Do You Have the Right to Justice? Take This Quiz

"Miranda," an interactive flow chart by Tara Campbell

Do You Have the Right to Justice? Take This Quiz


Author's note:

Reader, I was tired.

So tired of seeing the same patterns play out with people of color in the justice system, over and over; and so tired of railing against it in the same way, over and over again. I find that when I'm no longer able to respond in words, I turn to forms. Constraints. I'd read Isle McElroy's piece in Diagram "The Death of Your Son: A Flowchart" months before, and had been wanting to try that format, but hadn't been able to think of something that wouldn't feel gimmicky. Well, turns out that 1) anger is a motivator, and 2) a problem of patterns and constraints found its match in a format consisting of patterns and constraints.

I originally wrote this piece as a static decision tree (see here). I was thrilled to see how Electric Lit turned it into a dynamic, interactive hybrid poetic piece. The final format just underscores the notion that although each individual in a system thinks they're making their own choices, they're only seeing a fraction of the whole, and the eventual outcomes won't change until the underlying structures change.

Miranda by Tara Campbell
Someone's getting arrested. Is it you?
Are you white?
Are you or your parents rich? Is your name Richard, or perhaps Edward?
Are you or are your parents rich? Did you go to a good school?
Are you upper middle class? Is your name Rick or Ed? Are you generally a decent guy who gets pretty annoyed when guys like Richard or Edward pull out their fake British accents to impress the ladies?
Then don't worry: you don't have to drive Uber/Lyft/both to make ends meet, so you won't wind up getting mixed up in this mess with the missing young woman, even though you fit the description.
Still, watch your back. You always fit the description
Do you dress well? Do you work in finance? Do you have the slightest bit of a British accent, gleaned from your year studying abroad at Oxford?
Have you lately found yourself floating back to that halcyon year in your mind during times of particular stress, such as the night your wife confronted you over lobster thermidore at the Club about your special friend. The special friend who went missing?
Did you find that your accent became more pronounced when the police called? Will you put it on even more thickly when the officer shows up to escort you discreetly from your home?
Don't be silly, they won't come for you. They never come for men like you.
You have the right to remain ██████████ you ██ can and will ██ used ███████ a court of law. You have the right ██████. █ you can█ afford ███to█████ be provided for ████ you ██████████ have █████████ the█ rights █████████████████
Still, do you feel a little twinge of guilt when you hear about the guy they did arrest?
Can you still go on about your day as though everything were resolved?
Is that justice?
Is it really though?
Maybe it's time to talk to someone. Do you have anyone you can talk to? Someone you can trust?
█████████████████████████████████████████████████ █████████████no█████████ one █████████████████████████████████ █████████████ ██████████████████
Except sometimes...
Do you sometimes hear voices late at night...
A whisper..
Don't worry, you're free to go, this story isn't about you.
Do you have the misfortune of being a woman in this story? Specifically, a woman in Richard/Edward's orbit?
Had you originally come to the city intending to be your own woman, make your own way, live your own powerful, fabulous life?
Did you have the feeling, even as you swooned to the sound of his accent promising you the world, that you would someday regret it?
How long ago was this?
Did you know he was married?
Did you ever at any point imagine--perhaps back when you sat at the dining room table finishing your AP calc homework, or in the shower scrubbing off the stink of the fryer from your weekend job, or maybe later, while rushing to your college internship at Habitat for Humanity, or sitting up late in the university library to finish your organic chem assignment (you didn't need to take organic chem, you know?), or even later, perhaps when you finally threw that mortar board up into the air at graduation, or maybe on the train into the city when you started your first real job, one that didn't involve grease or mopping bathrooms--did you ever, at any point, imagine it would wind up like this?
You ████████ remain silent. █████████████████████████ ████████████████████████ ██████████████████████████ █████████████████████████ ██████████████████████████
How did this happen?
You weren't really going to tell anyone about the affair, were you? You just said that because you were angry, right? At being secret? At being used?
After the fight, did you feel the need to go for a walk in the park to clear your head from that last glass of wine, those bitter, gritty dregs?
Do you remember anything after that?
How many times had you already regretted marrying him before the police came to question you about the missing woman?
How many times had you already decided the money was worth it?
Who are you to judge me?
During your heated discussion at the Club, did you just want to throw the goddamn lobster thermidore in his face and scream and scream until you got those 20 years back?
You have ████ to remain silent. ████ you ██████ will be used against you ██████. You have ████ to █████████████████████████ be provided for ██. Do you understand the rights ███████ to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak ███?
Might you be the unfortunate Uber/Lyft/both driver in this question of the missing young woman? Did you have a bad feeling about this pickup from the start? Or was it only when you drove up to find her crying in the park?
Does that really matter now that the officer's slapping the cuffs around your wrists in front of your whole family?
████████████████ ███████████████████████████████ ███████████████ If you can█ afford an attorney, █████████████ █ you ██████████ have ██████████ the█ rights █████████████████
████████████████ ████████ can █████████████████████ ███████████████ █ you ██ afford an attorney, █████████████ ████████████████████████ █████████████████████?
████████████████ ██████████████████████████████ ███████████████ █ you cannot afford an attorney, █████████████ █████████████████████████████████████████████?
You have ████ to re███lent. Anything ███ can ████ be used against you in a court of law. ██████████ an attorney███ can█ afford an attorney, █████████████ Do you understand ███████████████? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak ██?
████████████████ ████ you █████ will be used █████████████ ███████████████ ████████████████████████████ ████████████████████ █████████████████████████
Do they find it "suspicious" that the girl didn't make you drive her all the way home; that she just said at some random street, "Here's fine"?
Don't worry: eventually, lacking sufficient evidence, they'll release you. Eventually.
Shouldn't you be grateful?
Do you disappear into divorce/ obscurity/penury/depression? Or simply disappear?
Is this justice?
█████████████████ ███████████████████████████████ ███████████████ ███████████████████████████ ████████████████████████ ██████████ do you wish to speak ███?
Do you sometimes whisper late at night? What about?
Wrong story, try again.
You have the right to ███████ ███████████████████████████████ ███████████████ ███████████████████████████ ████████████████████████ █████████████████ speak ████
█████████████████ ███████████████████████████████ ███████████████ ███████████████████████████ Do you understand ███████████████ ████████████████████████?
████████████████ ███████████████████████████████ ██████████████ ██████████████████████████████ you ███████████ have █████████ the█ right██████████████████
████████████████ █████████████████████ ████████████████████████ █████████████████████ ██████████████████the right██████████████████████ mind, ██████████████████
████████████████ ███████████████████████████████ ███████████████ ████████████████████████████ █████████ the rights ██████████ ████████████████ to speak ████
█████ the right to ██████ Anything ██████████████████████████ ███████████████ ███████████████████████████ █████████████████████ to you███████████████████████████
███████████████ ████████████████████████ ███████████████████████ ███████████████████████████ Do you understand the rights I have ████ to you? █████████████████████████
████████████████ ██████████████████████ ██████████████████████████ you ██████████████ will be provided for ████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████
████████████████ ███████████████████████████████ ███████████████ ███████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████ ███████████████████

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