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For Marissa Alexander The System Is Working Exactly As Its Racist Architects Intended

Marissa Alexander (MSNBC)

Marissa Alexander, undated family photo (Lincoln B. Alexander/AP)

If ever you needed proof that the system, from the institutional to the individual, is stacked against people of color, look no further than Marissa Alexander.

Florida state prosecutor Angela Corey is seeking to put Marissa Alexander behind bars for 60 years because she had the audacity to defend her life.

Alexander, a 33-year-old black mother of three and survivor of domestic violence, was initially sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot into the wall of her home in 2012 with her legally owned gun to scare off her abusive husband, who’s violence is well documented. No one was harmed but Corey prosecuted anyway.

After nearly three years behind bars, Alexander was granted a new trial.

But Corey—the same prosecutor who failed to put Trayvon’s killer in prison, who refused to address race during the trial of Jordan Davis’ killer and who leads the state in prosecuting black children as adults—is now aiming for three 20 year sentences for Alexander, which amounts to a life sentence.

This is an outrage, for sure, but unfortunately it’s not at all surprising. I say that because the criminal justice system is working exactly as intended by the white racists who built it.

This is after all the same system that punishes victims of police brutality who are lucky enough to survive, like Kwadir Felton, Leon Ford Jr., Lamont Earl Dukes, Glenn Broadnax and Andre Fiorentino.

This is the same system that required massive public protests to even consider prosecuting the man who killed Renisha McBride.

This is the same system that sentenced John McNeil to life in prison for shooting a white man who was coming at him with a knife.

This is the same system that views black children as disposable, shutting down their schools while shuffling them into prison.

And the list goes on.

Yet we keep looking to this backwards system as the solution to securing justice for the countless people of color this nation has wronged. How much more proof do we need that the system is fucked before we stop trying to “reform” it and start trying to dismantle and rebuild it? I don’t know the answer to that, but it’s something to think about.

In the meantime, you can support Marissa Alexander by donating to her legal fund.

  1. Reblogged this on 21st Century Theater.

    March 2, 2014
  2. This is the capitalist system that upholds a privatized family system that contributes an estimated $11 trillion to the global economy, primarily from the unpaid labor of women in the home.

    To uphold the dictate that living in isolated family boxes is the best and only way to live, anyone who suffers from the suffocating constraints of this family system must be a wrong-doer. That includes child and adult victims of family violence. The legal system will not, cannot, defend them, because that would mean indicting the family system itself. And that could lead to demands to socialize reproductive services, which would be far too expensive financially and much too risky politically.

    Socialized services imply that people deserve to get their needs met. And how could capitalism continue if we actually believed that? Instead, the system discredits and punishes the Marissas, the Andrea Yates, and all the other victims of the capitalist family system, as a warning to us all.

    If you strip the romantic veneer from the family, you are left with an ugly reality – two people who are socialized to be opposites, crammed in a box, subjected to falling living standards, rising debt, and social insecurity. Throw in a few children with lots of needs. Add bouts of unemployment, injury or illness. Then make it difficult for these people to leave. Insist that they solve their own problems, and if they can’t, then it must be their fault or their partner’s fault. This is a recipe for disaster.

    Capitalism cannot solve such problems, so it blames the victims instead.

    March 3, 2014
  3. Reblogged this on Free UniversE-ity.

    March 4, 2014
  4. Good for Marissa & I hope she gets of scot-free as I’ve listen to gray’s 911 call and he sounds like he is scared,

    Considering that Gray admits he beat Marissa & 3 other women, I have 4 words for him “BATTERED WOMAN’S SYNDROME DEFENSE” as his punk behind probably never thought that a woman would stand up to him.

    But guess what; Marissa did & I hope that if he keeps his woman beating up that one of them will shoot him dead

    March 5, 2014
  5. Chris #

    Dude – she showed up at her husband’s place in violation of a domestic violence order of protection, argued with him, walked past the exit door, to her car, went back in the house, got her gun, and shot at her black husband and missed. That’s the evidence at trial. This lady is a gun criminal. If this lady was white, or a man, you’d be ready to lynch her. But because of the color of her skin, she’s a victim of the system? Give me a break. Your racism is sickening.

    March 28, 2014

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