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Barack Obama Needs To Free Marissa Alexander

Something I Said

Dwight Hobbes

The problem is not the Stand Your Ground law.  It’s with its application.

A cowardly predator like George Zimmerman can hide behind the statute.

Justice for Marissa Alexander protest in Oakland

Justice for Marissa Alexander protest in Oakland (Photo credit: Steve Rhodes)

Thirty-one year old Marissa Alexander, when her violent husband came over, acting up, fired a warning shot from a pistol.  She might well have been better off blowing his brains out and pleading insanity, diminished capacity or something along those lines.  She’d’ve had a better chance than going with the truth.  The man had a history of hurting her.

Over the course of roughly a year he punched and choked her several different times.  Hell, she should’ve shot him then.  In that light, frankly, she exerised admirable restraint.  She exercised it, though, in what has, since the first stolen Bush election, shown itself to be one of them most virulently racists state in the union.

There is no good reason Alexander should be locked up for ten minutes, let alone twenty years.  She was convicted of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  How the hell can she even be charged with much less convicted of assault if she didn’t aim the weapon at him?  She wasn’t trying to harm anyone, she was trying to get this moron’s attention and let him know was done taking his stuff.  How much would you like to bet were a honey-haired, blue-eyed blonde, she’d’ve got off and her husband would be in one hell of a jam?  It truly is a shame the people of color on her nearly all white jury didn’t have her back.  It’s a shame the whites on the jury are allowed to walk among civilized society.

Marissa Alexander who did not have a criminal record before this.  For all we know not so much as an unpaid parking ticket.  That, in and of itself speaks to her character and whether the woman belongs behind bars.  She had been a law-abiding citizen all her life until her back was pushed to the wall.  And she did what would admire any mother in the wild for doing, protecting her young.  Think about it.  That jury and judge didn’t give her the same benefit of the doubt they would have an animal.  It couldn’t be any clearer that she was railroaded.  That she is a black woman who was victimized by a blatantly ass-backward ethically bankrupt system of instiutionalized racism.   Why hasn’t our bright, shining black president pardoned her?  Why hasn’t his bright, shining first lady said so much as a mumbling word about this glaring injustice?  Because they are too busy being honorary white folk is why: the troubles of black people — the constituency that put them in the White House — simply don’t matter to Brotha Barack and Sistah Michelle.  Change we can believe in.  Sure.

Marissa Alexander must still be in shock.   She the right thing and it turned out wrong a hell.  She even had been trained in weapon use and had a concealed weapons permit.  How much more correctly could she have gone about things?

The criminal injustice system, despite protest that gone on all the Internet about her jail sentence, is never going to reverse itself and give her back her freedom.  The letters and petitions flying in to legal offices and do-nothing politicians aren’t going to do it.  Anyone interested, though, can go to and get information. Meanwhile, there really is only one hope she has and it’s very slim.  Put pressure on Obama.  If Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick, for instance, instead of boycotting Florida (like as the world was going to show up at a concert by either one), they should set up camp on the White House lawn and give a marathon performance right there.  Refusing to stop until that one particular do-nothing politicians reaches in his pocket for a pen and signs that damned pardon for this woman.  And then put his foot in the behind of Florida’s governor and its legislature.  To have the law applied sensibly and not as a license to lynch the life of someone like Marissa Alexander.  Someone like young Trayvon Martin.  Anyone  black in that state, a ruthless bastion of entrench bigotry.  Make no mistake, it can be done.  Wonder, Warwick and the rest of us, though, need to embarrass Barack Obama so badly, he ifnally starts acting like the black president he was elected to be.


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