Rania Khalek — For Marissa Alexander The System Is Working Exactly Its Racist Architects As Intended
Mar. 2 2014
If ever you needed proof that the system, from the institutional to the individual, is stacked against people of color, look no further than Marissa Alexander.
Florida state prosecutor Angela Corey is seeking to put Marissa Alexander behind bars for 60 years because she had the audacity to defend her life.
Alexander, a 33-year-old black mother of three and survivor of domestic violence, was initially sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot into the wall of her home in 2012 with her legally owned gun to scare off her abusive husband, who’s violence is well documented. No one was harmed but Corey prosecuted anyway.
After nearly three years behind bars, Alexander was granted a new trial.
But Corey—the same prosecutor who failed to put Trayvon’s killer in prison, who refused to address race during the trial of Jordan Davis’ killer and who leads the state in prosecuting black children as adults—is now aiming for three 20 year sentences for Alexander, which amounts to a life sentence.
This is an outrage, for sure, but unfortunately it’s not at all surprising. I say that because the criminal justice system is working exactly as intended by the white racists who built it.
This is after all the same system that punishes victims of police brutality who are lucky enough to survive, like Kwadir Felton, Leon Ford Jr., Lamont Earl Dukes, Glenn Broadnax and Andre Fiorentino.
This is the same system that required massive public protests to even consider prosecuting the man who killed Renisha McBride.
This is the same system that sentenced John McNeil to life in prison for shooting a white man who was coming at him with a knife.
This is the same system that views black children as disposable, shutting down their schools while shuffling them into prison.
And the list goes on.
Yet we keep looking to this backwards system as the solution to securing justice for the countless people of color this nation has wronged. How much more proof do we need that the system is fucked before we stop trying to “reform” it and start trying to dismantle and rebuild it? I don’t know the answer to that, but it’s something to think about.
In the meantime, you can support Marissa Alexander by donating to her legal fund.