Rittenhouse and Arbery Rulings: A Response

Depictions of white supremacy as we celebrate white supremacy. That’s as poetic and telling as it can be in another day of living melanated in Amerikkka. To not only have to experience the watering down of genocide each year and the celebration of it, but to witness the justice system that was born from genocide release another white murderer. Despite what so many think tanks say about freedom and self defense—the privilege white Amerikkka loves to cling on to— I am reminded of the starts of my own activism: the story of Tamir Rice, a black 12 year old boy who died playing with a toy gun outside of his house gunned down in seconds by the police, his sister detained moments later. And yet Rittenhouse carries an M&P-15, takes lives and cries on the stand for his freedom. Isn’t this the Amerikkka we have known to suffer and fear in? That I, with melanated skin, could be locked away or gunned down on a whim of the white nationalists around me.

I could be killed without consequence to my murderers. I could be killed while jogging for assumptions that are no responsibility of my own because my melanin is threatening. But when white skin turns red with fear or disgust and I am the target, I become their responsibility to be taken care of.

They are executioner, jury, and judge.

In their own court of law. Their own culture based upon excusing and acting within their racism and tolerating the murder of us, melanated, because we are a threat to them.

When will Amerikkka and its white constituents realize they are the threat to us? They are murdering us in the street, they target us and minimize us. Yet we do not get to yell self defense; women locked away for murdering their rapists and abusers get no room or loophole to claim to self-defense. Cynthonia Brown imprisoned for 15 years, parole for 10. Philando Castile, a licensed gun owner, killed as he reaches for his documents proving he has as much right as anyone else. We do not get the mercy of self defense. We get lies, lead, and gravestones.

Justice will never be found in systems made so obviously against us. Justice can never be served when white bodies, whether prosecution, defense or judge, are the only ones arguing in the room. Justice can never be found when the loopholes of the law can be highlighted for white Amerikkka with crocodile tears but not the dead, silent or silenced melanated victims of Amerikkka. And yet, a white teenager may hold and operate a Smith & Wesson M&P-15 in public space and walk away free of consequence. He has officers, the public and judge defending on his behalf because of his youth, his innocence.

But what of every slaughtered black and brown person’s innocence? What of our innocence and right to gather and challenge the systems murdering us?

David Patrick Schranck Jr. & David Leferve on behalf of the UOYDSA Organizing Committee

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