Friday 30 September 2022
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Balancing Justice

Op/Ed By Wallace Mabry


Wallace Mabry

Wallace Mabry

Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, in a Blogatorial of January 10, 2017, Democrat & Chronicle, focused us, in respect to what may have been, for many of us, the righteous rush to have meted out the most strenuous legal justice possible against the four Black young people who were charged, recently, for having assaulted and abused a young, white mentally disabled youth in Chicago, Illinois, and pointed our attention to three white high school football players (John R.K. Howard 18, Tanner Ward 17, and a 16 year-old) in Dietrich, Idaho, who, on October 23, 2015, after a long-standing history of racist taunting and abuse, lured an 18 year-old, Black, mentally disabled youth in the school’s locker room, under the pretense they wanted to give him a “hug,” where they proceeded to jam a clothes hanger up the Black youth’s rectum.

Once the hanger was lodged in the youth’s rectum, John R.K. Howard, who has a history of behavioral issues, “kicked” the hanger, several times, further up the Black, mentally disabled youth’s rectum, causing the youth excruciating pain and requiring he undergo medical treatment.

Dr. McMickle informed us that John R.K. Howard, the ringleader, received 300 hours of community service for his role in the crime.

Further research revealed Deputy Attorney General Casey Hammer’s thoughts after Howard’s sentencing: “It was egregious behavior. It caused this (Black) victim a lot of suffering, but it is not in my view a sex crime, which is why the state has amended this charge. We don’t believe it’s appropriate for Mr. Howard to suffer the consequences of a sex offender (italics my own), but he still needs to be held accountable.”

Apparently, not especially receptive to Dr. McMickle’s suggestion that the four Black Chicago accused receive equal justice from the Chicago court, Donald Boldt of Fairport, NY, responds, on the Opinion page of the January 11, 2017, Democrat & Chronicle, that it seems to him that “the path forward for all of us is to unite and work harder for just sentencing in our courts.” That “(W)e need to work to improve our justice system rather than insist that travesties (mockeries) of justice be repeated.” Clearly, Mr. Boldt would have the Black youngsters in the Chicago case dealt with to the full extent of the law.

Reading Mr. Boldt’s opinion it occurred to me that it never fails that when a Black person discloses a “mockery” on the side of justice where whites are the perpetrators and the victim is Black, there is nothing forthcoming from the Mr. Boldts of the larger community until some Black person suggests similar latitudes are given to Black people where there is some semblance of similarity of alleged criminal behavior. It is then that Black people are urged to be rational and reasonably objective.

Meanwhile and to our detriment, the black humanitarian in us rises up and we are inclined and encouraged to the thinking that we probably ought to consider and join in the call to unite and work together to improve “our” justice system. We have a stake in America.

But really, inclination and encouragement aside, it is incumbent upon Black people to come to grips with reality and to understand that the process of changing deep-rooted social, behavioral, economic, political, and legal motives underpinning the American society will take more than simple arrangements with key individuals who talk and display diversity in their interactions. Hence the true value of Mr. Boldt’s advice is trumped (no pun intended) by the fact the balance of justice has been and continues to be tilted in favor of white people.