Yesterday the European Union issued a statement urging my current home state to halt executions because it is about to top off at 400. Texas has more executions under its Lone Star belt buckle than many other states combined. I've been thinking about this a lot because a San Antonio native, Kenneth Foster, is set to be executed even though he has never killed anyone in his life. There's a law that says that if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, a jury of your peers can say you were guilty of the murder someone else committed. That's what happened to Foster. He was in the car waiting for his friend, heard gun shots, wanted to drive off, but then didn't drive off because another friend in the car told him not to. It has been established that Kenneth had no desire to murder anyone but because his friend did, he's going to be killed.
The Texas news is so sympathetic (read: sarcasm). Despite that, people all over the world are protesting. Yesterday, thousands in Austin, sent a message to the State Capitol (where Dubuya himself once snorted a few lines). This article demonstrates a bit of that sympathy. I think it is quite interesting that the EU has taken interest in our murderous rampage in Texas/the U.S. Or is it exactly a murderous rampage? Are our killer instincts levelling everyone in our path or are we more selective?
It seems that the death penalty doesn't exactly apply to everyone, does it? This article came out about a week ago. Let's see, now...Foster didn't kill anyone, yet we're killing him. Mary Winkler did kill someone, yet she has gone free in less than a year. Interesting. What's the difference? Oh, she had post traumatic stress disorder...from trauma experienced as a child...and the trauma manifested itself when she became an adult...so she killed her husband...and was cured in about a couple of months. Yes, that makes sense! No? Well, what else could explain why we're killing Foster and not Winkler? I'll let you be the judge. Maybe Foster stands more of a chance with you as the judge. I know if I were the judge I would have decided that anyone who hasn't killed, can't be killed. He may need to be locked up because he was involved somehow, but if he didn't kill anyone, there isn't any reason to kill 'em. I know if I were the judge in the Winkler case I'd remind Winkler that a lot of us - especially women - have experienced trauma in our youth, severe hope-killing trauma, but once we become adults it is our responsibility to get help so we don't kill our minister husbands. This woman had THREE KIDS. If they grow up and murder their spouses, will they also claim post traumatic stress disorder because their mama was a crazy woman?
We all have killer instincts. It is the reason why we eat. We want to survive. We kill plants (veggies, paper, etc.), we kill organisms in our water, we kill animals if we aren't vegan. And yes, sometimes we decide, if only in our minds, that someone's life just isn't worth it. The problem is when we decide whether someone's life is worth it based on something other than the survival instinct. It is clear that in this country - especially in Texas - we have decided that poor Black men just aren't worth it, even if they aren't guilty of murder. White, middle class women, even if they are proven murderers, are apparently worth it. This is who we're choosing to live with.
This is who we're choosing to live with.
My killer instinct once said to me, "Don't hurt 'em unless they are coming at you." I've taught behavior disorder kids in the Bronx and kids with an enormous sense of entitlement in the suburbs, and I have yet to hurt any of 'em. If you meet people where they're at, they don't come at you with bad energy...usually. But our court system.... They are coming at me. They are coming at all of us with racist, classist, blatant murder.
It makes me sick. It makes me sick because I am starting to wonder if I should change my killer instinct. Aw, I'm a lover, as the cliche' goes, but I am sharpening my pen. The fountain of my eyes is shooting bullets. I am ready to level those in my path to JUSTICIA. My husband says "those people won't understand anything but a noose around their necks." I hope there is some other way. I hope I can draw that noose, make it tight like my writing and make it sting like regret. I hope.
(P.S. There is also a Kenneth Foster Yahoo!Group - join to get updates.)