CI: For the Causalities of Racial Ideologies

April 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm by: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Corrupt Judiciary, Criminal Injustice Series, White Privilege

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Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Criminal InJustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm CST.

For The Casualties Of Racial Ideologies*
by: Chia (Chilli) Lor

Dedicated to the Trayvon Martin Family and all those who were victims of racial hate crimes

For the justice of humanity.
For the justice of Fong Lee
For the justice of all casualties
Of racial ideologies.
For the killing of Trayvon Martin
who had a bag of skittles
But was shot for the color of his skin.

We stand up to manifest
This crime, created by mankind
Which separates us into human species,
assuming difference in pigment biology.
You know what it is: racial profiling.
Under the law, it is not a crime
to stereotype, to criminalize, a person within sight,
But it IS a crime
To be black and wearing a hoodie at night.
Recall George Zimmerman’s 911 call saying:
“This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something.
It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about… These a**holes always get away.”

As if the black, brown, non-white skin
carries a deep, dark secret creeping within.
As if that secret will unleash at a certain place
Therefore, you feel the need to defend yourself
By shooting that fear in the face.

I am done with “Minnesota Nice!”
I am done with taking race out of the injustice equation
so that others can be comfortable.
Comfort doesn’t bring change… the TRUTH does!!!

For the justice of humanity,
For the justice of Shaima Alawadi,
For the justice of all casualties
Of racial ideologies.
For the killing of Amadou Diallo,
who had a black wallet,
But was shot 41 times with pistols.

I am done with putting race cases in the hands of law makers
Because too often, they are judged by
A corrupted system
Run by color-blind racism,
police cover ups,
And justice where money drops.
Too often we’ve seen laws
that were twisted to benefit
the dominant culture.

The Law of self-defense seems fair.
But if self-defense is so fair,
then why are the guilty running free,
And the victims in misery?
If self-defense is so fair,
then why are hundreds of police officers’ hands red,
stained by the blood of unarmed colored citizens?
If self-defense is so fair,
Then why did Chai Vang’s case
Took only 3 hours for
For an all-white jury to find him
guilty on all counts of first-degree murder
for the shooting deaths of six white hunters?
Although, Vang’s life was threatened and he argued in the name of self-defense!
If self-defense was fair,
Scott Osborn would also be in jail for brutalizing Neng Yang, yet claiming self-defense.
If self-defense was fair,
Zimmerman would be in jail because Trayvon didn’t get the chance to defend himself!
Until I see justice served,
Don’t tell me that there is no racial bias in the law,
because it is UNFAIR!

How many more marches and rallies must civilians make,
until true justice will take place?
How much more tears will drench the earth,
and outcry will reach up to the sky,
until we stop living in a Post-racial lie?
As long as we let the color of the skin justify our actions.
As long as we let the judicial system,
discriminate our colored men and women.
As long as racial ideologies drive our minds and our hearts…
There will be more Trayvon Martins…

For the justice of humanity.
For the justice of Trayvon Martin
For the justice of all casualties
Of racial ideologies.

*A spoken word piece that retains the power on the printed page.. Honored to have Chia as a student..


Thank you Professor Heitzeg and all that have supported my poem.  In a frenzy of anger and sadness, I put together what I learned in my Sociology and Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity classes.  This is the first time that I have been blunt about the racial inequalities in the system in my pieces.  Although I believe that people should be reasonable and not jump to the race inequality right away.... I absolutely believe that t people should stop avoiding race talk in this Post-racial society.  The only way to dismantle it is to confront it.  I hope that my art eventually becomes more than an awareness outcry... and instead a political advocate for social justice.


--- Chia (Chilli) Lor

Seeta moderator

Too many ugly truths in this powerfully written poem.  Thank you Chia Lor for capturing the anguish and pain felt when violence is committed against our communities in the name of preserving supremacy.


All I can say is WOW. This literally left me speechless. So wonderfully put into words and done so in such a creative manner! This truly makes me wonder how many more acts of such violence are going to take place until something within the criminal justice system changes. Time will tell but I'm assuming there will forever be racism that exists in the system. Racial bias in the law seems to be such an ignored issue. After the Trayvon Martin case I will be disappointed if the system continues to be racially biased, but sadly, I will not be shocked.


Thank you, Chia.  Such a profoundly moving and powerful poetic reflection. 



nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg moderator

Just got from NYC -- a conference on Juvenile Justie Reform at John Jay -- more on that later..


In the meantime -- Thank you Chia! wish i had this on video but still the Word...



nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

 The only way to dismantle it is to confront it.


Amen -- No Justice No Peace


thanks again Chia..


 @JaimieBeavers  In addition to that, the part of "How many more....Trayvon Martins," in Chia's poem really shows the complexity of the criminal justice system and  race.  It also show us that this Trayvon issue is the same issue/struggle that people have gone through challenging the system repeatedly.  It's truly sad the same issue is replicated in several different ways and making it harder to bring about change.  And I do hope changes would occur some day. 


 @JaimieBeavers Just remember:  once abolition of slavery was a pipe dream.  But yes:  addressing structural racism goes to the very heart of this country's shadow/stash.

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg moderator

 @Panyia   @JaimieBeavers yes and it shows how other communities of color face the same struggle with police or the public..


rest in Peace Fong Lee -- that legal decision was a disgrace