace blog in ’05. I was talking about two guys who had also been released from prison due to DNA evidence. They got the traditional 15 minutes of fame, though they were in jail for 19 and 26 years. One blip, one day’s news. In case you can’t use the link, here’s what I said:

in the last 3 days 2 men have been released from jail after 19 and 26 years (respectively) ~ exonerated of their alleged crimes by DNA testing. man #1: black. man #2: latino. seriously, we are talking about systematic and institutionalized racism that is not gonna dissolve because of a march, a benefit, an after-school special, or any other one-time-deal appeasement settlement.

in the case of the first man, he was incarcerated in PA after being identified by a ‘witness’ and ‘the victim’…it has been surmised that he was positively identified because of an “R” that had been placed beneath his picture (symbolizing the fact that he was a known sex offender). he had actually been accused by a former girlfriend but charges were never filed or they were dropped (1 of the 2).

so — man #1 maintains his innocence throughout the trial and 4 parole hearings…he is denied parole every time because he does not accept responsibility for his ‘crime’. 19 years pass. his kids are grown now. the prosecution continues to try to block DNA analysis, but somehow it is performed, confirming the story this man has maintained for almost 20 years.

and he’s not even angry!

man #2 spent 26 years in prison…conveniently hispanic, he fit no other part of the victims’ descriptions, but evidently, being cuban-american was all that was required for a conviction. his family says that having him back is compensation enough. he’s not angry, either.

why aren’t either of these men angry? they’ve lost huge portions of their lives they can never get back. their families have been torn, discouraged, struggling. kids grew up without a present father, dealt with the shame of the publicity of the incarceration. the income that these men would have brought to their families over the last 20 years is in no way a negligible amount.

while man #1 has been declared innocent. man #2 will not be, because there isn’t DNA from every case to be able to prove his innocence. so the prosecution is giving him freedom cuz they said it’d be too hard to retry cases 25 yrs old.

i’m no expert. i don’t know what they give you when you get out of prison…maybe everyone gets a bundt cake, but i doubt it. from what i understand you get your clothes back and whatever was in your pockets. maybe bus fare.

so these guys are back with their families and their looking forward to catching up/starting again/reintegrating into society. meanwhile, the people that worked together to put them away have moved on with their lives.

justice. [me-8/4/05]

Meanwhile, this dude, Masters has been on CNN every day since he got out. I can’t say it’s his fault. But here we are. Same ol’, same ol’.


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