Yesha Callahan

50 Shots vs Unpaid Taxes

Ladies and gentleman, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the American legal system has proven once again to be one of the biggest jokes in history. I’m pretty sure other countries have had a good laugh at us in regards to last weeks most popular court verdicts.

First we have Wesley Snipes standing before the courts in Florida, with $5 million dollars in hand, as a good faith gesture for his delinquent tax bill.
Now, let me be the first to say, I AM NOT A FAN of Mr. Snipes and I also believe that if I have to pay taxes, so should he. Every time I see the amount of taxes taken out of my paycheck I want to cringe, but it’s one of those necessary evils that the government will not let go and never will.

In any event, Wesley Snipes received the maximum sentence that the courts could impose on him, which was 36 months. Even with the money presented to the courts, he wasn’t able to buy his way out of the sentencing. Of course, he was made an example of. In the eyes of the court he purposefully evaded paying Uncle Sam, and on top of being famous and *gasp* dare I say, ‘black’, what else did you expect?
But on the flip side, you have the Sean Bell case. I waited on CNN’s website practically all day to read what I expected to be a guilty verdict across the board. But of course, the scales of justice were not balanced as usual.

I was shocked to say the least. I was more pissed than anything. I could feel my face turning red and a wave of nausea hit me. Fifty shots were being justified. Witnesses were not credible to the judge because of their own backgrounds.
I’ve never been the one to label police officers as ‘pigs’, even after my own questionable traffic stops and tickets that I eventually went to court for and had them tossed out. But after reading the verdict, the only word that I could think of was ‘pigs’.
I’ve always tried to instill in my son and nephew that police officers are there to help, but now what do I tell them? In writing this, I remember a time a few months ago the three of use were at Popeyes restaurant in Laurel, on Rt. 198 (the Anne Arundel section of Laurel). There were three uniformed officers sitting there having lunch and my son looks over to them and waves. To my astonishment, not one of the police officers offered a wave back. I looked at them and gave them one of the most evil glares I could muster and they knew the reason why. Before we left, I approached the female officer and asked her if it would have been so hard to return a wave to a kid. She looked at me as if I was crazy and then I walked away.
So this week in American History, we’ve learned that if you don’t pay your taxes, you go to jail, but, if you’re protected by the shield of blue and you shoot a man 50times you’re allowed to roam the streets freely. It definitely puts a different spin on the whole “Protect & Serve” motto.
As a sidenote, I happened to be flicking through cable channels Friday evening and came across BET’s 106 & Park. The show included a few journalists and was centered around the Sean Bell verdict. I came in on the tail end of a phone call with Mos Def, but of course at the height of his ‘call for community action’ and not for people to take this verdict lightly, his call was disconnected. Tsk, tsk on BET. I’m quite sure the call was disconnected on purpose. Also, may I offer a bigger “TSK TSK & FUCK YOU” to BET in regards to the disclaimer I noticed at the end of the show, “The views expressed on today’s show were not those of BET”, is how it went. Now, I remember why I stopped watching that channel years ago.
WWB(Walking While Black)- Mumia Abu Jamal’s reaction to the verdict:

  1. April 27, 2008 - Reply

    “PIGS” is definitely a term fitting for those 3 officers!

  2. April 28, 2008 - Reply

    It really saddens me that Sean Bell’s children will have to grow up knowing that their father’s killers were not brought to justice!

    No Justice, No Peace!

  3. April 28, 2008 - Reply

    I am from Manilla and I don’t understand how your country justifies killing a man with 50 bullets. It’s a shame.

  4. April 29, 2008 - Reply

    Right On!

  5. April 29, 2008 - Reply

    Yes, this is truly sickening.

  6. April 30, 2008 - Reply

    the sean bell case is truly disturbing. how 30 shots by one officer could be justified is appalling. the thin blue line is neither thin, nor a line. More like a wall.

    wesley didn’t deserve the max sentence, but he engaged in a stupid battle.

  7. May 4, 2008 - Reply

    From what I have seen, there is no law that says Americans have to pay income taxes. If anything, I think Snipes got shafted by the justice system. Lots of people are deemed “not guilty.” The judge wanted to “make an example” of Snipes.

    But there is no law that forces American citizens to pay income tax. Have you ever seen it? Just thought you’d want to know…

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