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Trayvon Martin vs. PFC Johnson, LeVena LynnPoetry by Luke Easter Salem-News.com
A poetic tribute...
(CLEVELAND) - There are so many names, so many stories we have followed where Black Americans are at the receiving end of injustice; cut down in the prime of their life. From the largest names, like Dr. Martin Luther King, to the names of every day citizens whose lives were robbed because of the color of their skin; Sean Bell, and Emmett Till, Louis Maxwell... now Trayvon Martin and perhaps one of the most stinging deaths, that of a beautiful young woman with a loving family and her whole life ahead of her, Levena Johnson.
Luke and I have each written at length about her loss and what it means; how it is one more example of racist treatment of a crime; how her death became an utter joke of an investigation, labeled 'suicide' after she had been raped, beaten savagely, and had her pubic area set on fire, she shot to death with an M-16.
Yup, some suicide that was.
It happened at the Balad air base in Iraq, where I spent a few weeks in 2008. Her murder was probably committed by a contractor, and it was sufficiently covered up.
Now young Trayvon Martin is forced to join this list of sacrificed people in a nation that never healed from its inception as a slave trading government. People still fully believe that Blacks are not equal, of course this is a regional problem and it is larger by far in the south, but it exists everywhere.
May-30-2009: Nooses in Iraq - Salem-News.com
Luke Easter is a poet who writes about things that are very close to the heart of Salem-News.com. Another former U.S. Marine, Luke heals the world with an approach that reaches people on a different level, one known for centuries, yet too often forgotten in the one we live in.
We live in a world of social & economic injustice. The main reason for founding America in the first place was to relieve the oppression of the King of England. Patrick Henry said it best, “give me liberty or give me death.” And yet, all too often death seems to be the only way out. Why is there such a high suicide rate especially among teens, in the land of the free & the home of the brave? What makes headlines? Good news? Ha! More depressing stories than anything else. I feel poetry takes an edge off the hurt of bad news while still delivering it but in a, “glitzy” sort of way. Giving a different perspective. Kind of like slap in the face as opposed to a knife in the back. At least with the slap you’ll live to see another day and you will know whom it’s from. I wasn’t here for the beginning of the world but at 59, I just might be here for the end.
Even though it’s still a knife, rhyme poetry helps to dull the blade. And that’s my job. You can write to Luke Easter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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