The opinions expressed below by Mr. Burnette in no way express the views of the Campus Echo, its editors, the adviser, or N.C. Central University. They are solely the opinions of the writer.
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To comment to Mr. Burnette's opinion editorial please forward your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally Editor-in-Chief Rony Camille and Campus Echo adviser Dr. Bruce dePyssler responded to Mr. Burnette's column in a May 1st op-ed you may read it here.
On March 13, 2006, some forty affluent white men solicited the presence of two black women on (former) plantation property for the explicit purposes of racially denigrating, disrespecting, and exploiting them.
“Tell your Granddaddy thanks for making my cotton shirt,” they were reported to have said.
The women were, according to all accounts, called “nigger” and told to penetrate themselves with broomsticks (see Abner Louima). One of these women said that she was raped by three of these inebriated white men. People in power and those without disbelieved her. This is sickening.
I am not surprised at the outcome of the case. As a son of Africa, I know that American law is not worth the paper it is written upon. We all saw L.A. Gestapo beat Rodney King only to be acquitted. We were dismayed when the assassins of Amadou Diallo, who laced his area with a forty-one shot spectrum, were also acquitted. These injustices reflect the current disequilibrium in the American justice system.
We black people (while we may be able to bribe judges like white people) cannot expect justice from the American legal system, period.
Why are black people so apt to view this situation through a legal system created to perpetuate our repression?
The ‘facts’ of the case should not matter to us because even if we are unsure of sexual assault, these supremacists have admitted to sexually, racially and politically denigrating these women. Strippers or not, this must be addressed.
History has shown us that the (in)justice system cannot and will not address these issues because it is built upon them. So upon whose shoulders should the responsibility of retributive correction fall?
White people still murder us with impunity. White people still beat us with impunity. White people still rape us and get away with it.
The only deterrent to these legally, socially and economically validated supremacist actions is the fear of physical retribution.
Black men, stand up. Black women, stand up. Black children, stand up. We have been at war here with these same white people for 500 years.
The time to fight, whether intellectually, artistically or physically, has always been now.