It's a sad fact, but it probably happens everyday across our "fine" country. [Last week], in our city, a white man who fired a weapon at a bicyclist's head (hitting his helmet) was sentenced to four months in jail, and a black man who stole from someone without firing a weapon was sentenced to [nearly four] years in prison. Attempted murder vs. robbery … justice? To be frank — I am disturbed.
I spent the evening considering how twisted this reality is. We back folks into a corner, via racism — the primary contributor to extreme poverty and its perpetuation — then punish those who come out fighting. Unacceptable. In the world I imagine, this is utterly unacceptable. At the very least, our justice system should be fair!
Ani Difranco says it well in her song "Subdivision": "I'm wondering what it will take for my city to rise? First we admit our mistakes, then we open our eyes …"
We can do better than this, people. We can be just.
— Safi Mahaba
Editor's note: Charles Diez, the man who fired at the cyclist pled guilty to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill; Stuart Peterson, the man who stole, pled guilty to armed-robbery charges.