We are coming around to the time of year when Mothers around the world are celebrated for being "just the way they are."
It brings to mind all kinds of mothers, from the late greatto Cicely Tyson, to , and and Cissy Houston, to myself, to my own mother and grandmother and Auntie, God rest them; and even to mothers of olden times, like Sojourner Truth and Jane Pittman.
And with sadness, it brings to mind thoughts of Sybrina Fulton, whose son was killed by a racial profiler; Wanda Johnson, whose son was killed by a murderous police officer; Valerie Bell, whose son was killed during a bout of nasty police violence in New York City; and Beulah Mae Donald, who won a wrongful death lawsuit against known Klansmen in Mobile, AL on behalf of her son, before she expired herself. It was clear she didn't want the money, she wanted her child back.
That dredges up the many many mothers across America, some easily identifiable, like Mamie Till Mobley, and most who will remained unnamed, who have lost their sons and daughters to senseless violence, or whose children are wrongfully sitting in jail, prison, or on death row for crimes they did not commit, or for which there is no real evidence to prove it.
Having had an encounter here in Aryanzona where I saw an episode of racism in the justice system up close and personal for myself; having watched my own son persecuted "driving while black;" having heard of the police officer who gunned down Kenneth Walker of Columbus, GA, taking away a husband and father who had no prior criminal history, nor had even been suspected of it; and knowing that the American Holocaust against people of color has not yet ended, I am writing an open letter of love for those Sistahs and Mothers across the United States of America whose sons and daughters and nephews and nieces have had to live under judicial opposition to their skin color.
When you live in a world, in a nation, where you are guilty unless proven innocent, and when proven innocent, are still guilty by reason of race, the fact of racism in the judicial system becomes self-evident: All men are not created equal except by God Himself, who will justify and redeem in the end.
This is an America that allows rape, robbery, theft, assault, and murder of black people with hardly a glance backward; but is quick to penalize those who are guilty of these sins with sentencing structures above and beyond the judicial norm. In other words, the punishment is often extreme considering the accusation, except in the case of murder, which is about the same as rape.
And it is quick even to prosecute and persecute those who can't be proven guilty by any stretch of the imagination. And those in the administrative chairs of the justice system, when ultimately proven wrong, find themselves so arrogant on their high perches that they will not even issue a righteous apology to those they have wronged.
Black people weren't applauding an OJ Simpson who allegedly 'got away with' murder, they were applauding the fact that he was one of very few black Americans who actually got a fair trial, convicted or not. By the time his case came along, a fair trial was far out of the reach of African American citizens, had been for centuries, and still is, 'ad majorum'. Black folk were fascinated by the fact that he had a real defense team, and real lawyers, and that this was the one case of thousands that could not be "hidden" or done behind closed doors with those so willing to find him guilty in spite of the evidence. It was something black America rarely saw happen in a courtroom in any case that involved one of their own kind, including capital cases.
Not many would argue the point that there are many of the white community who have been judicially wronged, but there is no one who can argue that black men and women are not disproportionately wronged in the legal systems across America.
To those women, mothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, nieces, and all, who will have to go through this Mother's Day without the children they carried and labored with, nourished, and fed, cared for, and tried to teach right from wrong; and to myself, whose sons barely escaped The American Holocaust themselves...
Happy Mother's Day.
Jada's Mom: How about that? She isn't perfect...
Bad Mother: Wanted to be Black so Bad, She Burned Her Granddaughter at a Tanning Salon