Civic Duty

I had my first civilian jury duty last week. I WANTED to serve, although just for a short case, and that’s exactly what happened. I haven’t been able to format my experience in a way that fits this space but I know it was vastly different from the other jurors because of how we responded to the information we were give.

The trail reinforced for me the need to have defendants judged by their peers. And since we live in a country that incarcerates black and brown people at 5.1 and 1.4 (respectively) times the rate of whites, to me, that means more people of color need to be in the jury box.

Inhale Civic Duty, Exhale Excuses…
Inhale Fairness, Exhale Prejudice…
Inhale Justice, Exhale Systemic Injustice…
Just Breathe


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Scholars like Dr. Joy DeGruy have theorized that white supremacy has traumatized black AND white Americans. “Black people are afraid of a government which has not and will not protect them; white people are afraid that perhaps their injustice, or complicity in the dispensing of injustice, will come back to haunt them.”

That fear of retaliation is at the core of the gun debate…it’s why hate groups have found a safe haven in those institutions initially created to hunt slaves and why the FBI has never referred to the KKK as a terrorist group but recently labeled those peacefully protesting the violence against black bodies “black identity extremists” and warned that police attacks on black Americans could spur “premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence” against the police.

It’s a fear that’s rooted in fantasy, not reality, and yet has resulted in real oppression, real harassment, and real deaths.

“What a world this will be when human possibilities are freed, when we discover each other, when the stranger is no longer the potential criminal and the certain inferior!” ~ W. E. B. Du Bois

Inhale Reality, Exhale Fantasy…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Complicity…
Inhale Justice, Exhale Guilt…
Just Breathe

Reflections With Renita

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