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The Injustice in Justice

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse cleared of all charges.

A black. The black. The only black.

A 12 year old boy killed over a toy gun. Unrelated but related.

7 years ago yesterday, November 22, Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police for playing with a toy gun in a park. The officer was cleared of all charges.

4 days ago Kyle Rittenhouse was cleared of all charges for killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, two unarmed protesters. Like the police officer who killed a child, Kyle feared for his life.

I’m sad, I’m hurt, I’m tired. But I’m not surprised. On a micro-level, everything about the way the judge speaks and acts told us what to expect. On a macro-level, everything about the way our country speaks and acts told us what to expect.

Expect it to be ok to kill black people. Expect it to be ok to kill people who defend black people.

I’m sad, I’m hurt, I’m tired. But I’m not surprised.

A black. The black. The only black. The words play over in my head like a broken record. An idiom made irrelevant by the progression of technology. The progression of the value of a black life hasn’t kept up.

Tamir should be in his first year of college now. A toy gun scared an overly-armed grown man.

On a micro-level, Tamir Rice and Kyle Rittenhouse have nothing to do with each other. Tamir was a child killed in 2014. The protests where Rittenhouse found himself armed and prepared to kill happened last year in defense of someone else entirely.

But on a macro-level, they’re all connected, aren’t they? Tamir, one of too many black names whose deaths inspired protests they’ll never see, whose injustices prompted conversations they’ll never have a say in. The weight of these deaths build up crushing every one of us, pushing us further, breaking us more, bringing more and more of us to the streets where it is apparently still ok to kill.

All this death, and what do we have to show for it?

A black. The black. The only black.

Words said by a judge in 2021. And we still look to our courts for justice.

All this death, and what do we have to show for it?

I don’t believe Kyle Rittenhouse went to that protest with the explicit intent to kill. But he drove hours out of his way with an illegally acquired weapon to enter into a hostile situation prepared to take a life, and we - our system of justice - are ok with that.

I don’t hate Kyle. I don’t know him, and I don’t know what I hope for him. But I mourn for his victims, I mourn the compassion that dissipates between “the sides” when one of us dies, I mourn that there are sides exist at all when one of us dies, and I mourn another lost hope of justice.

But I will continue to hope. I will continue to work. I will continue to speak and to reach and to love. And in two days, I will sit down with loved ones and reflect on all I have to be thankful for. But today, I will be sad.

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1 Comment

Your lament IS.

The systemic reframing we need in this country is so overwhelming some days, I often think that all I can do is "sit with" what I hear and send good soul vibes out for consciousness reframing (and, continue to own my own created white race crap & model something more humane "with" others to promote understanding).

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