Wednesday, December 05, 2007

the system=el sistema

unfortunately over the past 48 hours i have been involved in helping a good friend sort his way through "the system," also known as "la sistema" or also known as a nasty combination of the NYPD, the New York State Supreme Court and the Department of Corrections.

it has not been pretty and it has, sadly, although not unexpectedly, certainly reinforced my distaste for police officers and "la sistema" as a whole. the real truth is that families and individuals, human beings and lives are infinitely more susceptible to incarceration and loss of freedom if resources are not available.

it has also gotten me thinking about that crazy word no one ever really mentions after grade school- SLAVERY. and its made me think and possibly realize that a lot of this has to do with the uphill battle that is upward mobility and in my opinion is also directly related to the history of slavery in the americas in all of its nasty forms.

poor folk around the world get the short end of the stick. poor black men in the united states, quite possibly get the ugliest end of the deal. i think too, that folks like p diddy, barack obama, denzel, even though all their successes are so strong and incredible, allow the public to forget the reality that today in new york city it is a damn hard going being a black man in harlem, beverly hills or even northfield, minnesota.

i got a lot on my mind, more specific experiences to share, but i don't want to bore anyone. i just had to share a snippet.

as for a photo, well, today is a print i made a few weeks back, visiting my cousin and her husband in upstate new york. the "plate" was a piece of paper with crayon drawing (the crayon held the ink). i don't remember the process but it included water, a press and some gum arabic...

much love and health and freedom to all...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

IL SISTEMA is so damned wrong all around the world, not only in the usa. There are still a lot of ways to make a man (or a woman) a slave, and often not only in word's meaning.
But FREEDOM, first of all (and thanks god)is a state of mind that no one can take away..

live free

11:22 PM  
Blogger jar66su said...

For good reason, I bet a large portion of the population shares a similar view. That being said, the harsh reality is that it's a by-product of any society, civilized or not. Justice and inequality cannot co-exist. Regardless of what we have been taught to think, the truth is that you cannot take racial and economic factors out of the equation. I'm not saying that upward mobility and an "impartial" justice system are unattainable, but at some point we need to stop confusing ideology for reality. Not sure exactly what I'm getting at, if anything at all...

The whole Sean Taylor situation has made me think. Not that it should take the death of a famous person to bring the topic to the table. And by no means am I downplaying or failing to acknowledge that this happens around the world on a daily basis, but look at how many lives have been turned on their heads. To a degree, I DO agree with the general consensus that these kids ought to be punished. Should they all be treated as killers? Maybe. Maybe not. All I know is that they got themselves into something much bigger than they had planned on and are at the center of a nationally televised soap opera. Now, and for the rest of their lives, they'll be seen as nothing more than the thugs that killed Sean Taylor. Nobody has mentioned their families, their friends, their dreams. Because it's easier. It's easier to look at a situation from the outside and label the characters by what we have been conditioned to see them as. Labels that do nothing more than pass the blame and validate the misinformed way we try to understand the world around us. I'm out.

11:40 PM  

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