Although I was not raised in a Christian family – coming to faith in my late twenties/early thirties – I did grow up (as most of us did) in a world where ‘justice’ equals prison: certainly the white liberal feminism I first identified with wouldn’t call for prison abolition, and yet the carceral justice system both in the UK and US is part of the very structural, patriarchal system that not only fails to protect and provide justice, but more specifically actively criminalises particular communities.
It would be too easy for those of us in the UK to look at recent events in Ferguson, Missouri – where Michael Brown became yet another young black person murdered by police – and assume that we are unaffected by police and state oppression of black communities; our lazy white eyes might look at the what has happened to Marissa Alexander and assume could not happen here. Which would be to ignore what happened to Cherry Groce, or Kiranjit Ahluwalia, or Mark Duggan, or Christopher Alder or Sean Rigg. And make no mistake – what is happening to Marissa Alexander can and will happen here in the UK. Carceral justice fails women, and devastates black communities.
Marissa Alexander is being re-victimised by a system which is radically challenged by Christ’s calling:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free”
For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Standing together as people of faith with Marissa Alexander is to stand with a woman who is being re-victimised and erased by what the world believes justice to be. @KilljoyProphets, women of faith and colour who understand why this matters, are organising and leading a week of solidarity for Marissa Alexander. Learn more about this – read their post at #FaithFeminisms here – email them if you would like to help at firstname.lastname@example.org
Justice for Marissa.
image via http://www.freemarissanow.org