Distressing is not even the word. In a society where people are sent to prison just for possession of a weed, a man can shoot another man on the mere basis of feeling threatened and be declared innocent. I do not believe any of the six-woman jury would have thought this a fair acquittal if it had been their own child who had been murdered under the same circumstances. And I do not believe it would have ended this way if the skin colours of the accused and victim had been reversed. And while my beliefs are neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things these kinds of blatant miscarriages of justice poison society – especially if you’re black. Any white male can put a bullet in your head and claim he felt threatened with you being around. What next now? Straight men who object to their rumps being looked at shooting gay men? Extreme projection but it seems in America, anything goes.
PS. Talking about the idiocy of the laws in America especially regarding marijuana did you know the average sentence for murder is said to be 6 years but in several American states you can get life for a marijuana offence? Read on here and here. I don’t smoke the stuff myself but these sentences are irrational and one suspects the by-product of the extreme positions Americans seem to take on almost everything.
If I had been a white South African, phew, what a relief this would have been! Imagine the [greater] outcry and outrage if these jackasses had been white police. Not that skin colour should matter since abominable behaviour by “law enforcement” agents, whatever their hue, is to be abhorred and as far as I’m concerned should merit the same punishment as if they were not in uniform. There is really no reason for one human to treat another in the way this Mozambican was .. maybe if he’d been caught sacrificing and eating people, maybe … but for parking his vehicle illegally? If those officers had been white mistreating a black man like so there would have been riots on the streets. White on black, black on black or any other combination: not acceptable.
Now reading Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood”. Every time I hear a sound I turn. Every shadow is suspicious. Every voice an alarm. The windows have been double checked. When I came home this evening in the house I share and found the back door open ….
So Hurricane Sandy came and death toll: forty, last I heard. These people were alive, bouncing around just Tuesday last week. Maybe worrying about keeping a job, or affording the next Christmas’ presents, or delighting a new love interest, or …..
There will be more storms, earthquakes, plane crashes, senseless killings und so weiter. Life is precious. Live it. Death, unpredictable. Accept it. And fear? Irrational. Face it down with courage but no need to be stupid. Check those doors are locked!
I killed a spider tonight. It was crawling over the wall trying to get in the house. I think it was trying to get in the house though it may have been trying to get across the doorway. Anyway I brushed it, forcefully, off the wall. About a fortnight ago I saw a large spider flit across my living room but I had been too slow to catch it or see where it went. That flashback was playing in my head when I flicked tonight’s spider. Even as I saw it writhing on the floor, probably terrified to death, I determined to kick it further away from my door. So I did. I think I killed it but you never know. These things are tougher than they look. As I turned to put the key in the front door I felt a pang boom in my chest. Guilt. I had just extinguished a life. That spider had done me no wrong. Even if it had gotten into the house it’s not like it’s going to lay in my warm bed enjoying my soft pillows or eat my eggs or drink my bottled water. It’s not going to hijack my computer and steal my passwords or throw a wild party when I’m out of the flat. In fact it would, probably, have stayed well out of my way. Not even probably but almost certainly. So why did I kill it. I don’t know. I do actually, it was fear that made me do it. Fear of a little and quite pretty looking brownish green arachnid just one inch in diameter. The creepy crawly nasty. I know its nastiness to be so because I was brought up to believe that to be true. And as much as I try not to believe things I’m told without proof or a reasonable probability of being true, tonight I succumbed to my primal instinct. It may have been poisonous, you know. I wake up and, very like the guests in August Winnig’s short story Das Romerzimmer, I’m dead in my bed. That’s silly I know, no one wakes up dead but you know what I mean. The thought has occurred to me that I’m probably nasty looking to every spider. How would I like it if something, anything, that considered me nasty just snuffed me, squashed me in an instant. I wouldn’t like it at all.