Plato on Death in America
America is the valley of the shadow of death. The major happening in America is death. In the North American African community, the funeral is the great ritual celebration, bar none. There are some people who make it their business to attend every funeral in town, they collect obituaries.
But what else should we expect in a war zone, in a military economy? The war in Iraq is estimated to cost three trillion dollars by the time it ends.
And why should we expect the children to be boy and girl scouts. Why wouldn’t they be violent in a militarist society? The video games are violent, the movies, the literature, sexual relations, even simple social relations often end or cannot continue until people are forced to take court-mandated anger management.
Thus in a violent society, it is only natural to have the death penalty, whether it is administered justly is not important, especially with respect to the poor—nothing is administered justly to the poor. They receive the worse of everything, housing, food, jobs, health care, education, life expectancy. They treat each other violently, something they learned from their master who has given them centuries of torture, trauma and unresolved grief. So yes, we are angry and violent, though nearly all of our violence is misplaced aggression, for rarely do we attack the real enemy, because we are cowardly when facing the white man, but we beat our woman and brother to death.
We grieve for our brothers and sisters on death row. But such deaths shall not end until this violent society is overthrown, replaced with a social order of peace, justice and mercy. It is shameful to react to a brother here or there who is facing the death chamber, while every night we face death in the hood. We are stressed out daily trying to navigate our way home safely, for we may face death around the corner, up the street, or from stray bullets coming through the wall while we sleep, as happened in Oakland a few months ago. We are in the house of death—get over it! Either put on the armor of God or run naked through the streets.
Put on the armor of God, or become a reactionary, wasting energy chasing the ambulance, without a purpose and plan to end the myriad injustices we face in our daily round. It is time to either deal with our problems in a scientific manner or remain victims of emotion, crying crocodile tears at every incident that occurs on our watch until we are overwhelmed and disillusioned.
I must be honest, I am in favor of the death penalty, but I know the crimes of our brothers and sisters are not adjudicated fairly in this racist, white supremacy society. Again, nothing is fair in the white supremacy society except to and for the white supremacist who enjoy white privilege at every turn.
And then why should we demand the white man stop killing us when we are about the business of killing each other daily without protest. We are hypocritical to protest the death penalty when we are agents of death who kill each other at the drop of a hat, who refuse intervention or reconciliation over trivial matters such as a twenty dollar dope debt or some sexual impropriety with our best friend’s partner. Is twenty dollars worth a life, is pussy worth killing over?
Then we want revenge, and then we must avenge the revenge—there is no end to this madness. Some feuds go on for years, decades, without resolution. Maybe the death penalty is wrong, and maybe I am wrong to believe in it, for either we are for peace and justice or we are for murder, whether personal or societal, i.e. state approved. In my heart, I don’t want to kill anything except in self defense. No, don’t kill a fly or gnat!