What a world we live in, where your kids aren’t safe no matter what you do. No matter what you teach them, no matter the neighborhood you reside. Morals or not, to be black is a crime with cruel punishment that awaits behind. But to be poor and black at the same time is almost an automatic guilty decree, there’s no proving your innocence.
Episode One of “Time: The Kalief Browder Story” which premiered yesterday on Spike TV, breaks down the outline of a reality for a majority of the minority population. Imagine this, black boys are used as bait to knock down the pile of paperwork on the District Attorney’s desk. They have more than a few cases to solve with no clear suit, no actual suspect, but a situation that needs to be resolved no matter what the consequence.
The six-part series documents the sad time leading to the suicide of a one Kalief Browder after he served 3-year’s in one of the countries most notorious prisons, Rikers Island, for a crime that he did not commit. Three years without a trial, no actual conviction, Browder was forced to endure hell on earth. Having undergone all the things that come with the pictorial image we all have planted in our brains of Rikers, the ferocious beatings, and psychological deterioration’s due to solitary confinement, time wasn’t enough between his release to the day his took his life in June 2015.
They just snatched him off the street.
With every solved case and every guilty verdict, the DA get’s a new plaque for a job well done, while another poor black boy becomes the model of the system; the stereotypical product that is a black son. The clicker keeps clicking as the numbers stack up. The history of America proves itself time and time again, another form of slavery all over. Another news story depreciating the value of the life of a person, another black boy, chained and bound, worth more dead than alive.
The epidemic of a born drug addicted baby is largely discussed, one whose life is doomed from the cuff. Growing up, and getting showed little to no love, by the time they reach grade school, their condition is already conditioned, they are already messed up. But the average smart person making the decision as the judge knows the path befitting a boy from the Bronx, walking home from a party, left vulnerable to the streets of which he grew up. It doesn’t matter the intentions of one kid, they’re all black, they all come from the same make-up. This is the outlook, the odds stacked against us.
And when given a plea, do you take it?
With 72% of 16-17 year olds arrested being black or latino, and 60% of those unable to post bail, the criminal records inhibiting these guys upon their release is also a price to pay if no collateral is there to set you free. And if you can’t afford it, no matter how small the fee, your life could end up the price you pay when proving your integrity. Mental illness affecting 40% of these inmates, suicide or their return to a familiar cell is often the prophecy.
Executive producers Jay Z, Harvey Weinstein, David Glasser and the lot set out to further expose the tragedy, bringing it again to the medium of TV, a fundamentally broken system that continues without repair. So many shows and documentaries detailing a major reality, with hopes of washing away the certain measures taken to prove authority. Authority over what though? Authority over unjustifiable acts, or authority over blacks?
The day has come again when watching TV with a keen eye is considered exemplary. You might learn something, you might learn to be kind, gracious to the black boy sitting at your side. He’s not what you think he is, learn to be colorblind. Give him a chance, the way the lives of white college rapists are pleaded until exoneration, they never get profiled.