Two 17 year old men, both robbed corner stores in Florida, same crime, same circumstances yet the outcome of their sentences were worlds apart. Both 17, both charged with armed robbery, both from the same county in Florida, both with juvenile records, both offered plea bargains. With all the same factors involved, common sense would tell you they received the same sentence, but you could not be more wrong. One of these young men was white and was given 6 years probation, the other young man was black and given 4 years in prison. This is not the only case of injustice by any stretch of the imagination.A lack of understanding between cultures is often used to explain such disparaties in sentencing but is this really a viable reason or is it merely that young black men in particular are not seen as having any potential and therefore a racial unjust system fails to empathise but rather judges and condemns because of their inherent blackness. If you do not believe this to be true then you are a part of the problem as opposed to being an active member of the solution.
Whether a young black man commits a crime or is the victim of a crime, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown (the list is endless) the negative language used to depict their character is criminal, and racially coded to enable us (society) to be accepting of their fate. For example Trayvon Martin was not seen as the victim but rather the media focussed on the fact that he has been suspended from school on three seperate occassions as if this was proof he was criminal enought to warrant the sad and brutal end to his life.
Alternatively, a young white man who commits a heinous crime is labelled “troubled, geeky, shy” in a purposeful manner in order to evoke empathy and for this reason Colin Kaepernick insists on equality of the races, which is not meant to insinuate we demonise white young men but rather empathise with all young men regardless of race and surely in 2018 this should occur without question, instead of only white people and not afford the same privilege to black people. This is not specific to white and black boys/young men.
In Texas black girls are more likely to be suspended from school than their white counterparts because they are seen as less innocent by adults. This is not restricted to just the US. Within England, Ofsted the office for standards in education found that most high schools punished black pupils more harshly than their white counterparts for the same or similar incidents. This is primarily because they are seen as more troublesome or somehow more defiant and less innocent than white children.
It begs the question “when did this happen?” or has it existed for so long that we have just become immune to the fact that our children will always been seen in a less attractive light, for one reason and one reason only, the colour of their skin.