Today is day 10 of the national month-long writing campaign for men on the issue of domestic violence and in support of Marissa Alexander, the Florida mother of three who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot to scare off her abusive husband. Launched by the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against , Emotional Justice Unplugged, and the Free Marisa Now Mobilization Campaign, EBONY.com is the official media partner of this critical act of 'emotional justice' in action.
Check out our mission statement here and visit EBONY.com daily through the month of October to read powerful words from men who are committed to seeing justice for Marissa Alexander.
Today's letter is from Jason, a brother who offers his support to Marissa and also writes to the neighbor who he believed heard his mother's screams, heard his screams at the hands of his father—yet did nothing. He asks of his child self – "What kind of man do I become? My father or the neighbor?"
"Dear Marissa" by Jason
"…as far as a man goes, you were the closest to me in my time of pain and need. You only lived two doors down from my doorway of hell. The look you would so often give me, instead of a simple hello or nod, let me know you knew we couldn't defend ourselves…I often felt like a fool thinking tears would stop him or his blows to my mothers face. She was knocked to the floor more times than i care to remember. How often did you hear our cries? Was it hard listening to our struggles? Did you feel less of a man for never helping? These are questions I always wanted to ask you, but never would I. I'm not sure if you cared to learn our names. I guess its all better this way to get through your day not placing names to the faces of the broken."
"As I grew older I often wonder would I remain silent if I witnessed someone going through the pain I witnessed as a boy? Would I one day believe that all that I was going through was the norm and begin to strike my loved ones when angered?"
"My daydreams would end up short-lived disturbed by the rage of one man, whose only outlet happened to be his oldest son and his wife."
"When I started to write this letter, I had no clue on where it would take me but I'm glad I did it. I realize my pain came from my silence."
Read this brother's complete letter here
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NYC Radio Host and Playwright