Social scientists and others have produced volumes of research which have repeatedly demonstrated how the American legal system reinforces, perpetuates, and reflects disparate racial outcomes and white supremacy. For example, their findings include how black Americans face racial bias and unfair treatment at every level of the criminal justice system from initial police encounters to sentencing and parole decisions. Juries are influenced by implicit racial bias. Juries are also less likely to find black witnesses “credible” or “believable”. And perhaps most troubling, white jurors can be subconsciously primed by images of apes and gorillas–this deeply racist association between animals and African-Americans in turn makes white jurors more likely to give black defendants the death penalty.
TPM wrote that police have an extra layer of legal protection from the Supreme Court, which ruled in 1989 that officers’ actions “must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene,” and that the “calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation.”
Activists and protesters in the Ferguson area are starting to get a feeling that a non-indictment is coming soon. The perception isn’t just coming from the length of the grand jury hearing or the notion that McCulloch is unable to be objective when it comes to investigating law enforcement. Much of that perception is coming from what is seen as the local media’s attempt lately to change the narrative regarding law enforcement and the protesters. Specifically, stories run by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the major local news stations where they’ve tried to frame protesters as violent and dangerous while also trying to portray local police in a more positive light. Essentially, they are trying to give the moral high ground to the police ahead of the likely scenario where Wilson is allowed to walk.
This is the first public account of Officer Wilson’s testimony to investigators, but it does not explain why, after he emerged from his vehicle, he fired at Mr. Brown multiple times. It contradicts some witness accounts, and it will not calm those who have been demanding to know why an unarmed man was shot a total of six times. Mr. Brown’s death continues to fuel anger and sometimes-violent protests.
The Daily Kos posted this article on September 29, 2014. Since then the avalanche of written and video arguments against asking people to “check your privilege” has skyrocketed across social media. Comparative yeahs and nos are equal. But the understanding of what privilege really means is, sometimes by default, becoming patently clear. Surprisingly, some even feel victimized when asked to respect the boundaries of others. Amazing.
Nice work by chaunceydevega
However well-intentioned and sincere the concern and surprise by the white American public and some in the chattering classes towards the events in Ferguson, the shooting of Jones by Groubert, or the panoply of unarmed black men by the police ever 28 hours in America may be, their response is still colored by white privilege.Black and brown Americans have been complaining about, organizing in response to, and publicly discussing police brutality and extra-judicial violence against their communities for several hundred years. Those concerns have largely been ignored by the white public.