No More Playing Ignorant People, We Need To Be Informed In OUR World

No More Playing Ignorant People, We Need To Be Informed In OUR World

If you haven't started, start today.

10
views

For those who know me, you are all probably thinking, wow Deb, it is about time! For those who do not know me that well, disclosure, I am not the most political person. I am also not the kind of person who speaks her opinion about current events. I was always kind of neutral since I thought neutrality would keep peace amongst the people in my life. Growing up I always stirred cleared of that kind of stuff. I would block it out, thinking "everything will work out eventually". Well, it is 2018 now and nothing is working out.

I just turned 21 and it took me this long for my brain to finally wake up to what is around me. I was constantly focused on what I personally needed to get done, I believed I did not have time to watch the news, think about what is happening in Flint, Michigan, The Parkland Shooting out in Florida or even about gentrification in my own backyard.

I thank my boyfriend for opening me up to not being so ignorant. Ignorant is not bliss. I repeat ignorant is not bliss. I used to get around with just shrugging my shoulders about what is clearing important. I would only read stories that were funny or "soft pieces". I grew up in an area where I could easily push the world away and still feel okay. Now I am watching the news almost every day, I am asking questions when I need to. I am also understanding that ignoring is not going to make our problems go away. If anything, it would make things worse because then there would be a person who will try to do tasks, we don't agree with under our noses.

As a writer, I feel a little disappointed in myself because I should have known. I want to be a teller, to inform my audience of things I have learned. Yet, the most earth-shattering things that come up on my radar, I don't speak about. Why? Maybe it is because I am afraid of what people may think. Maybe it is because with all this negative talk it triggers more to my own anxiety and depression. Quite possibly it is because I do not want to believe that the world is like this.

I don't want to live in a world where every other celebrity has been accused of sexual assault, and worse, found guilty. I don't want to live in a world where we have "progressed" in a society of everyone being equal yet, prejudice and racism are still clearly alive, even with our president. I don't want to live in a world where just because I am a woman, I cannot do certain things, or I am expected to do other things. I don't want to live in a world where people I know are afraid to come out about their own sexual orientation because of what their parents think or of what the world thinks.

I don't want my children to a live in a world where my government could take away someone's child.

I am done playing the innocent girl. I am done speaking softly or not at all. I am done, and you should be too. The generation that I live in and the ones that follow are speaking volumes because they are fed up with what our world is coming to. Have the difficult conversations with people. Vote on the issues, all of the issues. Just vote in general. Don't be the person who does not vote because they don't have the time or they don't know the candidates/issues. Make the effort! Research before you gives an opinion. KNOW ALL THE FACTS. I think that was one of the more bigger challenges that I had. I thought because I did not believe I knew everything about that given topic, I should not speak. But I was wrong, I go to a proud liberal arts institution where I meet so many different people and learn so much from them. So I might as well start today.

Dystopian movies about tension building and chaotic destruction are beginning to become our real possible future, people. So we need to wake-up and join our movements before it is too late.

That also includes me.

Cover Image Credit:

Pinterest

Popular Right Now

The Netflix Original Series 'When They See Us' Shows Just How Broken Our Criminal Justice System Truly Is

What happened to the Central Park Five will both enrage you and break your heart.

79
views

Raymond Santana. Yusef Salaam. Korey Wise. Kevin Richardson. Antron McCray.

These are the names of the five teenage boys of color who were wrongfully accused, interrogated, and convicted of the rape and assault of Trisha Meili, a white female jogger.

The Netflix series "When They See Us" is an adaptation of this real-life case, showing us each of the boys' journeys through the criminal justice system after they were arrested as suspects for simply being in Central Park the same night Meili was attacked in April 1989. The show details the true experiences of the boys from the time they are arrested until they are exonerated for their crimes years later.

The reason these boys were suspects in the first place was that there had been incidents of "mischief" and a series of attacks on other civilians in the park that night that were said to have been committed by a group of 30 teens. Santana, Salaam, Wise, Richardson, and McCray were believed to be a part of this group, ultimately connecting them and the other crimes to Meili's attack.

"When They See Us" perfectly encapsulates the mistreatment and injustice the Central Park Five faced while being questioned by police, despite being minors. We see that upon being taken into custody, the boys were subjected to long interrogations and were deprived of food, water, and sleep for at least 24 hours.

Also, despite persistently telling police they were innocent and did not know anything, they were forced to provide detectives with information even if it wasn't true because they were under the impression that they would be let go if they cooperated. Some were even questioned without a parent or guardian present, making it that much easier for them to be coerced because minors are typically unaware of their rights.

After many hours of interrogation, the detectives successfully coerced each of the boys into providing these false confessions through physical abuse, manipulation, and brutality. They were promised that they would get to go home if they provided eye witness testimonies, placing themselves at the scene of the crime to build a case against the other boys, thus implicating one another.

Such interrogation tactics utilized by these officers and others working the case had evident racist undertones that played a pivotal role in falsely convicting these young men. This is why the practices of our justice system need to be reformed and closely monitored in order to prevent wrongfully convicting the innocent.

Most of the confessions were taped and used as one of the main pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution during the trials. However, these tapes only showed the confessions themselves, not the hours worth of coercion and abuse during the interrogation leading up to them.

Not to mention there was no physical evidence implicating any of the five boys in the rape and assault of the woman. In fact, the only DNA that was recovered from the crime scene did not match that of Santana, McCray, Salaam, Richardson, or Wise. However, the prosecution played this off as the DNA belonging to a sixth party that happened to get away before police arrived at the park.

On top of all of this, the boys could not pinpoint the correct location or time of the attack, their confessions were inconsistent with the presented evidence and the facts of the case, there was no blood on their clothes, and they did not even correctly describe the woman's clothing.

Unfortunately, the jury still found all of the boys guilty.

Santana, McCray, and Salaam were convicted of rape, assault, robbery, and rioting and were sentenced to five to ten years in a youth correctional facility. Richardson was found guilty of attempted murder, rape, robbery, and assault and was sentenced to five to ten years in a juvenile detention center. Wise was the only one who was tried as an adult and was sentenced to five to fifteen years in prison.

While behind bars, each of the boys experienced the horrors of the American prison system. They were mistreated by guards, assaulted by inmates, and spent time in solitary confinement, as we see in the show. Donald Trump also paid for full-page ads in multiple New York City newspapers advocating for the reinstatement of the death penalty so that these boys would be executed.

If this doesn't prove that our justice system is broken, I don't know what does. To convict someone and want them to be sentenced to death based on merely circumstantial evidence with a lack of substantial physical evidence is beyond me. And for minors to be subjected to such foul practices at the hands of law enforcement is a miscarriage of justice and disgusting, to say the least.

It is also no secret that people of color disproportionately come in contact with the criminal justice system compared to their white counterparts, as this case reflects.

It was not until years later in 2002 when the actual perpetrator and serial rapist, Matias Reyes, confessed to the rape and assault of Trisha Meili, admitting that he acted alone. His DNA also matched the evidence found at the crime scene, and he provided investigators with such detailed, specific information about what he did, which led to the case being re-opened and investigated. It was even discovered that Reyes raped another woman in the park two days before Meili and he was not connected to the five boys or the 30 youths from the park in any way.

Although the Central Park Five had already served their time for these crimes and had been released, they were finally exonerated of all charges and received a total of $41 million from a civil lawsuit against the city of New York.

"When They See Us" detailed all of this throughout the four episode mini-series, revealing just how compromised, unjust, and discriminatory the United States criminal justice system is, and how society decides people are guilty until proven innocent.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating
Facebook Comments