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Finding Justice In Douglasville, Georgia

Like many recently, I was on cloud nine when I heard about the heavy sentence a white supremacist couple got in Georgia. Kayla Norton and Jose “Joe” Torres (though I don’t know any white supremacists named Jose) got a combined 19 years for pulling a gun out on a bunch of little black kids at a birthday party.

So you mean, two whites got sentenced to 20 years in prison in the South, by a white judge when there wasn’t even a murder involved? At a time when hate crimes are surging across the country, and protection laws are being rolled back for transgender students, this verdict sends a very strong message of intolerance for intolerance.
Wow, it was so amazing, maybe a little too amazing in #45’s America, Is it even true? I mean, fake news is real nowadays…

I decide to call my mom who lives in Douglasville, Georgia where this apparently took place. It’s kinda odd that she never mentioned it. But if it’s true she will know because the place is so small that if you drive one mile you’re in another county.

“Beau really gave it to them,” says my mom.

Not only was the story true, but she actually knows the Honorable Judge William “Beau” McClain who presided over the case. Turns out, he’s a volunteer at a pantry that she and some of her senior buddies frequent.

“He’s always there praying with people, helping them get what they need…he’s so helpful and available you wouldn’t even know that he’s a judge. I actually thought that he had retired until I saw him on TV regarding this case,” she says.

When I ask her if she was surprised by the heavy sentences they got she says,

“No, because Beau is known for being a ‘hanging judge.’ You do the crime, you do the time. But, he’s also known for being fair. A few years ago, he sent a black teen to prison for life without parole for killing another black teen. Some said it was too tough a sentence, but not if you’re the mom of the dead teen.”

Honesty, when it comes to fairness and judges I am skeptical. Blacks are incarcerated 5.1 times more than whites and it’s not because we’re doing the most crime. We all know the judicial system is broken. Just watch Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th and get a serious education. BUT I will say that I am encouraged because the truth is that justice was served in this case and the next time two racists want to start pulling out guns and threatening little black kids and their families they will have to think twice. At least, in Douglasville, Georgia.

  • Emmala Glanton
    March 26, 2017

    I am also a resident of Douglasville Georgia. It was truly a Land Mark case in the city of Douglasville. It represents that change not only references the past, but also
    that racial change affects this current generation. Many millennials of today now are experiencing a radical image of social and racial injustice today. The question is ” Are we actively embracing them?” The 60s were the sparks of Marches and social reaction to injustice. It’s 2017 and Millennials identity with Trayvon Martin and so many other young men and women who are affected by racial injustice. Replacing the King movement, we now have Black Lives Matter etc. If the small town of Douglasville Georgia can spark a change so can other court systems and communities.

    • Erickka Sy Savané
      March 27, 2017

      Yes, if Douglasville can, others can too. I’m proud to know that my mom lives there and I have gotten the opportunity to get to know the place. Go Douglasville!

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