28 July, 2021

Floydian Slip

For Black lives in the US and Dalit lives in India, what needs to change is not only unjust laws, but the distribution of power.

Art: Jahnobi Das
Floydian Slip

In America, where I live, these are the dying days, and not just of the Trump administration. Take December 9th when 3,000 succumbed to COVID-19, but also to neglect, to fecklessness, to structural discrimination and misinformation and bad luck. More would follow. Or try December 10. While the virus ripped across the heartland, and through the cells nearby, Brandon Bernard was killed by lethal inj­ection at the Federal Prison in Terre Haute Indiana. Barely 18 in 2004, he had participated in the murder of two youth ministers on the Fort Hood army base, but he had not pulled the trigger, nor had he been present throughout the crime. Even the prosecutor in his case had arg­ued in the years following Bernard’s trial that he was not “the worst of the worst” and should be spared execution.

A day later, federal officials took the life of Alfred Bourgeois, who had brutally abused and eventually caused the death of his two-year-old daughter. Bourgeois had shown evidence throughout his life of difficulties in mental functioning, and his IQ hovered around...

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