America Owes Bresha Meadows A Debt That Will Never Be Paid » VSB

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America Owes Bresha Meadows A Debt That Will Never Be Paid

NBC screenshot

 

In just a few months, Bresha Meadows will finally be out of prison. However, it won’t be due to her case being dismissed, or being granted bail. Moreover, she will not be directly returning home. Instead, due to accepting a plea deal, a 15-year old Bresha will have her time served commuted and sent to a juvenile mental health facility — all for having the audacity to defend her family at a time when no one else would.

Thousands, if not millions, of words have been written about the tragic situation that has befallen the Meadows family. You can read plenty at the official site for Free Bresha here. There are also a bevy of activists, scholars, and influencers who have spent the last year emphasizing the grave miscarriage of justice that Bresha Meadows has undergone, such as PrisonCulture.

It is hard to watch these events play out and not be reminded of the simple fact that Black girls are robbed of their childhood at such a young age. Before they have the chance to make the choice to embrace their womanhood, they are asked to step up time and time again and make sacrifices at great cost to their livelihood and their humanity. For the brave action of protecting her family at the hands of near-constant abuse by almost all accounts, Bresha nearly paid the cost of the rest of her life in prison — and is now expected to be thankful at the so-called liberation a plea deal is supposed to afford her. A plea deal that is contingent upon her admitting that she, a young girl who was doing her best in a toxic and life-threatening situation, somehow committed a crime.

It is an injustice that a settlement like this can even remotely be considered a victory, and that the prosecution has declined to withdraw charges in light of all the circumstances coming to light and the groundswell of support. It is unfathomable that a justice system that claims to pride itself on due process can rest on its laurels at the cost of a Black girl’s childhood, and simultaneously scoff at the notion that the right to a fair trial seems to be one that does not apply to Black people. It is difficult to come to peace with the fact that Bresha’s eventual freedom comes with an eternal scarlet letter on her chest; a guilty conviction that will follow her forever. And even if the records are eventually expunged and sealed, the articles and documents marking her guilty plea will continue to persist. Also, the law in Ohio will continue to remain that any child over the age of 14 is capable of being tried as an adult for a felony.

Bresha’s story (and the several others like hers) is a continual reminder that the rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are civil liberties afforded to the (white) men and women with the means to demand and expect it, while the rest of us are expected to lie in wait for the tiny trickles of generosity that manage to slip their way down and continue to accept the status quo. Bresha was unjustly robbed of an entire year. A whole year of enjoying freedom from the terror at home. A whole year of potentially deciding that she could apply to college, or take the SATs. A whole year of movies with her friends, or preparing to slay in Twitter Prom pictures. The hypotheses are neverending, but the conclusion remains: America owes Bresha a debt that will never be paid, and the Meadows family will never be the same as a result.

Shamira Ibrahim

Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her in waxing poetically about chicken, Cam'ron, and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at her semi-monthly blog, shamspam.tumblr.com

  • nillalatte

    I’m jaded with the court systems- all of them. How they treat victims of domestic abuse is always as if the victims are lying, unless you are actually beaten to a pulp and laid up in a hospital. Many abusers don’t leave physical marks. It seems like prosecutors are intent on causing more suffering and pain to victims; incarcerate them, belittle them, pile on as many charges so that ‘something’ sticks, and then ask for the maximum penalty and fines to ‘teach a lesson.’ That’s not justice. That’s abuse by proxy.

    Yes, this will follow her for the rest of life, but that doesn’t mean she cannot be a successful adult. It doesn’t even mean that she will not be abused again. She may choose, from this experience alone, to do nothing about another abuser because she continued to be abused by the system; the system that is supposed to help protect her and failed.

    Do I feel bad for the father? Not one damn bit. He wouldn’t be dead if he treated his family right.

    • AzucarNegra

      http://www.theroot.com/black-man-found-not-guilty-of-crime-still-sentenced-to-1795475956 This is an interesting read and especially this comment

      Back in April this same Judge sentenced a white couple to one year of probation after they were found GUILTY of stealing an elderly man’s disability check for 15 months. During this time the disabled man, who has a brain injury that leaves him confined to his apartment, had his power shut off multiple times and accrued significant balances for services such as utilities and cable. His caretaker has indicated that he is still dealing with the financial fallout from the crime.

      • nillalatte

        There are too many stories like this one; where people take advantage of the disabled and elderly. I just want to ask them, “Who raised you?!”
        And, they should have been sentenced to at least 15 months in jail and order restitution.

        • AzucarNegra

          The comment was t in relation to the the judge who determined that this black boy had to spend some time in jail even though he was not guilty, while he gave a white couple probation. Justice is never blind

          • nillalatte

            I remember this Black guy on some pawn store tv show in Detroit where he was asking for some help, but had nothing to pawn. He told the owner, “I’ve been guilty of things I’ve never been convicted for and convicted for things I’ve never done.” That about sums it up.

      • nillalatte

        My apologies for not being able to click the link. At the time, I read just this quote. I have since read the story. smdh

        • AzucarNegra

          Happens. Lol.

    • His family can go suck it if they were pursuing charges.

      • AzucarNegra

        what is there to pursue? He was abusive, I hate when families try to paint these persons as angels.

    • Alessandro De Medici

      The dark side of democracy…

      https://youtu.be/fBtf9ky7auU?t=18m16s

      • nillalatte

        Alessandro, you’re always posting these very long videos and I do enjoy them normally. But, remember to treat me like tRump, in this case; make it short and add my name so it keeps my attention. lmao

        • Alessandro De Medici

          I cut it to the relevant part lol.

          It’s insightful!

          • nillalatte

            It was a good talk. Flip that to OJ busted in Vegas. He went before a judge I am all too familiar with for arraignment. At the arraignment, that judge let all 12 counts stand. All 12. A friend (Black male) and I talked about this and agreed, any other person would not have had excessive charges thrown at them. But, this was OJ.

            Now, back to the so-called Judge. His father was a District Court judge for many years. Junior went to private school and then to law school. After law school, he went to work for the DA’s office. Other attorney’s I spoke with said he was a complete fk up at the DA’s office (I guess that means he didn’t convict enough people).

            Three years at the DA’s office, he decided to run for a judgeship on his daddy’s coattail. We all know voters do not educate themselves and, well, daddy had a reputation; his name was very well known. They voted for Junior- same last name and all, so yeah. When other legal professionals realized what happened, someone drafted a bill and sent it to the legislature to stipulate that a judge, before they can run for a judgeship, must complete five years of legal practice.

            Like doctors, nurses, etc., lawyers know who is competent and who is not. However, that info, to my knowledge, is seldom shared. I don’t even trust Martindale-Hubbell reviews. :

            • Alessandro De Medici

              Live by democracy, die by democracy.

  • PDL….HE still working on me

    All that I know about this story is what I read today. I don’t know how I feel about a girl taking on the burden of “freeing the family” from the hands of an “abusive husband (first) and father (second). Don’t get me wrong, PLEASE. I’m not saying abuse is okay, I’m not asking “why didn’t they just leave”, I’m not speaking anything to what they coulda shoulda woulda done, I am though wondering how a mother is okay with her daughter taking on the daunting task of freeing them all from the monster they described? She got away from that abusive situation and went back? Yes yes yes, I understand when folks feel captive and enslaved, still I don’t understand the joviality in the mother’s statement that they’re now free…..at the cost of her daughtet’s life and freedom? She called her a hero?

    • You’re right. Something about that just seems a bit off. You’re glad that your daughter protected the family, yet didn’t have the heart to do it yourself? The girl might be getting a favor by getting mental health treatment. That family dynamic seems a touch off.

      • PDL….HE still working on me

        Exactly. I’m not perfect neither is my kid but when she was a kid in my house nothing nor anyone would stop me from protecting her. Tis true that a mama would take a bullet or moving car for their young. I don’t understand and I can’t congratulate.

  • Me

    I can remember at least two distinct stories in the past year or so where men killed intruders in their homes who either raped or attempted to rape their wives (one white man, another African man), and both had their charges dismissed. Women and girls, however, are expected to not only play damsel in distress so that men’s egos can inflate at the thought of being our saviors, but are also expected to choose martyrdom over self-defense because God-forbid we take our lives/safety into our own hands. It’s as if to say, if men aren’t giving us our freedom, we just have to wait patiently taking the punches until our deliverance because men have no clue what to do if we aren’t begging for their salvation.

    • Very well said. And I agree.

  • Kasmeoutside
    • AzucarNegra

      White men are endangered or something like that.

      • cyanic

        Could you makes this an immediate reality in the next few hours?

        • AzucarNegra

          Nope. I am a black woman, very low on the totem pole, but that defense is a wonderful one to trot out ever so often

          • cyanic

            Was anxious you had the secret of making them disappear.

            • AzucarNegra

              that would be a dangerous gift in my hands. I tend to let things slide but when I get really mad, I can be a jackasz extraordinaire

              • Someone has to be.

                • AzucarNegra

                  I will feel a ton of guilt after but because I can be very stubborn I will refuse to apologise

    • Welp…she made my day.

    • nillalatte
  • AzucarNegra
    • Hugh Akston

      Was an Econ major but dropped out of it because of ish like this…when I was questioning the teachers they couldn’t provide a coherent answer

      Essentially his proposal amounts to voodoo economics: an economic policy perceived as being unrealistic and ill-advised, especially a policy of maintaining or increasing levels of public spending while reducing taxation.

      • NO, this is just lying. Nobody thinks this will work. Economics can predicted within a range but this is just BS.

        • AzucarNegra

          It is related to 45, so some deception and fraud must be involved.

      • AzucarNegra

        Thank you. How are you today?

        • Hugh Akston

          I’m alright

          Trying to figure out this whole baby schedule thing

          How are you?

          • AzucarNegra

            I am good , well trying to be. YOu are putting him on a sleep schedule? Sounds good in practice but some babies can be stubborn.

            • Hugh Akston

              Yeah he sleeps at odd hours he doesn’t do the whole stay awake during the day and fall asleep at night like normal people do

              It’s sleep wake up poo p and falls back asleep in a span of two hours…I already have my routine so when he cries he wakes me up…I try to help at night but it’s difficult as I start my day early

              • AzucarNegra

                I understand. I can offer you nada, but try to get him to do longer hours at nights. Hugs dear, hopefully he settles down soon

                • Hugh Akston

                  No worries this is a good escape

                  • AzucarNegra

                    So you are enjoying him I take it

                  • Alessandro De Medici

                    You watching the Celtics/Cavs game.

                    If the Celtics win again, i think I’m die laughing…even if they ultimately win the series.

                    • Hugh Akston

                      Just tuning in had a date with maddow learned some interesting things…more like confirming for me

                      But yeah what went wrong though? The cavs were hot first two games and now?

                    • Janelle Doe

                      What did Maddow teach you?

                    • Hugh Akston

                      The process of fincen and how it works pretty interesting stuff I didn’t know but suspected

                    • AzucarNegra

                      You had a date? I don’t care if it is with a person who has no interest in you and is removed form you, you had a date. Lol

                    • Hugh Akston

                      lol you’re a funny one

                    • AzucarNegra

                      You will slip one of these day Father Hugh

    • nillalatte

      Just read another story on his budget. They are saying it’s DOA.

    • Alessandro De Medici

      Lol, for the record, this is why I always say if you want to understand economics, study the drug trade, not the economics of policy makers.

      It’s pretty much a well kept secret in economics, that all government numbers are inherently BS. This one is no different.

      • This is worse. It’s not even good fiction. L. Ron Hubbard could have done better.

        • AzucarNegra

          Well you all got your outsider

      • AzucarNegra

        Ok now we have gotten that part out of the way. Drop some science!!

        • Alessandro De Medici

          It’s kind of complicated.

          Republicans – Supply Side Economics

          – Give more money to producers aka manufacturers,
          corporations, industry etc so they can have more money to hire employees

          Democrats – Demand Side Economics

          Give more money to customers, poor people, workers etc so they can demand more goods and services from corporations, manufacturers, industries etc

          Both of these are fundamentally wrong. But they persist and dominate the political parties, because it makes them and the public feel like they have control over things that they do not.

      • Hugh Akston

        I’m more of a Chicago school of thought than the other ones but still tend to shy away from any economic models the assumptions are mind boggling…

        It was a surreal moment when I realized what the current money system of the us (the world?$ was based on…

        keynes or Hayek…???

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk

        • Alessandro De Medici

          Economics is called the dismal science for a reason.

          There’s a lot of debates about what current economic systems we have? The idea is interesting, but almost always meaningless. Most modern economies are mixed in nature. A little capitalism here, a little socialism there. Much of what is considered “economics” are policy makers and theorists arguing that their system is responsible for the benefits and the other guy’s system is responsible for the faults.

          The downside to mixed systems, especially contradictory ones, is they are ultra complex, so thus, it’s near impossible to objectively define what is the origin of the problem when an economic problem comes about. But people want “balance”, so the end result, is they don’t get to ever really understand how the economic system they want really operates…including the policy advisors.

          • Hugh Akston

            ” But people want “balance”, so the end result, is they don’t get to ever really understand how the economic system they want really operates…including the policy advisors.”

            That’s the scary and sad part…

            • Alessandro De Medici

              Welp, whatcha gonna do? People want a Buddhist economy lol jk.

              i think this is why so much money and energy is spent on “confidence” in the economy.

              • Hugh Akston

                “i think this is why so much money and energy is spent on “confidence” in the economy.”

                It’s a good chunk of it…especially when you look at the rhetoric of the politicians…it’s madness when you actually sit there and think about how the system actually runs…

    • Kasmeoutside

      Translating to household budget – you cut back on spending for entertainment by $100/month to help whittle down your credit card balance. You can’t also spend the $100 saved on entertainment to buy new clothes and expect your credit card balance to go down.

  • Kasmeoutside
  • nillalatte

    When they started chanting, I thought they said, “Impeach Barney Fife!” lmao Same difference I suppose. ;) lol

  • AzucarNegra

    Coupled peeps, are you holding hands tonight?

    • Kasmeoutside

      Nope

      • AzucarNegra

        Ok 45

        • Kasmeoutside

          My family growing up was not affectionate

          • cyanic

            Hugs you to make up for that.

            • Kasmeoutside

              Oh it’s ok. My kids get all the affection and vice versa. On the bed with my oldest now and waiting for the youngest to join us.

              • cyanic

                Are your parents still living?

                • Kasmeoutside

                  Yes. I see them weekly

                  • cyanic

                    Are they more affectionate in older age?

                    • Kasmeoutside

                      A bit. It’s awkward AF to be honest.

                    • cyanic

                      Did they ever reveal the circumstances they grew up under to inform their parenting style?

                    • Kasmeoutside

                      Well neither side of my family is affectionate going back to at least my great grandparents from what I remember.

          • grownandsexy2

            Break the mold

            • Kasmeoutside

              I am. Holding hands is just not something I don’t hear than with my kids.

  • I_AmU

    In San Antonio, TX a police person appears to punch a 14yr old Resilient child in the face. Read more here:
    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Video-surfaces-on-Facebook-showing-San-Antonio-11164957.php

  • Lara

    Why didn’t her mother deal with this a#$hole?

    • cedriclathan

      Maybe figured the minor wouldn’t see any jail time.

      • Lara

        It’s still going to traumatize her.

      • Lara

        Adults should be able to defend themselves.

      • Lol, was just getting ready to remind you to not respond to the troll.

      • nillalatte

        LOL!

      • nillalatte

        Well, I probably shouldn’t have, but I did too. I’ll see myself out. lol ?

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