The reason America seduces you into thinking that everybody locked up is a fucked up person is threefold:
- It conveniently allows for you to forget that everybody from John the Baptist to Martin Luther King has done time. Even Jesus got arrested.
- It makes you either ignore or forget that sometimes (slavery, ya’ll) the law itself is unjust.
- It makes you think anybody currently walking around on the outside is not or could not be a criminal.
And while I’m not saying that Dwayne Stafford, the young man that beat murderer Dylann Roof to a pulp, is some kind of saint, what I will say are that his actions prove that if, as it’s argued, the first priority of prisons is rehabilitation, then Mr. Stafford is not only well on his way to becoming a productive citizen, but should also have the duration of his sentence suspended right now and be granted his immediate release.
The two stereotypes Mr. Stafford resisted in order to bash young Dylann are that his geneartion is completely selfish and would never do anything for the greater good, and that Black people, despite all the violent mysogeny in our music, are all talk, and the fact that none of the cops that brought the need for #BlackLivesMatter into existence has missed as much as a wink of sleep, guys like Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr. are still alive and hell, so is George Zimmerman, prove as much.
Speaking of Mr. Zimmerman, it’s been real quiet in the social media universe about the fact that yet again, he got his ass whooped, but unlike last time, instead of pulling the gun he made sure to tuck before he got out of his car to deliberately start a fight with young, Black Trayvon Martin, he didn’t go for the gun after this beating.
This leads us to conclude only one thing; the guy that beat his ass this time wasn’t Black.
And that leads us to conclude one thing; because it wouldn’t be a Black guy that would die by his hand this time, Zimmerman knew he couldn’t “stand his ground” and get away with murder.
And that’s truly amazing because, unlike the night where he killed young Trayvon, there were plenty of witnesses that could have verified that Mr. Zimmerman was indeed attacked in a way that was unprovoked and should have justifiably felt the need to defend and protect himself.
Could it be that poor George, realizing that unlike in the situation with young Trayvon would, as a biracial Hispanic, not be the whitest guy in this particular confrontation and court sympathies wouldn’t have been with him, unable as we as a nation always are to regard white men as a phsyical threat as evidenced by the case, again, of Mr. Roof who, after shooting 9 black parishoners in a South Carolina church, was feted with Burger King after being captured by police the following day.
And while some cheered the dual beatings of both Roof and Zimmerman – on President Obama’s birthday of all days – I couldn’t help but consider how paltry the morsels of justice recieved Black people are expected to be so appreciative of.
It’s not real justice.
It’s a fake, an approximation, a forgery.
It’s like getting these and not being expected to know any better.
So we’re actually happy about it.