WHITE JUSTICE

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1. Too many White US Citizens appear to have drawn the conclusion the criminal justice system, perhaps while imperfect, is still effective in dispensing fairness irrespective of the race of the person effected. In short, many Whites seem to agree with the system’s contention is colorblind.

2. The entire “crime picture”, is extremely fuzzy to most Americans. The text may be crime. The subtext is race. The common perceptions concerning crime are apparently based upon non-factual, stereotypical and racist presumptions about who commits crimes and who does not. One of the most glaringly erroneous conclusions is most crime is defined as criminal are only those persons arrested by the police. The trouble with the official crime picture is it has the effect of grossly distorting the average citizen’s image of what crime is all about. It minimizes and deflects attention from one kind of crime (the common kind that one’s neighbors commit) and exaggerates and spotlights another, less common, kind (the code name is “crime-in-the-street” which is presumably committed by “criminals”) while totally neglecting governmental crime.

3. The fact of the matter is that poor people, and especially poor Blacks, are convicted of crime more often, although there is no substantial relationship between social class and the commission of crimes. There is, however, a marked relationship between class and conviction for crime.

4. Half or more of the fifty per cent of the persons arrested for crimes of personal violence, and that forty to fifty percent of all prisoners in jails and penitentiaries are black says nothing at all about the criminality of black people. And that an even higher proportion of persons arrested are poor and imprisoned sheds no light whatever on the criminality of the poor. These facts only identify the objects of police and court activity. There are law violators and there are law violators; one kind gets arrested, the other kind is usually left alone.”26 It is not disingenuous to conclude, then, that those “left alone” are almost always White and/or wealthy. For in America, Whites clearly benefit from White-skin privilege. Conversely, Blacks appear to suffer from Black-skin punishment.

5. Black people are not suffering from racism due to a generally low socioeconomic status, but are trapped in a low socioeconomic status due to racism—the idea held by Whites that they are superior to Blacks because they have White skin. Clearly they (Whites) would need, and do have, the power to institutionalize these feelings of superiority, even codifying these feelings into law when they deem it necessary. While it may be classified as a Marxist philosophy (and that should not matter at all here), it certainly rings true that,

6. Half or more of the fifty per cent of the persons arrested for crimes of personal violence, and that forty to fifty percent of all prisoners in jails and penitentiaries are black says nothing at all about the criminality of black people. And that an even higher proportion of persons arrested are poor and imprisoned sheds no light whatever on the criminality of the poor. These facts only identify the objects of police and court activity. There are law violators and there are law violators; one kind gets arrested, the other kind is usually left alone.”26 It is not disingenuous to conclude, then, that those “left alone” are almost always White and/or wealthy. For in America, Whites clearly benefit from White-skin privilege. Conversely, Blacks appear to suffer from Black-skin punishment.

7. In his article, “No racism in criminal justice system”, Patrick Langan makes several assertions. Among them are the following: 66% of Black defendants were prosecuted for felonies, while 69 percent of whites were prosecuted for felonies; Among Blacks prosecuted in urban courts, 75 percent were convicted of a felony, while 78 percent of Whites were convicted of a felony and 3) The average state prison sentence received by Blacks convicted of a felony was five and one half-years, one month longer than their white counterparts. Yet among Black defendants convicted of a felony, 51 percent received a prison sentence, as opposed to 38 percent of whites.43

8. One could, however, draw a vastly different conclusion regarding the role of race in the criminal justice system because Blacks tend to get substantially longer prison terms than Whites convicted of the same crimes, even when the Black person is a first time offender and the White person a second- or third-time offender. For murder Blacks serve 91.7 months versus 79.8 months for Whites; for rape, 55 months for Blacks versus 43.9 for Whites; for kidnapping, 41 months for Blacks to 37 for Whites; and for robbery, 37.4 for Blacks to 33.3 for Whites.45

9. I understand you have profoundly different experiences and outcomes with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Our nation and our very way of life is dependent on the principle of all people being served equal justice under the law. And it’s clear; the effects of the criminal justice system are color blind and lean/slant/tilt toward White Justice.