It's impossible for us, as white people, to fully comprehend many racial issues. Acknowledging that and going out of your way to research, understand, and ask questions, is an important first step. When I saw the trailer for Ava DuVernay's "When They See Us," I got a knot in my stomach.
Unfortunately, it's a knot that I have all too often these days.
That knot is the product of racial injustice. That knot is from seeing a white prosecutor convict five innocent black and Latinx children of a crime for which they were exonerated. It has everything to do with race, the thing people try to avoid talking about at all costs.
That knot turns into me feeling physically ill.
While watching, and still having so much more to watch and digest, I thought I was going to throw up. Honestly, I would have rather done that than cried. This whole case, especially once it was turned into the Netflix show, makes me sick and so sad.
I mourn the time that was stolen from Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise.
I'm disgusted that this actually happened. I wonder how many other people of color were framed for crimes that they didn't commit thanks to Linda Fairstein and Elizabeth Lederer.
Watching reenactments of detectives questioning children without their parent(s) present, separating children from their parents to give statements, and interrogating children for hours on end fills me with fear. If police are allowed to question minors and convict them without any proof, what else are they allowed to do? Where are the limits? Where does somebody draw the line?
Impeached President Donald Trump paid $85,000 to advertise bringing back the death penalty for this specific case. The case where black and Latinx kids were falsely convicted of raping a white woman. Their exoneration means nothing to Trump either, he will not apologize for the advertisement.
Every white person in America should watch this show.
It's brutal to watch and it should be. My heart goes out to every single person of color who has been wrongly targeted, accused, convicted, and killed, by the police. No American should fear the police. It's sad that we live in an age where getting stopped by the police can be a death sentence.
When you watch this show, you'll see so much pain. Families are pushed, separated, tested, yet made stronger in the end. You'll see how the system targets people of color and people coming from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. You'll see corruption, the corruption that sure as hell still exists today. You'll see justice, deserved and ill-timed.
Bring justice, not quotas.
Remember their names: Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise.
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