Today is day 11 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.
*NOTE: On Thursday October 10th, Jeff Johnson led an amazing Google chat with Darnell Moore and Kai M Green, who have both written letters for the campaign. The conversation was put together by campaign organizer Esther Armah as part of the Emotional Justice Intimate Public Conversation model. Did you miss the conversation? Watch it here. 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 Mychal Denzel Smith. Here, he talks about guns—specifically their power, the pain that accompanies them and their possibility depending on whose hands they find themselves in. He questions what that looks like in a society that is obsessed with them, yet only allows certain people to use them unchecked.
"Dear Marissa" from Mychal Denzel Smith
"…Marissa, you took a shot at violent misogyny. I don’t blame you for being armed against it. Then racist misogyny came to its defense and locked you away.I believe you shot that gun out of fear. I believe you wanted your freedom. I hate you felt that was the only option left. But I know that’s not your fault…"
"We failed you, Marissa. We fail women like you every day. You wouldn’t have needed that gun if a man never put his hands on you, or the state believed your life was worth protecting, or the spectre of violence wasn’t our daily reality…"
"….we let violence and misogyny and racism frighten people every day. And then they fight back and we lock them up. I hate guns, but more than that, I hate the necessity of guns. You wanted to feel safe. You deserve that. In this world, that meant firing a gun."
Read this brother's complete letter here.
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NYC Radio Host and Playwright