Unjust justice in a racial world

Jarnigan, Shannon L.

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Shannon Jarnigan [ID] TPFE 1EA32 3881 Stewarts Ln. Nashville, TN 37218 August 22, 2019 "Unjust Justice in a Racial World" In life we are given choices. What choice we make results on our life good or bad. Although we make a choice we do not always know nor expect the outcome that came by what we chose. Allow me to explain a choice I made and now pay a dearly price with cruel and unusual punishment, and a system that failed me due to that one choice. As I grew to a young lady wanting to experience love in life due to my very abusive childhood, and the token of my innocence ripped away from a child predator (my step-father). I yearned to be loved, feel the goodness of another human being, and feel the fullness of compassion. I was attracted to men of the African American culture. I seen so much potential, love, and beauty in them. I know of the hurt, pain, and issues their ancestors had endured at the hands of people who thought they were better than everyone else. I was intrigued, I wanted to date someone different, make a statement cause I knew my very racist family will never agree. I also was aware that in the south, living in a small county in East Tennessee, the Good Ole Boy state mixing races was a disgrace to their society. Either way I did not care I wanted what I chose irregardless of how anyone thought nor viewed me. Eventually I fell in love with a African American man. Charming, gorgeous, loving, and best of God fearing. A man that truly captured my heart. I felt love. I never knew love growing up, I knew only of abuse, rape, and torture. I was happy even though everyone around me was livid and mad. We dated, had kids, and lived a honest hardworking life. Nothing was ever easy raising 3 kids, working, providing, and paying bills. My boyfriend became a victim of a drug cocaine. He begin to deal and try to keep up with bills that were late, and to keep clothes and food for our kids. It was a secret cause he knew how I felt about drugs, and definitely did not want our children around (or) to know anything about drugs. My life as well as my children’s began to spiral out of control. The police raided my home, taking my kids into another vehicle as we were restrained, searched, and secretly recorded in the back seat of a police cruiser as the police threatened me with my kids, and taunted us to tell what we knew. We were harassed, set up, and followed for approximately 2 years. My boyfriend knew why, and the police did also obviously, yet it remained a secret away from me besides what I was told, what to say, what was told to do/say if I wanted to live. A secret that was gonna kill me by my boyfriend, the police, (or) the hitman. I became a target to all three. My life that was so full of joy became full of misery, lies, violence, and the unknown. My boyfriend began to be very physically & mentally abusive almost killing me and my unborn fetus several times. Police were called, although they failed to protect me I continued to push for charges to be filed and him locked up. That was what the system and law were supposed to do, but that was not the case. A trip to jail, booked in, I went to the hospital several times before I made it home he would be there awaiting me to beat me all over again. No matter what I did it was never anything done about the domestic abuse. Eventually we both were arrested charged with a murder, took it to trial where we was tried by a 11-panel Caucasian race, and 1 Black African American male. All Caucasian district attorneys, all Caucasian attorneys, and a Caucasian judge. A bias society with nothing but lies, vindictiveness, and racial discrimination set in the court of justice. My life was doomed from a crime I never committed, but it did not matter because in the eyes of the discriminatory society, I was being judged by my choice of being in a bi-racial relationship which made me a disgrace. I had not chance to beat this case or charge cause I was a white girl involved with a Black man, and another Black man was also our co-defendant. This is how racist our system really is. A choice to be involved with a man outside my own race, was a choice that cost me my incarceration with known facts of my mere innocence taken away from my kids, and thrown away like a animal in a locked cage beaten emotionally over a choice. No man/woman of any race can ever have a fair, unbiased, impartial trial when there was only one person of their race determining the guilt/or innocence within the system of Hamblen County, Tennessee. What does justice look like? Color? Choices? My justice has never been sought and neither has my co-defendant’s in this racial unjust society we live in. Do we make a choice to fight for the righteousness of racism & justice? Or do you as society allow it to stand affirm? What’s gonna be your choice?

Author: Jarnigan, Shannon L.

Author Location: Tennessee

Date: August 22, 2019

Genre: Essay

Extent: 5 pages

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