by Mahari McTier
My article this week is in response to a letter I read on AL.com. After reading this, it led me to further confirm that some people still just don’t get it and will never understand that what we are experiencing today with racism, bigotry, and prejudice in policing is not as black and white as some people want to make it. The letter read:
Racism is just an
excuse: reader opinion
Police being accused of racism and unlawful punishment against blacks is getting out of control. All anyone has to do is read or listen to the news all over the country and see that a high percentage of crime is committed by blacks and that is the reason more blacks are in prison than whites. Racism has nothing to do with it, it’s just an excuse. The old saying “Do the crime, do the time” means just that. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson should preach peace instead of racism, marching, rioting, stealing and destroying property.
Politicians should butt out and pay more attention to this country’s problems instead of concentrating on racism. Blacks need to stop living in the past and blaming others for their problems. They need to get educations and jobs so they wouldn’t have time for crime, rioting or marching. If people want what others have, they should work for it and not expect the American dream to be handed to them.
Police have the right to defend themselves and protect citizens. That is their job.
The writer, in my opinion, sees a nation where the playing field is totally equal. Her statements would be true if we had a legal system that prosecuted and sentenced Black and white offenders equally; if access to opportunity and capital was equal for everyone; if all schools, regardless of zip code, had equal resources and tools to educate our kids. And the list goes on and on….
It is easy for some to say just forget the past and move on, go get a job, start a business, and just shut up and stop complaining if they don’t understand that there are some systemic barriers for some people. A friend once shared this analogy with me. Three people line up to race, all of them in cars, but one is driving a Ferrari, one a Ford Focus, and the other a Chevrolet Chevette. Who is going to win the race? Of course, the Ferrari.
According to the New York Times, Black Americans were nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested on charges of marijuana possession in 2010, even though the two groups used the drug at similar rates, according to new federal data.
Black men were more than six times as likely as white men to be incarcerated in federal and state prisons, and local jails in 2010, according to a www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/08/22/kings-dream-remains-an-elusive-goal-many-americans-see-racial-disparities/4/” Pew Research Center analysis.
In 2010, the incarceration rate for white men under local, state and federal jurisdiction was 678 inmates per 100,000 white U.S. residents; for Black men, it was 4,347. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Black men were more than six times as likely as white men to be incarcerated in 2010.
In no way am I giving African-Americans a pass for committing crime and doing stupid things like looting, and yes I believe that if you do the crime you should do the time. We only ask that we all operate under a system of justice that is fair.
Mahari A. McTier is a Financial Advisor with Tier 1 Advisors, LLC and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org