Friday, August 31, 2007

Oh where, oh where has Obama been?

I have to make a confession. I’m pissed! I’m hurt, upset, disgusted and confused over the state of the American judicial system.

Part of my frustration is related to living in Durham, NC, home of Duke University and that infamous rape case. As a long time resident of the city, I have endured the hassle of having outside critics give their perspective on the state of things in my fine city. It irks me that most observers fail to place this case, and all that follows, within the context of the history and happenings of the city. I could talk about that all day, but there’s much more behind my fury.

I’m livid over the mixture of contradictions that remind me that America is a country that places privilege and race above justice. I crave to believe that we have become a nation that is purely color blind when it comes to the dispensing of judgment. That is not the case, and I’m annoyed that I have to waste time to convey the nature of this evil. As much as I want to move past presenting arguments that do more than expound the stance of another mad black man; I can’t let go of how deeply marred I am due to these incongruities.

A little background to my rage-I just finished reading the recent installment of the Duke Lacrosse case. Mike Nifong, former Durham District Attorney, is facing a $500 fine or up to 30 days in jail for criminal contempt. The question for this most recent segment of the soap opera is whether Nifong willfully and intentionally made false statements to Judge W. Osmond Smith III in May 2006.

The brunt of my frustration involves the level of attention given this case in comparison to the countless others that go unnoticed, and that are clear case of prosecutorial misconduct. The most recent example of a district attorneys misuse of power is the Jena 6 case.

A recent response to my blog got it right-why is it that black people are reduced to marching and shouting in front of courtrooms as a means of remonstration? Why do we continue to employ 50 year old stratagems to get the attention of those who manipulate the process?

I’m angry that people have to pack buses to do what we have always done, while high profile attorney’s and politicians jump on the bandwagon to support the causes of these boys in Durham, NC who became the target of an indomitable prosecutor.

Where are the congressmen and senators in that case? Where is Barak Obama? He found time to comment on the Duke Lacrosse rape case, but hasn’t made his way down to Jena to plead on behalf of those boys. Why hasn’t he made a stop on his journey across the country to raise money and prove to Americans he’s white enough to be their President?

I’m annoyed that none of the presidential candidates have made this an issue worthy of their attention. I wouldn’t be as pissed if Obama hadn’t taken time away from his duties as senator to write a memo regarding the Duke Lacrosse rape case. Maybe the assumption of innocence sways the way he and others functions when it comes to speaking up. If that is true, then I’m pissed even more.

Why? Because I utterly abominate the terminology of innocence when applied to those boys involved in the Duke Lacrosse rape case. They are not innocent. They are innocent of rape. They are innocent of kidnapping, but they are guilty, it can be assumed by the evidence in the case, of racial slurs, the communication of threats, underage drinking and lewd behavior. You may reason, why is that important? It’s important in addressing the grave disparity in the way power brokers involve themselves in cases demanding scrutiny.

The focus down in Jena, LA is on the wrong people. Instead of fighting against the local bums in power, we should be calling on those who demand our votes to get their butts down there and handle their business. All that talk about equality in American doesn’t mean a thing when all you do is talk, raise money and appear on television for another debate.

If you have the power to make a change, use it. So, let’s take all of that rage and send letters to Obama and ask him to prove to us he’s real. If not, let’s contact Hillary.


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