Tea Time with Tagwa: This nation’s justice system delivers anything but justice

Illustration by Skyler Kaczmarczyk

Tagwa Shammet, Opinions Editor

Tea timers, I am living in a constant state of predictable disappointment. My Blackness ensures dismay and sorrow that has historically plagued my community. From the shackles on my ancestors’ ankles, to the oppression of my people before me; the trauma of my Blackness is neverending. Being Black in the United States is exhausting.

As time has progressed, the Black community has lost any sense of positive expectation from this country and its people. See, being Black means coming to accept the fact that nobody in this country — not even those who promise to protect you — is looking out for your Blackness. 

Between police brutality and violent bigotry, the blatant racism that laces this nation is no surprise. Racism is the epidemic that is going to wipe out the Black community in America. 

Yet, it seems like the only people aware of this danger are Black people. 

On Nov. 19, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges against him. Rittenhouse shot three men — killing two of them — in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year during a peaceful protest against police brutality. He was facing charges such as: first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and three additional charges, according to the Associated Press. 

News of Rittenhouse’s acquittal caused an uproar so intense on my social media, I almost had to laugh. The concept that there was any faith in this country’s justice system is comical. This nation and all its systems have never looked out for the best interest of the Black community, so why would they start now?

I am living in a constant state of predictable disappointment. 

Rittenhouse’s acquittal comes as no surprise to me. This young man opened fire on protestors demonstrating against the inhumane killing of Black people by law enforcement following the murder of Jacob Blake — a young Black man who was shot by police. The purpose of the protest alone was one that Rittenhouse was completely and utterly opposed to.

His lawyers pleaded self-defense, yet I must ask: What made Rittenhouse even bring a weapon to a peaceful protest? 

Rittenhouse is just another personification of the white savior and violent vigilante that this country has acquitted before. We didn’t forget about George Zimmerman. 

This country hasn’t evolved since Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin in 2012. It hasn’t even evolved enough since the repulsive racism we saw 100 years prior in 1912. What happened to Martin happened to Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber — the men Rittenhouse killed. That same lack of justice that Martin’s family had to suffer with is now passed onto Rosenbaum and Huber’s families. And that exact despondency I felt when I watched Zimmerman walk as a free man hit me again as that smug teenager faced no repercussions for the lives he took.

I am living in a constant state of predictable disappointment.

Keeping up with this trial felt exhausting. Another day, another white man reaping the benefits of the system built for his welfare on the backs of the same people he killed. The Black community is fatigued. Our emotions and minds have been eroded by the consistent abuse this country has put us through. 

I can’t fault anyone’s outrage. The situation is indeed outrageous. How one man can get away with shooting three people — two of them fatally — is beyond me. But then, he is white. And this is the white man’s country, so my expectations cost me my feelings.

It’s conflicting pursuing a career in law when all my hopes for this system are so minimal and skewed. The intense distaste I hold for this country’s legal justice system is disheartening because I want more. I want this nation to be the genuine melting pot we teach in school. I want this nation to deem accountability a requirement for everybody. I want this country to resort to fairness and equality. Yet, I know it won’t.

Justice does not exist for the Black community. White vigilantes roam the streets as Black lives continue to matter less and less. You see, the Black community is living in a constant state of predictable disappointment. And that’s the tea.

1 Comment

  1. Kyle Rittenhouse should never have been charged and brought to trial. He was the victim, attacked with three felons, including a felon with an illegal firearm. I hope that he owns CNN and the leftist media after his defamation law suits are settled.

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