What is Justice for a Black Person in America?

What is justice for a Black person in America?

We are crying out trying to find justice for an unending list of names.

#JusticeforEricGarner #JusticeforSandraBland #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd #JusticeforWhoeverIsNext

But what does justice look like when you are Black in America?

The law does not work for victims of racial violence. Whether or not these killers are convicted, police officers continue to kill us.

So when will we stop telling ourselves this is bad cops making a bad name for the majority of good ones?

This problem is not the product of the poor character or decision making by individual police officers.

Some people will take this to mean that the system is broken. That is not what I believe.

This is a system working exactly as designed.

This is a system of law enforcement designed for state sanctioned violence against Black bodies. It is a system that is fine tuned every time it is not held responsible for its role in these senseless killings.

Why am I supposed to expect this system will be fixed? Why should I expect that this system will ever work for me?

The killing of George Floyd is not abnormal. It is a story we see playing out again and again.

This is another demonstration of law enforcement in this country upholding the order of white supremacy as they have done since the day this country was founded.

So what is justice when you are Black in America?

I’ll tell you what it is not. Arresting one or four or ten police officers will not bring justice to the millions of people in this country living with the knowledge that at any time, their lives can be snatched away by the same people who swear an empty oath to protect it.

I don’t believe that a murder conviction can even come close to remedying the injustices brought upon Black bodies for the past 400 years.

How can the prison system that is currently violating the rights of millions of people be the same system that will bring justice to the Black community? How can we expect one apparatus of state violence to be capable of bringing justice to the victims of another form of state violence?

How does a murder conviction help the next Black man to find the hands of police around his neck?

That is not justice.

Unless there are steps taken to shorten the murderous reach of state violence, there will be no justice for me.

Institutions of the state no longer deserve the authority to commit violence and the power to take life. They have proven time and again to be unfit to wield it.

As long as the state has an unchecked authority to bring violence upon Black bodies there will be no justice for Black people in America.

Trying to Imagine a Better, More Equal World

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