s an Afrikan american who has been public enemy number one, in this republic of amerikkka, without ever given the benefit of the doubt—–it often frustrates me when I hear crimes being committed by white people and yet see no national outcry and lionization from respectable citizens following up on it. Also, it grinds my gears when I see no slander or pontification of criminality with white perpetrators—-via television, newspaper, history books, commentaries, politicking, and much more.
Just like a sophisticated painting, resting nonchalantly on the wall, with on-lookers captivated by it’s awe and wonder, who also assures you—-the illiterate consumer of art—that what they are staring at is simple and obvious, is how I often feel when having to explain to white on-lookers when another black life, such as 18-year-old Michael Brown, was stolen by the upholders of white supremacy—the simple and obvious misrepresentation of blackness and criminality.
For the sake of time and to explain this further, I am going to focus on one event. which is, very recently, the case of a homeless man set ablaze by three white men with shaved heads. On Saturday night, three white men crept up to 58-year-old homeless man, John Frazier—-who typically spends his time sitting on a bench at Ventura, California beach, not bothering anyone—and poured lighter fluid all over his sleeping bag and set him on fire. Then fled the crime scene, leaving the 58-year-old suffering second and third degree burns all over his body, and according to reports, he’s in critical but stable condition at a near by hospital.
Since when is it okay, and almost status qou, to hurt the most vulnerable members of our society without punishment? At first glance, the action that should follow after the latter seems obvious—capture the perpetrators and arrest them, and possibly put them in front of a firing squad and move on—-oh, I’m sorry, are we not doing that anymore? Furthermore, in order to create an awareness, and have a man-haunt for the perpetrators, you need to have national outcry, to deplore such cowardice activities against the most vulnerable. However, the national outcry’s has been more like national shoulder shrugs. But why is that?
The latter is simple and obvious to people of color, which is, this system—-oppressive and marginalizing—is ill-legitimate when it comes to holding it’s dominate and privileged members accountable, for crimes committed against the lesser privileged members of society. Sadly, Afrikan americans and other people of color are not so lucky, especially children and young adults. Exhibit A—–13-year-old Catherine Jones and her 12-year-old brother Curtis Jones were sexually abused by a family member. In 1999 the two plotted to kill their abuser. 12-year-old Curtis Jones shot their abuser with their father’s gun, then the kids panicked, tried to cover up the killing, and ran off.
The latter was a tragic accident that should have been handled by mental health professionals, not a criminal court. Instead of being treated as victims of sexual abuse, Florida prosecutors charged the children with first degree murder. The two became the youngest children in U.S. history to be charged as adults. The children ended up pleading guilty to second degree murder and were sentenced to 18 years in prison and probation for life to avoid a life sentence.
Sadly, Catherine Jones and her brother Curtis Jones are not alone. Currently, there are over 2,500 children serving life without parole for crimes committed while under the age of 18 in the U.S. and 60 percent of those are black. The reality is, when it came to 13-year-old Catherine Jones and her 12-year-old brother Curtis Jones, the national outcry and lionization was simple and obvious—-arrest them, charge them as adults and sentence them to life in prison. But when it came to the three men who set 58-year-old John Frazier, ablaze, the national outcry was not so simple and obvious. Perhaps, was it because they were white and male’d—the most dominated and privileged members of this american society?