How free is freedom?

Kalvin Michael Smith

How free is freedom?
October 27
03:45 2016

Jamika R. Burnette

Guest Columnist

According to the National Registry of Exonerations, out of 873 individual exonerations from January 1989 through February 2012, defendants collectively spent more than 10,000 years in prison for crimes they should have never been convicted of.

My question is, when will Kalvin Michael Smith be free, and to what expense will he receive his freedom?

While current debates reflect falsities regarding bogus assertions of exonerating the wrongfully accused, Kalvin Smith’s reality consists of a recurring nightmare. Stuck in a continuum of agony, he wakes up every day as an innocent prisoner suspended within the restraints of a system that erroneously accused him of a crime he didn’t commit – a situation that appointed officials can fix, but have simply failed to do so. At the end of the day, everyone opposite of those prison walls can live a liberated lifestyle, but Smith is void that opportunity.

Being a free black man in America is a reference as paradoxical as Aphra Bhen’s mention of a “Royal Slave.” Nothing is royal about any facet of being a slave, and nothing is free about being a black man in America’s society.

Kalvin Michael Smith’s case reveals social and political truths that amass slavery-like elements, and divisions of mental, spiritual, and physical brutality –which result in anything but freedom. The elements of Smith’s case allow us, as un-incarcerated citizens, to inspect the true trials of the human experience that is wedged within the webs of an abhorrent criminal justice system.

For centuries, America’s done a fine job representing systemic oppression through the vices of European superiority and colonialism. These inherited concepts thrive as the paradigm of our justice system to this very day. Our “Injustice” system is simply an allegory of unprincipled, manipulative, evil behaviors and century-old trends that show us firsthand that the “system” just can’t be trusted. Caught in a web of socio-economic, cultural, and POLITICAL factors, Kalvin Michael Smith’s wrongful incarceration dis-plays specifically how the African-American man is warehoused for consumerism, exploited, and commercialized based on the features of the institutions he belongs to.

So, is Kalvin M. Smith a metaphorical illustration of modern-day slavery within a romanticized-turned-political justice system? Is he a prime example of the racism and the cruelties of modern slavery within the core of a social structure that promotes inequality among all disadvantage and marginalized groups?

Our criminal justice system romanticizes freedom in the form of a freewill that is offered to us by elected officials, selectively. For example, based on the institutions we belong to, a person can choose what schools his or her kids go to, where they live, or where they work, as they are “constitutionally free.”

However, in all actuality, our freedoms are designated and assigned from a footing of racism and the unscrupulous, biased, and horrific exploitations of human lives. Our criminal justice system has the ability to make the horrid sound meek, and make our “freedom” seem less-restricting and racist than it really is. Unfortunately, Smith is a major, public example of what a marginalized human being in this society has to sacrifice for a large measure of freedom – his life. Kalvin M. Smith is not the “feigned hero.” He is a true, human and very real hero of the masses. It’s beyond time for justice. Free Kalvin Michael Smith!

Jamika Rose Burnette, a native North Carolinian, has been a freelance writer since 2008. As a content writer, she creates informative articles for various websites while pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in English. She is also an active supporter for the Can-Do: Justice through Clemency nonprofit foundation that advocates clemency for all non-violent drug offenders, who are caught in the conundrum of the drug war. Burnette is continuing her studies at Salem College.

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