Poverty The Equalizer
The downside of looking at race privilege alone can be discrimination against the wider poor or disadvantaged. Some advocates - or most - in this recent flood of concern for race, should take a much longer longer look at how reacting one way, might be missing another.
A bit like strengths overdone, becoming our weaknesses. Lift up and challenge those in the wider community, about what a minority or specific people group might experience, but double-standards can easily shoot up outside the frame.
Of all black ‘issues’ US justice and incarceration is one without as much to balance. Having said that, here’s ever-powerful communicator Hedges, thankfully fails to start his latest piece with; ‘if you are black...’. Perhaps it’s his going out there, into the highways and byways across the USA, keeps his focus wise and clear.
If you are poor, you will almost never go to trial—instead you will be forced to accept a plea deal offered by government prosecutors. If you are poor, the word of the police, who are not averse to fabricating or tampering with evidence, manipulating witnesses and planting guns or drugs, will be accepted in a courtroom as if it was the word of God. If you are poor, and especially if you are of color, almost anyone who can verify your innocence will have a police record of some kind and thereby will be invalidated as a witness. If you are poor, you will be railroaded in assembly-line production from a town or city where there are no jobs through the police stations, county jails and courts directly into prison. And if you are poor, because you don’t have money for adequate legal defense, you will serve sentences that are decades longer than those for equivalent crimes anywhere else in the industrialized world.
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