On Lives and Mattering
Race and Racism Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMs_JcuNozJb-5TJ3uuvqPzQVjO_XarED
It is very easy to discount the experiences of other people, especially when our experiences are very different and our relationships with them may already be strained by prejudice. And yes, people on all sides are casting out in anger because we want someone or something to blame for recent tragedies. But this is not a simple issue, it will never be simple. But there are very clear data showing that the criminal justice system values Black Americans differently than the average American. And that is a problem that must be confronted.
Thank you to Ashley Ford, Ahsante Bean, and Nathan Zed for looking over this script for me.
Black people are 2.5xmore likely to be killed by police. And unarmed black people 6x times more likely to be killed by police than unarmed white people:
(in the incessant debate, claims that if you look into the data you see a very different story invariably cherry pick data.)
Black people more likely to get plea deals with prison sentences:
A more granular study shows that Black people and Hispanics are more likely to have officers use force on them even when they are complying with law enforcement:
This study also found no difference in the use of lethal force, in the communities studied.
Black people face longer sentences for the same crimes in the same situations even when accounting for multiple violations, whether they had a public defender, their economic status, and whether they’re on parole:
Police have difficult jobs and that some of the communities they are tasked with protecting are very dangerous. Many officers do not want to work in those communities, so it is difficult to find police officers to do that work. It is stressful work.
The fact that there is racial bias in the criminal justice system is not a condemnation of police. Police need to be obeyed and supported because laws are want make our society function. But there is racial bias and it should be admitted, confronted, and we should do our best to deal with it. Because our society has a belief that black lives matter less…which is why we stand and say Black Lives Matter.
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