Same Crimes, Different Times: Why Are We Okay With This?


The criminalization of black people is nothing new and the stereotypes forced upon black men and women help justify the criminalization. The truth is we are just as likely to commit a crime as whites but we are more likely to serve time for offenses committed. I recently wrote a story about 9 white police officers senselessly losing their lives in 11 days at the hands of white men and the media showing little to no coverage. But we all know if their murderers were black, their deaths would have been spun into some sort of justification for the excessive force used against men of color by law enforcement.  When in actuality the majority of officer who lost lives this year died at the hands of white men (but they won’t report that on the news).

The media works hard to make it seem as though black men are more likely to be criminals than white men. But they also dismiss the fact that all criminals are not created equally. The slap heard around world was when the Stanford Judge gave Brock Turner a 6 month sentence, for which he only served 3 months, for raping an unconscious girl because he was an athlete with a promising future. Not even taking into consideration how messed up the young lady’s future will be now that she’s been raped.

When you compare Corey Batey’s story to Turner’s you have to wonder why a judge didn’t think his future was worth salvaging. Batey, a black man, was also convicted of raping an unconscious woman but he will be in jail for a minimum of 15 years. Batey was also a star athlete at his university. Is his future not as important as Turner’s? I’m not condoning rape but Turner should have received a 15 year sentence as well, you don’t get a pass for violating someone because you’re white with a promising future.

That is only one story of how the justice system works in the favor of white men. I question the average but it has been reported that on average black men are jailed 5 months longer than white men for similar crimes. In the previous example 3 months in comparison to 15 years is drastic. Similarly, Chase Legleitner and Lamar Lloyd both convicted of armed robbery yet Lloyd the black man may not see the light of day until 2034 while Legleitner was released from jail after severing less than 2 years. Again a drastic difference.

To say the system is broken is an understatement. A friend once told me we need to raise our children to be lawyers and officers of the law to change the injustice system but I think the problem is more deeply rooted. The system has been broken has been broken since inception, can it really be prepared?




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PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.


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