Marissa Alexander and I have a lot in common. We are both of the same age (I will be 33 in a week and a half); we are both mothers; we both had abusive husbands; we are both black. But there is one huge difference between Marisa and I—I am not facing 60 years in prison for firing a warning shot at my would-b e attacker husband. But I could have been. Florida is no place to be for an African American. One either side of the law, whether we are the aggressor, as Zimmerman claimed Trayvon Martin was, or the victim, as Marisa had been as she was attempting to protect herself and her children—Florida views us as guilty.
Many people do not know the details of the case. Marissa had just given birth and her husband was threatening to kill her. He was physical with her and she did not shoot at him. She shot into a wall to make him flee. Now, I do not know about the next woman but after giving birth , your body is going through so many changes. You are exhausted, your bodily functions are trying to return to normal, you are bleeding, and you are having to adjust to not being pregnant anymore. Now imagine someone pushing, hitting, and threatening you after you’ve performed a miracle of God. There is no way that an individual of sound mind can look at the events of the case and not say that Marissa was under duress and that her actions were warranted.
Some people say she should have called the authorities. But, sometimes the authorities are not your friend. Would they have taken her seriously or just thought it was some lovers spat? I am praying for Marissa and all the other unjustly prosecuted individuals in this country. What chance do we have when this double judicial standard is allowed to continue? My fear is that other states with similar laws as Florida will begin to initiate similar actions against our people to add to the already fattened pockets of the prison industry. The plantations still exist but the “fields” are the prison compounds and the labor and abuse is legal. Shame on those who seek to steal the life of this vibrant young woman and mother. Shame on the state of Florida for continually seeking to destroy the lives of the black man and woman. Shame on the prosecutor seeking to sentence her to 60 years. And most of all, shame on those who chose to keep their mouths, eyes, and ears closed to the real issues of this world. Just because you state “Speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil” , doesn’t mean that evil no longer exists—that’s what evil wants you to do!