There Is More Than One Victim In the Richards Case
OPINION 10/06/2039 4:19 PM ET
There Is More Than One Victim In the Richards Case
by Clarissa Rewythe

CC0 1.0 Untitled by Daniel_B_photos | Writer image: CC0 1.0 Untitled by sharonang | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only. Image changes released under the same license as the original.
Student justices serve on college campuses across the country.
A double tragedy occurred yesterday.

Buckley Richards Jr., an engineering major at the University of Arizona was placed in the hospital today after what is widely believed to be a DPR sentence was carried out.

He appeared before a panel of justices authorized by the Student Alliance - University of Arizona, whose task was to hand down a verdict regarding his conduct in an incident on September 29 at UA's Science-Engineering Library. In the incident, he was alleged to have physically assaulted Kalisha McDowell, who was lawfully collecting a normative reparations tax on behalf of SA-UA.

The tax collected from non-CoUNTA students goes to fund SA-UA's outreach efforts to erased and destroyed communities.

In the incident, it is alleged that McDowell advised Richards of his obligation to pay the tax ($5) upon entry to the library. According to a statement collected from fellow student tax collector, Jana Jones Turbot, Richards was politely asked to pay the tax before quickly becoming aggressive.

"We asked him several times nicely to pay the tax, but he wouldn't and then he just pushed past us," Jones Turbot said to the Associated Press today.

In the trial, Richards behaved similarly, at one point smearing the court with racial and sexual epithets. He questioned his obligation to even appear before the justices.

Richards was given a DPR sentencing. For those unaware that means he was legally sentenced to be beaten for a set length of time by student deputies and by this he was to make amends.

It is not dissimilar to the fate bestowed upon many slaves only a century and a half ago. If a slave had committed a far lesser infraction he or she might easily have been whipped or beaten. Death would not have been seen as too much since slaves were viewed as property.

A short beating at the hands of deputies would have been very little in the life of Richards.

Unfortunately he resisted, which is likely what made his beating much worse.

The names of the deputies carrying out the sentencing have wisely been withheld by the court. If they were known they would certainly be subjected to the full onslaught of the online hate brigade, possibly placing them in an unsafe position to continue their studies.

Richards is now in a coma, which is largely an unfortunate situation of his own design. That is the first tragedy.

The other is the focus which will now be put on Student Judiciary Councils and their governments across the nation.

For what it's worth, student justices across the nation are extraordinarily capable. They are drawn from the highest achieving junior law students who volunteer to take summer classes in order to qualify for judgeships during their senior year. They then serve with no pay in their roles, adjudicating everything from minor taxation issues to riots.

Their job is to help maintain a healthy, happy community on campus for the benefit of all students.

Some will not understand this. Some still don't understand the symbolic uplift of CoUNTA identification. Here's a hint: if you don't wear any identifying pins, badges or patches, you possess privilege that many others don't. If you simply choose not to wear them you're opting out of CoUNTA communities.

I am CoA. A person of Color, non-Abled. I happily wear CoA badges on my right sleeve to identify with my CoUNTA communities and also to signify the privilege I do possess.

According to Jones Turbot, Richards was not wearing any CoUNTA identification. The fact that he is easily identified as white alone makes him obligated to pay the small amount asked.

The fact that some can't understand the principle of reparative justice is not the fault of student governance. That student governance is actually needed is not the fault of student governance. If state or even federal representatives would get it together, students might not need to carry this burden as well as that of trying to graduate.

Instead, they do. And instead, UA's student government and its legal branch will be held under a magnifying glass. And they will be wronged by the presumption and luxury of the many who do not have to live their lives oppressed and who do not serve those oppressed.

As I said, two tragedies occurred yesterday.
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