11 September 2013

Sit with me

Content: Description of court proceedings and racism.

Sit with me


If you still believe in a post-racial society or colorblind justice,
come to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia inside the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse
in the shadow of the U.S. Department of Justice's façade,
a ten minute stroll from the FBI Headquarters,
less than two miles away from the White House and Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Traipse down the ever-broken escalator
(or wait for the overcrowded elevators in the niche in the back wall)
and sit in the back of courtroom C-10,
so you can watch the ten hour parade of Black men in chains,
interrupted by the occasional brown body wearing handcuffs and shackles to match,
with a handful of Black and brown women shuffling between them,
their names mangled on the apathetic tongues of clerk and judge and prosecutor alike
and misspelled on the docket and in the jail file,
and sometimes misgendered as male or female
with reckless disregard and bureaucratic precision.
(It won't be fixed even if the case goes all the way to trial.)

And if you stay or come back another day,
you can watch the parade again
from the safety of the back row,
beside the tired-faced Marshals,
as many times as you like.

(If you're white, don't worry,
they won't mistake you for a defendant,
but a stern official having a particularly bad day
might ask for your cell phone
outside the courtroom doors.)

And if you're lucky or especially patient,
you might catch a glimpse of someone white coming before the court.
But he — or she — or ze — will never be in chains,
and walks through the rows of spectator seating
well-assured of a swift return home
after an impartial hearing before a sympathetic judge.
It will only be a brief interruption from the regularly scheduled proceedings, though,
so don't leave for a bathroom break
or you might miss the next butchered name
called from the docket sheet.

Sit with me.

Come to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia inside the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse
in the shadow of the U.S. Department of Justice's façade,
a ten minute stroll from the FBI Headquarters,
less than two miles away from the White House and Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court of the United States,
and sit with me a few hours in courtroom C-10 on the lower level
to witness another day's administration of justice
in the post-racial United States.

3 comments:

  1. you summed it up correctly but if you think that is bad come up stairs to hear the great plea offers the whites get compared to the blacks. And if you want more,come back to witness the difference in the sentences that is handed down for whites verses blacks. Simply amazing!!!

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  2. This is so true..Even as a person diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum disorder I am so free simply as I am a 222Lb 6 foot Middle AGE White American with $660 prescription Sunglasses..extra Jim Maui..style...if you will..Khaki shorts..tanned..blonde haired blue eyed without the sun glasses...

    So what does this buy.. you might say in superwalmart..

    The ability to walk through that store as fast as I can which is believe me very fast and even recorded for proof and truth on a you tube video..spinning like a ballerina around clothing display obstacles and twirling around aisle obstacles..

    I can do this for 3 solid hours letting out all my innate autistic qualities without so much as a dismissive glance from anyone..as simply for the reason that I look like an alpha male..and a White 'higher looking class'...if you will good looking white guy in general...

    If I was a black man of 'any type I would have been stopped by security for questions..4 weeks ago when I started this new SuperWAlmart exercise routine while my wife shops...

    IT is not nearly a problem to be diagnosed with Autism in this world...so much as it is a problem to be born with a different tint of melanin on one's skin...

    And yes I have proof of it..clearly evidenced...at least in this one case study of me...

    More interesting than that... I changed my AQ test results from 44to55 down to 11 simply by engaging in intense 'right brain' activities for 6 months..

    I am now comfortable in any social situation...but I am completely free to express myself as an autistic person..simply because I have no fear...and yeah because of the way I look on the exterior..with the white skin..nice clothes..blonde hair...pearly white smile...and all that etc. stuff...

    And the 222Lbs of muscle does help...

    Anyway2 good to see you writing poetry Lydia..'it is' helped me greatly gain balance in this life...too..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Powerful. Thank you for sharing, Lydia.

    ReplyDelete

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