Friday, December 8, 2023

Your Mama Came Up Here? White privilege and Jail.

March 23, 2021 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( There are times where being a mother, you are called to go above and beyond for your children. These are the moments that they never forget. To them, it is the penultimate moment that mama came to me when I needed her. I remember my mother bending over backwards for me when I would get into a jam. However, there were certain times she let me bump my head and learn from my mistakes. I watched the Capitol riots unfold days after it happened. It was surreal to me because I had never imagined anything like that happening in my lifetime. Those who were taking part were calling it our generation’s revolution and as a forgotten daughter of the Republic, I was thoroughly amused at the fall out when everything had settled.

Law enforcement quickly sought out the perpetrators to arrest them. The next few days saw faux patriotic Americans hauled into police stations to stand accused of their crimes. We saw all types of pleas to former President Donald Trump for pardons and defenses in the form of “He told me to do it” used to reason why they should be released. There was one story that stood out to me among all of them. It was the story of Jacob Chansley. Chansley has been highlighted as one of the more known rioters for his garb that he wore as the Capitol doors were breached. With all his bravado, he was singing a completely different tune when he was booked for misdemeanor charges of entering a restricted area and disorderly conduct.

Jacob Chansley - 2021

However, that’s still not why his story is so intriguing. A few days after his arrest, his mother was interviewed about her son asking for a special request. She was called in after her son refused to eat the meals that were provided by the jail he was remanded to. In full transparency, he stated that the reason he could not consume the food was because he was on a completely organic diet and the food served made him ill. Chansley chose to go without food for nine days according to his family and attorney. I must be honest about my first reaction being, “What in the world? Did you really call your Mama?” This man took part in an orchestrated effort to overthrow Congress and reverse legitimate election results and then called his mother when the food was not to his liking in jail. Then, for a moment, I took the motherly approach to the situation. If my sons called and said they were being mistreated in a place, I would run to their aid. No questions would be asked because that is my responsibility as their parent, no matter how old they get. They will forever be my babies.

The reason why this story made me furrow my brow was because his request was granted and rather quickly. Yet, there are brothers and sisters who have made similar requests, asked for medication, one day to attend a parent’s funeral or something as simple as decent air conditioning in a hot cell. Privilege affords some of us the right to make requests and if there’s national attention brought to it. Now I am not saying that the aforementioned request do not get answered but the occasion on which they are granted are few and far between. The argument can be made that he was being held in a detention center and not a prison.

However, the disparity in how persons of color are treated in under custody versus non-persons of color. There have been numerous videos and documentation about how disrespectfully and inhumanely people of color are treated once they are arrested (see George Floyd, Kalief Browser, etc.). There is no indication that the Capitol rioter had been mistreated other than the food not being to his dietary needs. Yet, detention centers and prisons are known for subpar food and when those incarcerated complain they are met with deaf ears. The prison industrial complex has caused us to see the difference in how some are treated under the law and others are left to languish.

Staff Writer; Jessieca Carr

One may connect with this sister online over at Instagramsusiecarmichael1920 and Twitternoladarling1920.

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