W A R D U N I
V E R S I T Y|
& Voices IV
AN ANTHOLOGY OF VERSE AND
to Rest in Peace, Amadou
Genia Ann Wright
On Friday of last week, the four white New York City police officers who killed African immigrant Amadou Diallo were found not guilty on all charges. The officers shot 41 bullets, hitting Diallo19 times as he stood in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment. Diallo, an unarmed, innocent man, was murdered in front of his home while trying to produce his wallet for the four officers. And now, my English Professor has asked me to write a response to the trial.
Well Professor, I’ve run out of things to say. I had a response when the officers who senselessly beat Johnny Gammage to death got away with it. They said they thought he had a gun. I had something to say when Susan Smith drowned her children and had several black men arrested. They said they thought her testimony was legitimate. I even had a response when my friend got pulled over on the highway for no other reason than being a black guy with a nice car. They said they saw a can beer in his hand. I think I ran out of words last month when I was followed around a clothing store.
The most I can say is that there is a serious problem in this country. Police officers and white citizens alike have decided that the black man is the enemy. He is “suspicious,” and the white man is found “not guilty.” There was a point and time when I believed that eventually the American scales of Justice would give weight to truth instead of majority. There was also a time when I defended the police when they were “just doing their job.” But how can I continue to defend and believe a system where the people who are supposed to uphold it can viciously gun down an innocent man in front of his home and be found “not guilty” of murder? How can I continue to think positively? How, Professor, do I respond?
For right now, I’m going to continue to cry silent tears at night and scream silent prayers all day. One day soon, however, I’ll be the one holding those scales. Then, Professor, I shall give my response.