The State of Texas killed Ray Jasper tonight. Before his execution, Jasper wrote a letter describing what it was like to be a black man in the United States. The statistics are startling. Although black people make up 12.6% and white people make up 72.4% of the U.S. population according to the 2010 U.S. Census, black people currently make up 41.71% of the death row population according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Large questions of fairness with regard to race litter the justice system and specifically death sentencing processes. I do not think Jesus would have executed anyone…and much less sent them through a system to be executed that is biased against them due to their race.
Most of our government officials responsible for what happened tonight claim to be Christians. With regard to the death penalty, I will be in prayer that Jesus spiritually storms their temples and wakes them up out of the injustice that they keep perpetuating. You cannot love your neighbor and kill them.
Ray Jasper was not the only homicide that took place tonight.
I participated in a vigil for Crystal Jackson and Britney Cosby. The black lesbian couple was murdered between Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula, Texas sometime between March 6 and 7. In the New York Daily News, Britney Cosby’s mother claims that Britney’s father James Cosby murdered the couple because he did not like that Britney was gay. Regardless of the circumstance of the death, this was a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. The response from most LGBT non-profits and activist organizations has been timid at best. GetEQUAL Texas organized the vigil I participated in tonight and a few others throughout the state. These vigils have been one of the few organized reactions to the death of Crystal and Britney.
There were four people at the vigil I participated in. One of the participants declared that a second homicide had taken place. The many other state and local LGBT organizations in the state had killed her faith in them. “They only care about murders and beatings when white bodies are involved, ” the participant declared. Someone else questioned, “When are people going to understand that you can’t trade one oppression in for another?” There was undoubtedly a sense of betrayal in the air tonight…because we all knew there would have been hundreds of people present if a white gay couple had been murdered.
I have known for a long time and was deeply reminded tonight that racism reigns in Texas from the left to the right.
I pray that Jesus storms all of our temples, ends the reign of all of this racist shit and turns all of our hearts to love.