When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that was Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.
President Barack Obama, in remarks Friday about Trayvon Martin and racial profiling. In his statements, the president spoke about his own experiences as a black man.
"There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator."
even if you don’t like rap, even if you don’t like macklemore, this song is beautiful, it’s uplifiting and its a message the whole world needs to hear. i’m so glad that rap music is finally confronting this issue.
Story of my life!
Takashi Murakami, 727-272 The Emergence of God At The Reversal Of Fate (with detail), 2007
I have spent the last three hours sitting at my desk, attempting to work on a poem with the working title, “For Jane Doe, Steubenville, OH”. So far, this is what I have:
The rain can only fall where the branches cannot block it
and the flowers will only bloom if there’s no one there
to step on their beds.
I can’t get any further because I’m still way too pissed off to try to put this into digestible pieces. I don’t want this to be digestible for anyone, so maybe the poem needs to take a different direction. But, my necessary revisions aren’t the point right now. The point is Jane Doe.
Jane Doe. She’s nameless, nameless in a feeble attempt to provide her with some kind of privacy because she is a minor and because she is a victim. I am still trying to reconcile this, because anyone who has ever received any kind of unwanted sexual attention knows that your privacy is completely out the window the minute things become uncomfortable. I understand her namelessness, but I struggle with it because I wonder how much it helps her now.
It makes me sick to hear what wonderful athletes these boys were, it makes me want to cry when someone mentions that they were ‘good students’ with ‘bright futures,’ it makes me nauseous to think that anyone is worried about what those two boys are going to do with their lives.
Their lives aren’t ‘over,’ as one cried out in the courtroom after their sentences were read. Richmond will likely be out of the juvenile system next year for good behavior, and Mays is likely to follow after two years. Neither will be incarcerated past 21. Their lives aren’t over. In fact, they’ll be let out in just enough time to live them, whereas if they were tried as adults, their lives really would be ‘over.’ Sure, they’ll be on the sex offenders list, but will it actually stop them for doing whatever they want to? Probably not.
But let’s get back to Jane Doe, whose life is actually over. Or maybe not. Maybe for the next couple of years she can try to heal, and deal with the horrible thing that happened to her. Maybe she can try to cope with the fact that her friends made her feel as though she should be ashamed for being a slut. Or maybe she’ll be reaching a break through when Richmond and Mays appear walking down the street, free.
There should be no sympathy for these boys, or for the culture who taught them their behavior was even remotely close to appropriate. There should be no sympathy for the kids who watched Jane Doe being carried and photographed naked. There should be no sympathy for the students who refused to talk to the police. There should be no sympathy for two boys who raped a girl who was completely incoherent, at an age when they certainly knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they were doing was wrong.
Jane Doe’s future has been ruined. Richmond and Mays will be forced to contemplate their actions, but they have also been given an opportunity to change, become better people and to really and truly think about what is right and what is wrong. Is this justice? Did we help Jane Doe?
They deserved what they got, they deserved more and despite this rant, I’m still sick and reeling from the disgrace I feel for this misogynistic country, its rape culture (which shouldn’t even be a coined phrase), and the media.