I saw a lot of posts this morning on Facebook that I didn't make time for. One in particular once again questioned the whereabouts of "regular diseases" since the age of COVID asking the question, "Does anyone know anyone who was regular sick since COVID?" Let me go ahead and address that while I'm here -
See, typical or classic or regular diseases are transmitted by way of contact. Contact with a sick person OR contact with an infected object or surface. Think about diseases spread through infected saliva, blood, or semen. This contact was incredibly minimized during the pandemic, with people not coming into close enough contact with other persons, if any persons at all. All surfaces that people did make contact with were thoroughly cleaned and sanitized as often as people were touching them. The increased popularity and frequency of hand sanitizer use and handwashing also decreased the number of germs in any one public space. The addition of wearing face coverings, a practice that was very commonplace around the world for sick people for decades prior to the pandemic, also decreased the spread of germs in public spaces. Since people were also NOT getting close to each other, the germs that were coughed or sneezed out behind a mask didn't reach other people as successfully.
The result - few people got "regular" sick. Did I really have to spell that out for people? Seriously?!
This isn't even the topic of this blog!
The thing that I saw this morning that I'm actually making time for is much more telling.
Story Time: In 1979, a Black man named Kevin Strickland was sentenced to Life without parole for a triple murder. He maintained his innocence from the beginning. The murder was later admitted to by Vincent Bell and Kilm Adkins. Both men plead guilty and both men swore that Strickland wasn't with them doing the crime. It was discovered that Strickland was mistaken for Paul Holiway (They showed pictures. I can't see how they got it mixed up). This evidence was presented as recently as a couple of months ago to have Kevin Strickland, an innocent man, released from prison. He is still there.
Story Time: In 1994, a Black man named Lamar Johnson was convicted of the murder of Marcus Boyd. Further investigation would show that much of the evidence presented at the 1995 trial was, quote, "false and perjured." There was no physical evidence linking Johnson to the murder of Boyd, his best friend.
In 2019, the top prosecutor of St. Louis motioned for Mr. Johnson's release. Although all signs show that Johnson was innocent, the Attorney General said, paraphrased, "Sucks, but he's out of appeals. Too bad!"
At this point, the only thing that would legally release these innocent men from prison would be a Governor's Pardon. Both cases are in the same state of Missouri.
Story Time: In 2020, recorded live via cell phone video, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, were shown committing, as they were originally charged, felony firearm charges. Court documents state that Mark McCloskey, "purposely placed at least one person in apprehension of immediate physical injury" when he waved a semi-automatic rifle at a group of Black Lives Matter protesters en route to the then-Mayor house in the same neighborhood. No evidence showed any of the protesters were armed at the time.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey plead guilty to reduced charges of fourth-degree assault with a 750 dollar fine and second-degree harassment with a 2,000 dollar fine, respectively. As these two are both lawyers, felony charges would have ended their careers. Conveniently enough, the judge offered the jury lesser misdemeanor charges to charge the couple with. Misdemeanor charges would bear no weight on their careers...
But despite that, the Governor of Missouri pardoned the couple. Despite the guilty pleads and the video evidence, they were pardoned AND Mark McCloskey is running for the Senate. All the while, this same Governor, in the same state, could use the same power to release innocent men from prison.
The System is Flawed, not Broken. The System is working exactly the way it was designed. A White couple can commit a felony live on video in broad daylight, plead out to lesser charges, and get pardoned. A Black man can be falsely accused, proven innocent, and held in prison, in the same state. All at the same time.
...and yet, people will still let the words, "Systemic Racism doesn't exist" roll off their tongue and their conscience without hesitation.
- The Moon