Race, Poverty and Murder in Amerikkka

root - Posted on 03 September 2009

By Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia

by Staff Writer

"I need to see your license and registration," It seems like such a simple question, a routine traffic stop I think it's called. Just another tool of the Criminal UN-justice in amerikkka. So why was I consumed with terror? Why did flashes of grey steel and 18th century locks, urine stained wooden benches and holding cells the size of someone's smallest closet flood every inch of my terrorized brain. Why did my mind go to suicide, homicide or at best, fraud, anything, but go back to jail or more crimes of poverty.

Me and my houseless mama were barely existing in the fringes of Oakland at the time. It was 10:00 pm and we were driving around trying to find somewhere to park and sleep for that night.

The deaths of Lovell Mixon at a routine traffic stop, and the four humans who were part of an ongoing military occupation of Oakland brought back this and several other acts of po'lice terror perpetrated on me, my mama almost all of the other POOR Magazine/PNN staff writers for the sole act of being houseless, poor and of color in Amerikkka.

I did lie to the cops that night and ended up getting an 18 month jail sentence which was later reduced to 18 months probation due to the extremely revolutionary lawyering of an attorney who advocated for poor folks. That said, even with my "lie" our car was seized, I was taken to jail for the 4th time that year, leaving my disabled mama on the street as I was dragged away.

There is constant talk about the fact that Lovell was a "parolee", an ex-offender, a criminal, this knowledge always added to the corporate media stories about the case, seemingly as a way of rationalizing that Lovell's death was less important than the officers who died. This is odd, I thought, considering the murder of three job holding Oscar Grant, whose only crime was coming home from a party on New Years Eve and being African Descendent. Strange that Oscar didn't get flags woven at half mast, a visit from Schwarzenegger and a multitude of corporate media pieces about the histories of genocide by the perpetrators (po'lice) who killed brother Oscar.

The prison industrial complex has created militarized zones out of our communities of color and poor communities leading to the rise in the murder of youth and elders alike everyday. Consider the case of 73 year old, disabled, African Descendent elder, Bernard Monroe of Homer, Louisiana, shot dead earlier this month on his own porch at a family barbeque by white po'lice officers (read: military). His only "crime" was being black, alive and living in racist Amerikkka, in a militarized zone called, "a poor neighborhood."

People have told me not to be so angry, to come with love for everyone, I'm not sure im able to do that, as long there continues to be an undeclared war/attack being perpetrated on poor people of color all across Amerikkka. I don't know what was going on in Lovell's mind, but it has been said that he was afraid to go back to prison and I, for one have been that afraid, more than once.


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