Just Mercy

Since I went out of turn and kind of did a synthesizing post about poverty/race, I’ll come at Just Mercy with a different angle. I actually just commented on one of Faranda’s articles and it fits here as well. It fits quite well as someone who never has had to deal with systemic discrimination like Mr. Stevenson or his clients or many people I call friends. The story of Mr. McMillan is one all too familiar nowadays but the same idea can take on many different forms. It can be something so dragged out that it slowly consumes a life, or it can be in the blink of an eye that a life is taken/ruined because of internal biases and ideas that people can’t shake. There have been far too many police shootings that can be traced to a lot of different things. People want to blame inadequate training of police, minorities doing things they shouldn’t be doing…depends a lot on the news outlet you’re listening to and your own beliefs. Anyway, I follow Barstool Sports because I find their bloggers funny and they post funny videos. Every once in a while they post something that I find to be click bait and yesterday was one of those times. Clickbait meaning something to get a rise out of people in this scenario. It was a video of a group of black men looking like they were robbing a car. They’re in the middle of a street but they’re not holding any guns or visible weapons. The camera and apparently the police as well are about a good 150-200 feet away. The cops open fire on the young black men without any verbal warning or anything. The caption read, ‘rap group gets shot at filming music video’. My immediate response was to say, ‘why the hell were they doing this in the middle of the street!?’ I did say that out loud and I am so glad that I got the response I did because it put the entire Black Lives Matter into perspective for me once and for all and made me understand it (while I never was opposed to it). She said, ‘should they have been doing that? No. But why was his first reaction to shoot from 100 feet away.’ This got me to thinking back to when Mr. McMillan was arrested, with no evidence. Or when Mr. McMillan was sent to death row without getting a trial first…which is noted is illegal! Or when Mr. McMillan’s trial was moved, like demographics of a jury don’t make a difference. It makes you wonder, how could people hate someone or a type of person so much to create these injustices. The book is littered with situations like this of Stevenson’s clients and I knew I had heard this name elsewhere and I also saw it on 60 minutes so this stuck with me a little more. The point isn’t that Stevenson was able to get him exonerated, which obviously is a tremendous feat and very admirable rather that this happened in the first place. I was just talking with my best friend the other day who’s name will remain anonymous for obvious reasons. He told me he was arrested about a year ago for going to pick up our other friend from the police station while being intoxicated. I swear I don’t run with a tough crowd, it was an unfortunate mixup after a night of drinking where he got out of a cab before it was done moving and the police arrested him for being drunk in public. Anyway, cut to him entering the police station drunk which I actually had no idea was against the law. He gets detained but the case gets thrown out because he dressed himself well and actually showed up to the court date. I wonder if that’s all that swayed the judge’s mind? There are so many things that we did that we should have been in so much more trouble for than we got in. I’ve been let go by the police after being pulled over going 95 in a 55 when I was a teenager. I don’t drive this fast anymore obviously, so don’t worry. Point being, I literally shouldn’t even have my license now but here I am. I know of a few stories over the years who have done a lot less and were punished much more severely.

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