Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Monday, September 21, 2009

Plaxico Burress in prison because of race and celebrity


Life is a funny thing. It seems like yesterday Plaxico Burress was dominating the Green Bay Packers cornerback Al Harris in the NFC Championship game. It seems like yesterday Burress was catching the winning touchdown and hoisting the Lombardy trophy in defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. But today Burress awakened from spending his first night in prison as he begins the long journey of coming back from a place he really doesn’t belong.

After saying an emotional goodbye to his family in a Manhattan courtroom Burress was whisked off to Rikers Island prison to begin his 2-year sentence.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg made certain Plax nearly got the max when he made his public plea Burress should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I’m sure Bloomberg is pleased with getting such a hardened criminal like Burress off the streets.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Say what you wish but Burress is not doing a prison bid because he’s a menace to society or a hardened criminal: he’s doing a bid because of his celebrity and his complexion.

Yeah, each state has its own laws but without question the New York gun laws are strict and biased. This law wasn’t set up not clean up the streets as professed by Bloomberg and other New York politicians. It was set up to target a distinct group of people. It was set up to put small-time drug dealers, African Americans and Latinos behind bars.

Burress accidentally shot himself people. He didn’t shoot anyone else. Burress is guilty of being careless with his weapon and not filing the proper paperwork with the state. That’s it. The latter essentially equates to stupidity. But does stupidity carry a 2-year bid in prison for shooting yourself in the thigh?

As a result Burress is in a place where he shouldn’t be. He’s not a true detriment to society. Does Burress have a track record of felony arrests or murder convictions? Did he kill a man like Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth did while driving drunk? Stallworth took a life and served 24 days in jail while Burress spent the first of many nights in prison for shooting himself.

American justice at it’s finest.

Common sense suggests Burress should have his freedom. Doesn’t it make sense utilize Burress in society instead of making him an example? Instead of using his celebrity and complexion against him let Burress go into neighborhoods and make difference instead of placing him in the company of hardened criminals.

Oops, sorry. That’s makes too much makes sense. At the end of the day it’s about what makes dollars and not what makes sense.

From the outset this country has functioned on a sanctimonious hypocritical system that’s been substantially more criminal that just. It’s been a system that’s been historically biased towards African Americans and other so-called minorities.

The New York gun law weren’t designed to clean up the streets of crime: this gun law was designed to victimize a distinct group of people and jam their rights. It was designed to treat the symptoms of long-standing problems in society while neglecting the real issues with having a biased legal system.

Want proof?

How can anyone trust a legal system that once classified a group as “three-fifths” of a human being? How can anyone trust a system where the author of the Declaration of Independence had slaves on his premises and fathered seven children from a female slave? Such truths are rarely discussed in public forums out of fear. These issues need to be addressed because precedents established yesterday have set the stage for the legal system we have today.

Bottom line: the streets of New York are not any safer with Burress behind bars.
Burress made a mistake by being negligent. He didn’t pose a serious threat to anyone did he? He didn’t kill anyone or himself. On some level Burress was punished for what could’ve happened instead of what actually happened.

But cut the cards as you wish. Burress was made an example of because of his celebrity and race-not for being a serious danger to society.

No comments: