Very sad news in Oakland this past weekend. Apparently, a series of disputes between Oakland resident Lovelle Mixon and the police went real bad, leaving Mixon dead, three cops dead and one brain dead. You can read all the details here.
In the article that I link to above, what really caught my eye was the last sentence: “Mixon’s uncle, 38-year-old Curtis Mixon of Fremont, said his nephew had become depressed because as a convicted felon he could not find work.”
We forget how in this country, when people are convicted of a crime and sent away, they are handed a lifetime of punishment, even if they are released back into society. I’ve seen the psychological toll it takes on people who have a felony (or even just a misdemeanor) on their record and are thus shut out of any kind of legal employment, housing, etc. You are simply stripped of all your dignity, and are oftentimes placed right back on a path to prison.
Now, don’t get me wrong, The Cheddar Box is not encouraging people to go out and shoot cops. I’m just saying that this story leaves me profoundly sad, both in terms of the incident and the larger context in which it occurred.
I’m sad for all the people involved in last weekend’s tragedy. I’m sad for the thousands of people killed by the police in the past and those who unfortunately will assuredly be killed by them in the future. I’m sad for all the victims of violence around the globe, from the streets of Oakland to the streets of Palestine.