First and foremost I want to say blessings to all black families who have lost a brother, cousin, husband, uncle, father, or best friend to the system that we are supposed to call JUST. When I first heard of the Kalief Browder story I was not shocked or surprised at all. His story is very similar to stories you and I hear about everyday. Black boy, born in the system, wrongfully arrested/accused, sent to prison as a minor to await trial where he was physically abused and held in solitary confinement over 65% of the time.
Kalief's story did not surprise me as much as the story behind New York's own, Riker's Correctional Institution did. Riker's is not a correctional institution at all. It is a building for animals both inmates and correctional officers alike together in one space creating complete chaos. The physical, mental, and verbal abuse that one endures in that environment will drive one sane person completely insane. And that's exactly what it did to Kalief. Allegedly, Riker's was named after Abraham Rycker, and when he died his descendent Richard Rycker took over and became infamous for abusing the Fugitive Slave Act of the 18th century. In a nutshell Riker's was ran by white guys that abused white privilege and it became a cycle at this institution for centuries. The building should be burned to the ground. Can you imagine how many bodies must be underneath that ground or in the water around the island?
I was pleased to know that Jay-Z played an executive director role in the film which I thought was very noble of him. I appreciate when people in higher positions can step down to help their community. Sometimes I don't think celebrities realize how much their presence has a greater impact on society than even the President. I did however find it a bit awkward for the movie to have been produced by The Weinstein Company where Mr. Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment. You know all business is not good business Mr. Shawn Carter. On the bright side the story of Kalief was told and shared with the world. I guess if it means partner with a sexual offender we should exploit our black brothers. 🤔
I also did not care to see Mr. Al Sharpton in the documentary. My skin crawls every time I see him or hear his voice. Him and Jesse Jackson need their black card revoked. But of course there he was taking up for the female African American judge who was assigned to Kalief's case the first time. She never looked into his case and kept pushing his court date back making him spend more unnecessary time behind bars. A $40 million dollar civil lawsuit on New York will sure bring the phony out of some of our pro-black activist.
What Kalief went through at Riker's prison in New York, there are a thousand more stories just like it. Unlike many others Kalief did not take a plea deal to get out of jail. He declined 13 plea deals in three years to prove his innocence and get justice not just for himself but for other inmates as well. As a youth he was put in a facility that was to mature for his brain. The days in solitary confinement and constant abuse drove him to suicide. Trust me when I say the spirit of Kalief Browder will live on forever and haunt the souls of those who partook in his demise. His courage will be remembered and his story will live on. Rest In Heaven Kalief.
The documentary can be viewed on NETFLIX.
The story of Riker's Island Prison can be found here
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