One Step Two Step
Kyle Rittenhouse may have gotten away with murder, but Ahmaud Arbery’s killers didn’t, and the Unite the Right organizers didn’t get away with their white supremacist bullshit either. Two steps forward and one step back.
The 3 white supremacists in Georgia who hunted Ahmaud Arbery down, lynched him and videotaped the whole thing were all found guilty of felony murder. Hours before that verdict, a jury found white supremacists Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler and Christopher Cantwell and other members of white nationalist organizations who were involved in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville liable for the deadly attack, awarding more than $25 million in damages. These guys have been financially castrated. They won’t be able to put together any more major racist events targeting people of color, Jews, Muslims, LGBTQs, etc, thanks to 12 plaintiffs who sued in civil court for punitive damages and other counts. They took that route because the attorney general at the time, Jeff Sessions, was a white supremacist and beholden to the white nationalist president, Trump, who said there were good people on both sides in Charlottesville. Jeff Sessions wasn’t going to do anything about it. As far as he was concerned, Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler and Christopher Cantwell had taken steps in the united right direction.
While the KKK wannabes were facing consequences for the violence that surrounded their organized Nazi protest that centered around the removal of a statue of Robert E Lee in the south, the city of New York removed a statue of a favorite fabled founding father, Thomas Jefferson, from City Hall in the north, after city council members objected to Jefferson being a “slaveholding pedophile.” He enslaved over 600 people and raped and fathered children with at least one enslaved woman starting when she was 16 and he was in his mid-forties. America is finally facing the ugly truth about its heroes. The north is handling it well, the south is not. Two steps forward, one step back.
At long last a judge in Missouri has over-turned 62 year old Kevin Strickland’s life sentence after he sat rotting in jail for 43 years, innocent of murder. He was convicted by an all-white jury in 1979 for killing 3 people in Kansas City without any physical evidence. Kevin is Black. Countless other innocent Black people are rotting in jail doing time for crimes they didn’t commit either. Or they’re sitting there for offenses that most white people never get in any trouble for like smoking pot. Black people are sitting in jail for possession of pot while white people are becoming millionaires for selling it legally now in storefronts. One step forward, two steps back.
Julius Jones, who has been sitting on death row in Oklahoma for 19 years after 12 people (11 whom were white) found him guilty of killing a white man, had his scheduled execution stopped by the governor hours before he was to be murdered by the state, after over 6 million people signed a petition and protested to save Julius’s life. Turns out, one of the jurors called him a nigger who should be taken out back of the courthouse and shot, and the cop who arrested him called him a nigger and told him to run but if he did he’d shoot him. He didn’t match the description witnesses gave of the murderer and had an alibi but none of that was mentioned at the trial. 3 different prisoners who didn’t know each other or Julius Jones told authorities that they know who really did the crime and that Julius was framed. The DA who prosecuted Julius has had 1/3 of his convictions overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct, mostly involving defendants who were Black. 10 people who have been sentenced to death in murder cases in Oklahoma have been exonerated. One more step: Let him go.
2 Black men who were convicted of killing Malcolm X 56 years ago have been exonerated even though they rotted in jail for decades. Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam have had their names cleared thanks to Netflix documentary that went into detail about what really happened that day and the Innocence Project that pursued the truth.
The confluence of the 3 trials (Kyle Rittenhouse, Ahmad Arbery, and Unite the Right), the 2 Black prisoners’ high profile stories that reveal the racial injustices in the prison system, and the 2 innocent men who served decades in prison for killing a civil rights leader, is making comfortable white people uncomfortable in a good way. They’re shocked and disgusted (mostly at themselves for not understanding all of this sooner.) Two steps forward after countless innocent steps back.
Thanksgiving was celebrated in person this year after being on lockdown for covid last year. Those who were vaccinated were extra grateful this year, and those who aren’t vaccinated are going to pay for it later after they spread it to each other while passing the mashed potatoes and bitching about Biden. Two steps forward with modern science and self and mutual respect, and one step back for American idiots.
Republican voters who really believe that the Indians liked the Pilgrims and have plenty of money bitched about Biden and the stimulus checks after giving thanks to Republican Jesus before digging into Thanksgiving dinner. “The Democrats are throwing money at people so they’ll be dependent on the government and vote for Democrats!” “Government over-spending!” “Get a job, lazy liberals!” When they all went around the table to say what they were most grateful for nobody said that hitting the lottery by being born white was what they were most grateful for. In other Republican households where they really needed the stimulus money and spent it right away on basic needs, no thanks was given to Biden or the Democrats. They were just resentful that other people got stimulus checks too. We deserve it, “they” don’t. Everybody else was just relieved that they lived through the pandemic and hadn’t become alcoholic mute head bangers from being so isolated for a year and a half. Two steps forward, one step back.
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