Every mainstream article on the Arkansas execution frames it as “the first in 12 years” – as if officials deserve an award and standing ovation for some type of accomplishment. This is not an aberration from an otherwise non-violent status quo, folks. Remember: one black person is killed by the police, a security guard, or vigilante every 28 hours.

Keep in mind that black people are only 13% of the general population, but over 41% of death row inmates are black. Unless we are willing to make the racist argument that blacks are criminals by nature, we must concede that the criminal justice system is anti-black.

There is no such thing as a humane execution. No amount of glitter and lullabies can change the reality that a life is being taken. Whether inmates are decapitated, electrocuted, or given lethal injection is a difference of degree – not a difference of kind. State violence is still the common denominator. The fact that executions are now hidden, swift, sterilized, and painless makes it more barbaric than ever – because it attempts to conceal the monstrous deed. A neat and tidy death penalty demonstrates that the government has mastered the ability to take lives without sparking massive public outcry. This is the epitome of a desensitized culture and barrier to revolution.

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