Saturday, May 12, 2018

Satana Deberry: Reflections on the election of a "Woke" District Attorney

I had the privilege of seeing Satana Deberry, our recently elected District Attorney, at Whole Foods earlier this week. It was great witnessing the responses of people in offering congratulations for her win. It stirred a few thoughts that led to me to writing about the history of law enforcement in America.

Go fetch them runaway niggers. My apologizes to those who hate that word, but it's necessary in this context. You feel me?

Oh, my thoughts on chasing slaves and crooked police stirred more thoughts regarding this historical moment. For those who dismiss the historical significance, I suggest you read a few books.

My thoughts:

1. How serious are we about criminal justice reform? I raise this question due to conversations I've had with people who didn't support Satana. If you teach and preach reform as part of your socio-political-economic agenda, help me understand why and how you failed to honor, respect and support the agenda Satana addresses?

2. Some people may need to check their gender bias. I glare with extreme crossed eyeballs to anyone who questioned the integrity of Satana's credentials. I'm forced o question whether this is a construction of some form of gender bias (you know, a woman can't do this) or more a variable of people being too lazy to read her CV.

3. This is much bigger than Durham. Some people wanted to make the DA race about something other, but, make no mistakes, this must be placed within the larger context of how the law is enforced on a national level. If you seriously believe stuff is broken, then act like you know.

4. This is not about dismissing the integrity of Roger Echols and the work he has achieved. Please, let's not go there. Echols served Durham well. He's a black man who deserves all due respect. I appreciate his service, and understand why many supported his continued role as DA.

5. But, there is work to do. It is critical that we note the history and injustices of law enforcement. It's time to think about how laws are used to dismantle black families by incarcerating black men and women at alarming disparate rates.

6. Some may decide to blame that disparity on blacks performing more crimes, but don't we deserve to have a different conversation?

7. We got to move past decisions being minimized by the type of political talk that reduces all of this to white "progressive" folks fighting against black "traditionalist". Can we talk about what's best for black people without getting stuck by who owns the terms of the conversation? In other words, can we place the bullshit to the side to change things for real?

8. Finally, and this is the biggy, I'm proud of Durham. I mean, I'm really, really proud of Durham. We're serious about reform, and when people not impacted, directly, by the stuff were talking about show up and vote for change, you know it's real. Like, really real. You feel me.

9. Oh, finally, finally, I love Satana and Clarence Birkhead is my dude. I'm smiling like it's my birthday and the gift I got....that's my business.

Carry on.