My friends, during these explosive times, it’s critical to dedicate a little piece of each day to gathering your thoughts and making peace with the unpredictable storm that the 24 hour news cycle is sure to bring crashing into our televisions and news feeds. Things are never as bad or as good as they appear.
Don’t let the images of violence and looting distort the truth of the message. Don’t let a mob take control of the narrative.
The injustices present in the plight of the African American man have reached a national boiling point. It’s long overdue that the criminal justice system reflected the rhetoric that we’ve taken for granted for all too long. I think we can all agree on these two facts:
It takes more than just saying, “Things are equal” to make things equal.
It takes more than writing “Things are equal” on a document that a few hundred people sign, to make things equal.
To me, racism is based out of systemic teaching. It’s up to our generation—and to be more specific, my generation of white people—to be the one that breaks this line of thought. To eliminate the teaching of racist practices and implementation of racist processes.
With that in mind…
We have to see a complete elimination of unnecessary police violence.
We have to see legitimate changes in judicial proceedings, and in how we conduct our criminal investigations.
The Dubuque justice system can be a part of this change in the case of Fontae Buelow. For too long the defense has had to play by rules that simply shouldn’t have any place in a trial that determines the freedom of a man.
This has been evident throughout the prosecution process. Predictably slipping in appeals just before deadlines simply to prolong any outcome; both to punish the defendant for a more satisfactory amount of time, and in an attempt to remove it from the public conscious.
The initial charges of 1st degree murder simply to allow for wiggle-room to a “compromise” of 2nd degree.
Removal of a juror, rumors of bullying a handful of jurors who remained.
The list goes on…
Let the national spotlight that’s forcing us to give a long, hard look at the race issues we’ve swept under the rug for decades, remind us that we have an obligation to fix the issues in our community. Get out of the mentality that Dubuque is a bias-free zone simply because our Main Street isn’t on fire.
If you’ve found yourself wondering how the nation is going to recover from this, there’s no better place to start than showing up to support justice for Fontae.
So the next time you take to the streets to display your unity to a cause, consider that although “Black Lives Matter” on a sign may mean well, I want you to realize the significance of the stage you’re on in history. You have the opportunity to make an impact on a legitimate, specific, black life. A life that is being held in limbo.
It’s impossible to downplay those lives that have been and continue to be snuffed out by police brutality, but, the lives that matter are the ones we have the potential to impact personally.
Don’t let the flood of injustices wash away the ongoing case of Fontae Buelow. The time will come—and it’s coming soon—where this man will need the ongoing awakening towards racial discrepancies to give him his fair shot at regaining his freedom.
Don’t let your vision get clouded by the overwhelming amount of bad news. There is always potential for us to be the one’s who create good news.