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Pushed to a breaking point by this system

March 26, 2004 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,
I rarely watch the local news because of its often depressing and misleading portrayals of people of color, women, gays and oppressed people generally. But I happened to be watching the news tonight, and caught a story about a Black man, Adam Perry, who had been arrested after a four-hour stand-off with NYPD officers while holding his grandmother "hostage." Perry allegedly had three guns on him.

While the newscasters characteristically dismissed Perry off as another depraved, ghetto loco, a closer look into his life tells a different story and reveals all that is wrong with this system. As it turns out, the grandmother whom Perry had held hostage was also the same one that, according to a friend, he had visited each day after work.

Friends say that Perry had been pushed to this breaking point by recent tragedies in his life. Last August, his older brother (only 37 years old) died of a heart attack during the regional blackout--the one caused by negligent, profit-driven energy companies.

Perry himself had recently lost his girlfriend and his job as a mail clerk that he had held for eight years. Now, Perry will probably go to trial and have the book thrown at him like most young, working-class Blacks in this country who come before the racist criminal injustice system.

This latest incident is another example of why we need to fight for a different type of society, that guarantees jobs for all and places human dignity over corporate profit.
Brook Griffin, New York City

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