WHY THE STEREOTYPICAL RHETORIC?
 

It is ironic to hear the same racist rhetoric from the early nineties repeated on the floor of the Washington State House of Representatives by the House Republicans during the SHB1169 floor debate.

 

March 2nd, 2022 | JoJo Deogracias Ejonga
 

“Criminals,

killers,

drug dealers,

they need the sentence to run consecutively,

they are letting criminals out to shoot at more people.”
 

Those are a few words I could remember used by the opposition state representative opposed to the bills.

 

I have several questions; is it JUST (italics) for a person to be convicted of a crime that carries a two year sentence, but is doing an additional 50 years for weapon enhancements? How could that be said to constitute a JUST (italics) sentence, or how could that be said to be justice? If truly being tough on crime was successful, why do we still have crime? Why didn't we have a significant decline in crime/s? We certainly have had a significant increase in caging, and imprisonment of human beings, most of whom are minority people of color from disenfranchised communities.

 

It was so sad to see the republican legislature busy employing personal attacks, and engaging in name calling, rather than presenting, or advancing any reasonable policy argument against the bill – Is it because they really had none?. They decided to promote the same old argument, infested with racial undertone, stereotypes, and hate. They wasted an opportunity to correct the old failing form of justice that has led to injustices. Instead they decided  to side with the same old policy, the same old sentiment of fear mongering that has been responsible for failing laws. February 12th, 2022 was another day the Washington State House Republicans showed how they really feel, another black eye, a dark day to our great state.

I beg to question; where is the “party of Lincoln?”
 

The party of Lincoln who stood for “freedom, liberty and justice for all” has turned to the party of retribution, that stands for locking people in a cage for eternity. I wonder what Lincoln is thinking in his grave.

It is easy to criticize a person from far away. I am pretty sure none of those legislators has ever sat down with a prisoner to have a conversation with them, and until they do so, they will never understand.

Sometimes the legislature forgets their constitutional obligations and their oath of office, I will love to remind them. Their duty as a Washington State Representative is to defend the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the State of Washington. When they speak with outrageous divisive rhetoric, and outright calling for crueler treatment against Washingtonians with respect to the law in a discriminative way, they are therefore failing in their duties, and abridging their oath of office as the representative of the people.

 

I stand encouraged by the unwavering support of Washingtonians willing to stand up against injustice, and fight to support legislation that brings change. It is further encouraging to see the support coming from allies and other organizations from California and Oregon to promote change on the west coast.

 

We seek to see SHB 1169 become law. In tune with with the saying "no men left behind," we demand, "NO BILL LEFT BEHIND!" We seek to see SHB 1169 signed into law.

As we stand up for justice, I respectfully ask that we reject:

 

Hate, Retribution, Vengeance and Fear, but rather stand on the side of:

 

Justice, Equity, Freedom, Fairness, Equality, Compassion, Proportionality, Unity, and Redemption.