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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

The Justice Department has decided not to charge any officers involved in the death of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man gunned down by two white police officers in Baton Rouge last summer, devastating the Sterling family.

“In my mind, I knew that they were going to come back with the right decision, that they violated his constitutional right. That’s where my heart was,” said Alton’s aunt Sandra Sterling. “And as we were going through the process, I kept asking them, ‘What happens if they come back with this decision?’ … They said, ‘Well, it will be worth the wait.’ But no, it’s not worth the wait. It’s not worth the wait. All this was for nothing.”

“It hurt, it hurt, it hurts so bad,” she added. “I was trying to prepare myself for this, but I’m telling you, it’s a horrible pain. It’s like going back to the first day. It’s like going back to the first day all over again.

The videotaped shooting of Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016, sparked national outrage and a civil rights investigation regarding the effect of race in police-community relations.

Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, this federal case could likely be the first of many in which the Justice Department decides not to charge officers involved in a police shooting. The high-profile investigation surrounding the 2014 death of 43-year-old Eric Garner has yet to be concluded.


Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

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3 responses to “‘All This Was For Nothing’—Family Of Slain Alton Sterling Devastated By Govt Failure To Charge Police Officers”

  1. Racism is a devastating spiritual disease, and not some mere abnormality inflicting a handful of souls in America, and across much of Europe. It’s important in my estimation, and in light of the Message and admonitions by Baha’u’llah, and the exhortations and warnings of the other Central Figures of the Baha’i Faith whose purpose is to clarify, exemplify, and exhort the Baha’is to inform their friends and acquaintances of the importance of “The Most Challenging Issue facing America”, as Shoghi Effendi describes this disease in his letter of 1938 addressed to the American community of Baha’is, and indirectly to all America.

    An excerpt from that letter in which Shoghi Effendi expands on the dangers of racism, we should consider the following, taken from pgs 33-34 of “The Advent of Divine Justice”. (Keep in mind that the terms used reflect the terminology of the 1st half of the 20th Century):
    “As to racial prejudice, the corrosion of which, for well-nigh a century, has bitten into the fiber, and attacked the whole social structure of American society, it should be regarded as constituting the most vital and challenging issue confronting the Bahá’í community at the present stage of its evolution. The ceaseless exertions which this issue of paramount importance calls for, the sacrifices it must impose, the care and vigilance it demands, the moral courage and fortitude it requires, the tact and sympathy it necessitates, invest this problem, which the American believers are still far from having satisfactorily resolved, with an urgency and importance that cannot be overestimated. White and Negro, high and low, young and old, whether newly converted to the Faith or not, all who stand identified with it must participate in, and lend their assistance, each according to his or her capacity, experience, and opportunities, to the common task of fulfilling the instructions, realizing the hopes, and following the example, of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Whether colored or noncolored, neither race has the right, or can conscientiously claim, to be regarded as absolved from such an obligation, as having realized such hopes, or having faithfully followed such an example. A long and thorny road, beset with pitfalls, still remains untraveled, both by the white and the Negro exponents of the redeeming Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. On the distance they cover, and the manner in which they travel that road, must depend, to an extent which few among them can imagine, the operation of those intangible influences which are indispensable to the spiritual triumph of the American believers and the material success of their newly launched enterprise.”

  2. To continue this theme of racism, which has corroded the fibers of society by afflicting various policemen across the nation to conform to a pattern of behavior motivated first and foremost by skin color and the pernicious and corrosive influences of racism. Justice is one of the other victims of this spiritual disease, a disease allowed traction as a result in the waning influence of the sacerdotal functions of the Church, of Judaism, and of Islam. By such waning effectiveness, the doors of hate, fear, discrimination of various kinds, have been flung open widely, allowing for racism to exercise a degree of f power incapable of having been exerted in the past during Religion’s heights of influence. That plus the increased complexities of modern society and a return to reclusive and isolationist tendencies, have emboldened police departments, judges, legislators, even the Presidency, to be “hijacked” by weak-minded individuals unaccustomed to the principle of “The Oneness of Humankind”, and who rarely, if ever, learned to exercise moral restraint and never learned how to show consistent ethical behavior towards all human beings.

    The justice departments, legislators, and members of the executive branches, at all levels, are just a microcosm of all America, and so what afflicts America will naturally show up in the make-up of these organizations in the US.

    As long as this cancer remains in the body-politic, the longer the nation will have to endure the scourge of racism. It’s as simple as that. And once again—the current Institution of Religion, as embodied by the current Religious Order, is not up to the task of eradicating this cancer, nor was it ever the intention of solutions offered by Religions of bygone eras to be applicable to advanced stages of a disease never encountered by humanity 1200 years ago and earlier.

    “No man, however acute his perception, can ever hope to reach the heights which the wisdom and understanding of the Divine Physician have attained. Little wonder, then, if the treatment prescribed by the physician in this day should not be found to be identical with that which he prescribed before. How could it be otherwise when the ills affecting the sufferer necessitate at every stage of his sickness a special remedy?”

    (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 80-81)

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