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A Judge Asked Harvard to Find Out Why So Many Black People Were In Prison. They Could Only Find 1 Answer: Systemic Racism

Death Angel

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For those who think they're innocent victims of a racist culture, THIS IS WHAT PRISON BEHAVIOUR LOOKS LIKE

If you want to stay out of prison, dont be this stupid

 

IM2

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Whites are 70 percent
Understandable since whites are 60% of the population.
So you should be the majority of those incarcerated, but we know that isn't the case.
Well, you're wrong. Whites are the biggest percentage of the prison population.

That chip on your shoulder keeps you from thinking rationally.

View attachment 490306
Not wrong and when I sm in a forum full of whites who bitch about what black people eat, then we know who has the chip.
 

IM2

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For those who think they're innocent victims of a racist culture, THIS IS WHAT PRISON BEHAVIOUR LOOKS LIKE

1621208396858.png


But people looking like him stay out of prison when they should be behind bars.
 
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Whites are 70 percent
Understandable since whites are 60% of the population.
So you should be the majority of those incarcerated, but we know that isn't the case.
Well, you're wrong. Whites are the biggest percentage of the prison population.

That chip on your shoulder keeps you from thinking rationally.

View attachment 490306

The United States has about 437 prisoners per 100,000 people as of the end of 2019, a 2.6% drop from 2018. As of 2018, the imprisonment rate of black males was 5.8 times greater than that of white males, and the imprisonment rate of black females was 1.8 times greater than the of white females. New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts have the lowest prison incarceration rates of under 200 per 100,000 people.

 
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This article summarizes the research conducted at Harvard in order to undercover the reasons by so many black people in the state of Massachusetts were in prison. Their results are not surprising to any black person, however the most important thing about this research is that they have the data to backup their conclusions


It wasn’t Black-on-Black crime. Violent video games and rap songs had nothing to do with it; nor did poverty, education, two-parent homes or the international “bootstraps” shortage. When a judge tasked researchers with explaining why Massachusetts’ Black and Latinx incarceration was so high, a four-year study came up with one conclusion.​
Racism.​
It was always racism.​
According to 2016 data from the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission, 655 of every 100,000 Black people in Massachusetts are in prison. Meanwhile, the state locks up 82 of its white citizens for every 100,000 who reside in the state. While an eight-to-one racial disparity might seem like a lot for one criminal justice system, nationwide, African Americans are imprisoned at almost six times the rate of white people. So, in 2016, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants asked Harvard researchers to “take a hard look at how we can better fulfill our promise to provide equal justice for every litigant.”​
After gathering the raw numbers from nearly every government agency in the state’s criminal justice system, examining the data, and researching the disparate outcomes, Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program found that Black incarcerees received more severe charges, harsher sentences and less favorable outcomes than their white counterparts. They looked at more than a million cases, from the initial charges through the conviction and sentencing, and discovered disparities that could not be explained by logic or reason.​
“White people make up roughly 74% of the Massachusetts population while accounting for 58.7% of cases in our data,” the study explained. “Meanwhile, Black people make up just 6.5% of the Massachusetts population and account for 17.1% of cases.”​
Of course, that could only mean that Black people commit much more crime, right?​
Nope.​
OK, then maybe Black people commit worse crimes.​
That wasn’t it.​
What they found is the criminal justice system is unequal on every level. Cops in the state are more likely to stop Black drivers. Police are more likely to search or investigate Black residents. Law enforcement agents charge Black suspects with infractions that carry worse penalties. Prosecutors are less likely to offer Black suspects plea bargains or pre-trial intervention. Judges sentence Black defendants to longer terms in prison. And get this: The average white felon in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections has committed a more severe crime than the average Black inmate.​
The study, “Racial Disparities in the Massachusetts Criminal System” (pdf) unearthed a number of factors that contribute to these significant disparities, including:​
  • It’s not that Black people are criminals: It’s that the cops think Black people are criminals: For instance, despite making up only 24 percent of Boston’s population, Black people made up 63 percent of the civilians who were interrogated, stopped, frisked or searched by the BPD between 2007 and 2010. According to the researchers, this suggests “that the disparity in searches was more consistent with racial bias than with differences in criminal conduct.”
  • Black suspects don’t get bail: The average bail is slightly higher in cases involving Black defendants. Furthermore, more Black and Latinx defendants are detained without bail as compared to white defendants.
  • Black people are charged with higher offenses: But curiously, when they get to court, Black defendants are convicted of charges roughly equal in seriousness to their White counterparts despite facing more serious initial charges.
  • There are actually two separate systems: The study notes that prosecutors are more likely to exercise their discretion to send Black and Latinx people “to Superior Court where the available sentences are longer.”
  • And separate sentences: If you’re Black and charged with crimes carrying a mandatory minimum, you are substantially more likely to be incarcerated and receive a longer sentence.
  • Especially if they find drugs or guns on you: Black and Latinx people charged with drug offenses and weapons offenses are more likely to be incarcerated and receive longer incarceration sentences than white people charged with similar offenses
  • Sentencing length: The average Black person’s sentence is 168 days longer than a sentence for a white person. Even when the researchers controlled for criminal history, jurisdiction, and neighborhood, they concluded: “[R]acial disparities in sentence length cannot solely be explained by the contextual factors that we consider and permeate the entire criminal justice process.”
The researchers even looked at poverty rates, the family structures of convicted felons and the neighborhoods they lived in. They eventually decided that the only reasonable explanation that explained the disparities was racism.​
One of the more interesting parts of the report juxtaposed people who possessed illegal firearms with people arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI). They reasoned that both acts are potentially dangerous but statistics show that driving under the influence actually causes much more harm to the public than simply carrying an unlicensed firearm. But, because white people make up 82 percent of people who are convicted of OUI, the state considers operating under the influence as a “public health problem,” so the charge is often resolved without a felony conviction. In fact, 77 percent of the people who don’t end up with a felony conviction after admitting that they operated a vehicle under the influence are white.​
However, despite Black defendants making up 16.4 percent of firearm cases in 2012, 46 percent of the people convicted of a firearm offense was Black. And 70.3 percent of the time, the Black person’s only offense was carrying a firearm without a license.​
Read the rest of the article here:​
LMAO @ Harvard study.

Of course those Communist Jackasses are gonna say systemic racism.

Meanwhile the rest of the normal thinking folks in this Country understand that when less than 12% of the population commits more than 60% of the violent crime is why the prisons are full of black criminals.
Maybe they could stop punching whites and asians in the back of the head, if they want to stay out of prison.

Then there's carjacking, home invasion and robberies. Just stop it if you dont want to go to prison
You mean the same thing that white folks are doing.
 

John T. Ford

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The United States has about 437 prisoners per 100,000 people as of the end of 2019, a 2.6% drop from 2018. As of 2018, the imprisonment rate of black males was 5.8 times greater than that of white males, and the imprisonment rate of black females was 1.8 times greater than the of white females. New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts have the lowest prison incarceration rates of under 200 per 100,000 people.

This is a good thing.

This how you know the system is working and keeping violent criminal off the street.
 
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Maybe they could stop punching whites and asians in the back of the head, if they want to stay out of prison.

Then there's carjacking, home invasion and robberies. Just stop it if you dont want to go to prison
Normal thinking Americans know why there Are so many Black Americans in prison.

And, it's not the reason these so called Leftist expert say.
What are normal Americans? It can't be racist, trash like you.
 
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The United States has about 437 prisoners per 100,000 people as of the end of 2019, a 2.6% drop from 2018. As of 2018, the imprisonment rate of black males was 5.8 times greater than that of white males, and the imprisonment rate of black females was 1.8 times greater than the of white females. New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts have the lowest prison incarceration rates of under 200 per 100,000 people.

This is a good thing.

This how you know the system is working and keeping violent criminal off the street.
It's a good thing if you are white, but if you are black it's the last vestige of legalized racism in this country.
 
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frigidweirdo

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This article summarizes the research conducted at Harvard in order to undercover the reasons by so many black people in the state of Massachusetts were in prison. Their results are not surprising to any black person, however the most important thing about this research is that they have the data to backup their conclusions


It wasn’t Black-on-Black crime. Violent video games and rap songs had nothing to do with it; nor did poverty, education, two-parent homes or the international “bootstraps” shortage. When a judge tasked researchers with explaining why Massachusetts’ Black and Latinx incarceration was so high, a four-year study came up with one conclusion.​
Racism.​
It was always racism.​
According to 2016 data from the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission, 655 of every 100,000 Black people in Massachusetts are in prison. Meanwhile, the state locks up 82 of its white citizens for every 100,000 who reside in the state. While an eight-to-one racial disparity might seem like a lot for one criminal justice system, nationwide, African Americans are imprisoned at almost six times the rate of white people. So, in 2016, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants asked Harvard researchers to “take a hard look at how we can better fulfill our promise to provide equal justice for every litigant.”​
After gathering the raw numbers from nearly every government agency in the state’s criminal justice system, examining the data, and researching the disparate outcomes, Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program found that Black incarcerees received more severe charges, harsher sentences and less favorable outcomes than their white counterparts. They looked at more than a million cases, from the initial charges through the conviction and sentencing, and discovered disparities that could not be explained by logic or reason.​
“White people make up roughly 74% of the Massachusetts population while accounting for 58.7% of cases in our data,” the study explained. “Meanwhile, Black people make up just 6.5% of the Massachusetts population and account for 17.1% of cases.”​
Of course, that could only mean that Black people commit much more crime, right?​
Nope.​
OK, then maybe Black people commit worse crimes.​
That wasn’t it.​
What they found is the criminal justice system is unequal on every level. Cops in the state are more likely to stop Black drivers. Police are more likely to search or investigate Black residents. Law enforcement agents charge Black suspects with infractions that carry worse penalties. Prosecutors are less likely to offer Black suspects plea bargains or pre-trial intervention. Judges sentence Black defendants to longer terms in prison. And get this: The average white felon in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections has committed a more severe crime than the average Black inmate.​
The study, “Racial Disparities in the Massachusetts Criminal System” (pdf) unearthed a number of factors that contribute to these significant disparities, including:​
  • It’s not that Black people are criminals: It’s that the cops think Black people are criminals: For instance, despite making up only 24 percent of Boston’s population, Black people made up 63 percent of the civilians who were interrogated, stopped, frisked or searched by the BPD between 2007 and 2010. According to the researchers, this suggests “that the disparity in searches was more consistent with racial bias than with differences in criminal conduct.”
  • Black suspects don’t get bail: The average bail is slightly higher in cases involving Black defendants. Furthermore, more Black and Latinx defendants are detained without bail as compared to white defendants.
  • Black people are charged with higher offenses: But curiously, when they get to court, Black defendants are convicted of charges roughly equal in seriousness to their White counterparts despite facing more serious initial charges.
  • There are actually two separate systems: The study notes that prosecutors are more likely to exercise their discretion to send Black and Latinx people “to Superior Court where the available sentences are longer.”
  • And separate sentences: If you’re Black and charged with crimes carrying a mandatory minimum, you are substantially more likely to be incarcerated and receive a longer sentence.
  • Especially if they find drugs or guns on you: Black and Latinx people charged with drug offenses and weapons offenses are more likely to be incarcerated and receive longer incarceration sentences than white people charged with similar offenses
  • Sentencing length: The average Black person’s sentence is 168 days longer than a sentence for a white person. Even when the researchers controlled for criminal history, jurisdiction, and neighborhood, they concluded: “[R]acial disparities in sentence length cannot solely be explained by the contextual factors that we consider and permeate the entire criminal justice process.”
The researchers even looked at poverty rates, the family structures of convicted felons and the neighborhoods they lived in. They eventually decided that the only reasonable explanation that explained the disparities was racism.​
One of the more interesting parts of the report juxtaposed people who possessed illegal firearms with people arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI). They reasoned that both acts are potentially dangerous but statistics show that driving under the influence actually causes much more harm to the public than simply carrying an unlicensed firearm. But, because white people make up 82 percent of people who are convicted of OUI, the state considers operating under the influence as a “public health problem,” so the charge is often resolved without a felony conviction. In fact, 77 percent of the people who don’t end up with a felony conviction after admitting that they operated a vehicle under the influence are white.​
However, despite Black defendants making up 16.4 percent of firearm cases in 2012, 46 percent of the people convicted of a firearm offense was Black. And 70.3 percent of the time, the Black person’s only offense was carrying a firearm without a license.​
Read the rest of the article here:​

Sometimes the issues here are more complex.

Why do the police think black people are criminals?

Is it that black people are more likely to be aggressive, criminal and all black people then people go with the stereotype?

Or is it that white people want to keep black people down and as such the system turns them into criminals?

Sometimes with these things you have to look at both sides, rather than assuming one and ignoring the other.
 

Polishprince

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The United States has about 437 prisoners per 100,000 people as of the end of 2019, a 2.6% drop from 2018. As of 2018, the imprisonment rate of black males was 5.8 times greater than that of white males, and the imprisonment rate of black females was 1.8 times greater than the of white females. New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts have the lowest prison incarceration rates of under 200 per 100,000 people.

This is a good thing.

This how you know the system is working and keeping violent criminal off the street.
It's a good thing if you are white, but if you are black it's the last vestige of legalized racism in this country.


The racism actually goes the other way. Non violent honkies like Roger Stone and Paul Manafort are sentenced to life sentences on their first offense, while African American youths are let go even when they commit violence.
 

John T. Ford

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This how you know the system is working and keeping violent criminal off the street.
It's a good thing if you are white, but if you are black it's the last vestige of legalized racism in this country.
Wrong again my ignorant Lefist friend ....

This is a better thing for Black Americans considering that Back Ameircans are some 90% more likely to be attack by another Black American.

I bet you are one of those dumbass Leftist who doesn't understand that SYG laws disproportionately help Black Americans due to Black on Black crime.

There is a reason Leftist are considered No/Low Imformation Idiots.

There is a reason Leftism is considered a Mental Disorder !!!
 

Polishprince

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The crime rate has always been tremendous higher in the American Ghetto as opposed to the Honky Dominated suburbs here in the US.

That's just a fact.

But what isn't discussed is how effective Sleepy Joe's Draconian Crime bill was in the 1990's in reducing the crime rates in the hoods. Getting the people Bite Me called "super predators" off the the streets really mellowed out the mean ass streets of the nation's Urban Hell Holes.

The irony is that Biden has since denounced his own success and seeks to roll back the progress he made by defunding the police.
 
OP
NewsVine_Mariyam

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Or is it that white people want to keep black people down and as such the system turns them into criminals?
Correct and this is how they did it
A History of Tolerance for Violence Has Laid the Groundwork for Injustice Today
We are living in America’s era of mass incarceration. With just 5 percent of the world’s population, this nation holds 25 percent of the world’s prisoners—and many more people impacted by its crime policies. More than 2.1 million Americans are incarcerated in jails and prisons, up from less than 200,000 in 1972, while over 4.6 million more are on probation or parole. These numbers are not faceless. African Americans make up about 13 percent of the nation’s population, but constitute 28 percent of all arrests, 40 percent of the incarcerated, and 42 percent of those on death row. African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are all more likely to be arrested, jailed awaiting trial, and sentenced to jail or prison when compared to white Americans. Perhaps the starkest statistic, recent data predicted one of every three black boys, and one of six Latino boys, born in 2001 would go to jail or prison within their lifetimes if current trends continue.

In some ways, these statistics outline a contemporary problem—but the challenges they describe are legacies of systems much older and deeper. The same judgments about criminality, race, and control that led one Mississippi official in 1865 to remark, “Emancipation will require a system of prisons,” still color our political discourse and policy outcomes. And the widespread yet largely unknown story of racial terror lynching continues to shape our lives.

1621222928589.png


The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to the thousands of people killed in racist lynchings

The experiences of African Americans murdered and terrorized by mob violence for generations between Emancipation and the struggle for civil rights, alongside the virtual inaction of local and federal law enforcement and lawmakers, lay the groundwork for the inequality and injustice we face today. Understanding the current system’s roots in racism and dehumanization is critical to extracting the problem and growing something better.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 12 million African people were kidnapped, chained, and brought to the Americas after a torturous journey across the Atlantic Ocean. In the United States, the labor of enslaved black people fueled economic growth, while an ideology of white supremacy and racial difference was created to justify slavery as morally acceptable. In the nineteenth century, a thriving plantation economy and forcible taking of land from Native people increased demand for enslaved labor and, through the domestic slave trade, the South’s enslaved population rose dramatically.

After the South’s defeat in a bloody Civil War, the nation adopted the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery “except as punishment for crime,” while leaving intact a bitter resistance to racial equality. Continued support for white supremacy and racial hierarchy meant that slavery in America did not end—it evolved. The identities of many white Americans, especially in the South, were grounded in the belief that they were inherently superior to African Americans. Many white people reacted violently to the requirement to treat their former “human property” as equals and pay for their labor. In the first two years after the war, thousands of black people were murdered for asserting freedom or basic rights; cities like Memphis and New Orleans were sites of violent mob attacks on black communities.

Between 1868 and 1871, a wave of terror swept across the South, resulting in the deaths of thousands of African Americans—some killed merely for failing to obey a white person. Congressional efforts to provide federal protection and civil rights to formerly enslaved black people were undermined by the United States Supreme Court’s rulings in cases like The Slaughterhouse Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1872); United States v. Reese, 92 U.S. 214 (1875); and United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876). Soon, Northern politicians retreated from a commitment to protect black people and Reconstruction collapsed. In 1877, federal troops were removed from the region and white Southerners used their regained power to bar black people from voting; legalize racial segregation; and create an exploitative economic system of sharecropping and tenant farming that would keep African Americans indentured and poor for generations.

Convict leasing—a horrific system in which black people were convicted of crimes under discriminatory “Black Code” laws and then leased to private businesses to labor under inhuman conditions for state profit—created a new kind of bondage some scholars have described as “worse than slavery.” At the same time, Jim Crow and racial integrity laws prohibited social interactions between people of different races, especially black men and white women. Lynching soon emerged as a primary tool to enforce racial hierarchy and oppression while terrorizing black people into accepting abusive mistreatment and subordination. Federal, state, and local governments largely tolerated these terrorist acts.

Often committed in broad daylight and sometimes “on the courthouse lawn,” racial terror lynchings were directly tied to the history of enslavement and the re-establishment of white supremacy after the Civil War. These lynchings were also distinct from hangings and mob violence committed against white people because they were intended to terrorize entire black communities and enforce racial hierarchy. Unlike frontier justice in the West, racial terror lynchings generally took place in communities with functioning criminal courts—viewed as too good for African Americans. Despite its lawlessness and terrifying unpredictability, lynching was sanctioned by law enforcement and elected officials, and the perpetrators acted boldly and with impunity. Victims were sometimes publicly tortured for hours before their brutalized bodies were left out on display to traumatize other black people. Members of the mob frequently documented their atrocities by posing for photographs with a dangling, bloodied, or burnt corpse.

Most of the more than 4,400 documented victims of racial terror lynching killed between 1877 and 1950 were killed in the 12 Southern states; Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana were among the deadliest. Several hundred additional victims were lynched in other regions, with the highest numbers in Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, and West Virginia. Many more victims were undocumented and remain unknown. This brutality continued into the twentieth century, and national leaders and mainstream media outlets quickly learned to use white supremacist views and pro-lynching rhetoric for political gain. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt declared, “the greatest existing cause of lynching is the perpetration, especially by black men, of the hideous crime of rape.” An editorial in the Memphis Avalanche Appeal advised, “Let [the black man] keep his hands off white women and lynching will soon die out.”

“[If] it requires lynching to protect women’s dearest possession from ravening, drunken human beasts,” white women’s rights activist Rebecca Felton wrote in the Atlanta Journal in 1898, “then I say lynch a thousand a week if necessary.”

Sexual violence became the most common justification for deadly vigilante violence targeting black men and terrorizing black communities. In fact, fewer than 25 percent of documented African American lynching victims were accused of sexual assault and less than 30 percent were accused of murder. Because African Americans were presumed guilty and dangerous, accusations lodged against them were rarely scrutinized; nearly all were lynched without an investigation, much less a trial. Shortly after Reuben Sims was lynched for assaulting a white woman in Baldwin County, Alabama, in 1904, the local sheriff admitted he was innocent but nonetheless refused to arrest any members of the lynch mob.

When 17-year-old Henry Smith was accused of killing a white girl in Paris, Texas, in 1893, he was quickly captured and condemned without trial or investigation. On February 1, a mob of 10,000 people gathered from across the state to watch as Henry was paraded through town on a carnival float, forced onto a 10-foot-high platform at the county fairgrounds, brutally tortured for nearly an hour, and then burned alive. “Caucasian Vengeance for African Barbarity,” declared a Fort Worth Daily Gazette headline above an article describing the fate of the “Animal Form of Rapist-Murderer-Savage-Fiendish Negro, Henry Smith.”

In common but much-less-publicized incidents, lynching victims were targeted not for allegations of crime but for pursuing political and economic equality. Dozens of black sugar cane workers were lynched in Thibodaux, Louisiana, in 1887 for striking to protest low wages. In 1884, after Calvin Mike cast a vote in Calhoun County, Georgia, a white mob attacked and burned his home, killing his elderly mother and his two young daughters, Emma and Lillie.

Reverend T. A. Allen was lynched in Hernando, Mississippi, in 1935 for organizing local sharecroppers. According to press coverage, Rev. Allen—known to wear a button that read “Every Man a King”—was shot through the heart; his body was found chained and floating in the Coldwater River.

Others were lynched for refusing to address a white man as “sir” or demanding to be served at the counter in a segregated soda shop. William Brooks was lynched in Palestine, Arkansas, in 1894 for asking to marry his white employer’s daughter. In Labelle, Florida, in 1926, Henry Patterson was lynched for “attempting to assault” a white woman; soon after his death, news spread that his “offense” had actually been asking for a drink of water.

Hundreds more black people were lynched on allegations of arson, robbery, non-sexual assault, and vagrancy. Reporting on the lynching of a black man in Millersburg, Ohio, in 1892, an Indiana newspaper explained:

He had lingered about people’s doorsteps and annoyed them in various ways. There are supposed to be no Negroes in Holmes County. Nothing is known of the victim’s history, not even his name. He was said to be the only Negro in the county.
In 1930, a 65-year-old black woman named Laura Wood was hanged with a plow chain in Barber, North Carolina, for allegedly stealing a ham. After an overcoat went missing from a hotel in Tifton, Georgia, in 1900, police whipped two black men to death while “interrogating” them in the woods; newspapers did not report their names. In a strictly maintained racial caste system, white lives and white property held heightened value, while the lives of black people held little or none.
Efforts to pass federal anti-lynching legislation repeatedly failed, largely due to concerted opposition by Southern elected officials. Due to this federal inaction and local indifference, only 1 percent of lynchings committed after 1900 led to a criminal conviction.

Facing the constant threat of attack, nearly 6 million black Americans fled the South between 1910 and 1970 as traumatized refugees, abandoning homes, families, and work in hopes of escaping racial terror. When parts of Georgia experienced a mass black exodus after gruesome lynchings in 1915 and 1916, the local planters “attributed the movement from their places to the fact that the lynching parties had terrorized their Negroes.” Lynching profoundly reshaped the American landscape and burdened already vulnerable communities with pain and disadvantage still with them today.

Importantly, these lynchings were not isolated hate crimes committed by rogue vigilantes; they were targeted racial violence perpetrated to uphold an unjust social order. Lynchings were terrorism. This violence left thousands dead; significantly marginalized black people politically, financially, and socially; and inflicted deep trauma on the entire African American community. White people who witnessed, participated in, and socialized their children in a culture that tolerated gruesome lynchings also were psychologically damaged. State officials’ tolerance of lynching created enduring national and institutional wounds that survived to oppose the goals of the civil rights movement and modern calls for equality.

Jars containing soil from the sites of confirmed lynchings in the state of Alabama are displayed at the Equal Justice Initiative offices.

Many lynchings occurred in communities where African Americans remain marginalized, disproportionately poor, over represented in prisons and jails, and underrepresented as decision-makers in the criminal justice system. The racial terror epilogue to slavery grafted onto the racial hierarchy narrative a presumption of guilt and dangerousness, and entrenched white power structures soon adopted rhetoric defending racialized vigilante violence as necessary to protect white property, families, and the Southern way of life from black “criminals.”

The persistent presumption of guilt and dangerousness assigned to African Americans has made minority communities particularly susceptible to the unfair administration of criminal justice. Research demonstrates that implicit bias impacts policing—marking young men of color for disparately frequent stops, searches, and violence—and all aspects of the criminal justice system, leading to higher rates of childhood suspension, expulsion, and arrest at school; disproportionate contact with the juvenile justice system; harsher charging decisions and disadvantaged plea negotiations; a greater likelihood of being denied bail and diversion; an increased risk of wrongful convictions and unfair sentences; and higher rates of probation and parole revocation.

Research has also shown that racial prejudice is directly related to public support for “tough on crime” laws that lead to long sentences and mass incarceration. So deeply entrenched is the presumption that people of color are dangerous and guilty that, according to a 2014 study, informing white Americans’ about racial disparities in incarceration rates led to more fear of crime and more support for punitive criminal justice policies.

Lynchings were not isolated hate crimes committed by rogue vigilantes; they were targeted racial violence perpetrated to uphold an unjust social order.​


Perhaps the clearest intersection between the history of racial terror lynching and modern criminal law is seen in the death penalty. As lynching attracted national and international condemnation after the 1920s, capital punishment became a more acceptable means of achieving the same ends. Many defendants of the era learned that replacing a lynching with a death sentence did little to achieve a fair trial, a reliable conviction, or a just sentence.

In Sumterville, Florida, in 1902, after a black man named Henry Wilson was convicted of murder after a trial lasting just two hours and 40 minutes, the judge promised the mob of armed white men filling the courtroom that the ordered death sentence would be carried out by public hanging—though that violated state law. When the execution was set for a later date, the mob threatened vigilante action. In response, Florida officials quickly moved up the date, authorized Wilson to be hanged before a jeering mob, and congratulated themselves on the “avoided” lynching.

By 1915, court-ordered executions outpaced lynchings in the former slave states for the first time. Between 1910 and 1950, African Americans fell to just 22 percent of the South’s population but constituted 75 percent of those executed in the region. More than 80 percent of documented lynchings in America between 1889 and 1918 occurred in the South, and more than 80 percent of the nearly 1,400 legal executions carried out in this country since 1976 have also been in the South.

Modern death sentences are disproportionately meted out to African Americans accused of crimes against white victims; efforts to combat racial bias and create federal protection against racial bias in the administration of the death penalty remain thwarted by familiar appeals to the rhetoric of states’ rights; and regional data demonstrates that the modern death penalty in America mirrors racial violence of the past.

The bold and unpunished deaths of black men, women, and children deemed dangerous—like Trayvon Martin in Florida; Philando Castile in Minnesota; Tamir Rice and Samuel DuBose in Ohio; Alton Sterling in Louisiana; Sandra Bland in Texas; Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland; and many, many more—continue to demonstrate the fatal consequences of a racialized presumption of guilt permitted to fester for more than a century. The trauma borne by Anthony Ray Hinton and countless more men and women condemned to death only to be exonerated many years later reveals the arrogance of a judicial system built on a history of injustice but still confident in its ability to fairly and justly judge who should live and who should die.

Chattel slavery in the United States required manufacturing a myth of racial difference to justify the brutal practice of buying and selling African men, women, and children as property. The inhumanity of slavery was largely intolerable unless there was a narrative that enslaved people were not really people. The military battles and legal developments that led to the abolition of slavery did nothing to undo that project of dehumanization, and those same ideas survived to justify racial terror lynching through the criminalization of black identity. Today, dehumanization and the fear of the “black criminal” remain at the core of our national acceptance of a prison system that cages and warehouses millions of people of all backgrounds. The impact of American mass incarceration is felt far beyond the black community, but the black community and its history illustrate the roots of this crisis—and potentially a path out.

After nearly 30 years advocating on behalf of the condemned and incarcerated in the Deep South, we at the Equal Justice Initiative believe that telling the truth of the slave trade, racial terror lynching, Jim Crow segregation, and mass incarceration can free us from the division and conflict that have grown out of centuries of euphemism and avoidance. We believe that bravely committing to this effort can set our community on the path to the honest reflection that will uproot and expose these poisons, and that this work cannot be relegated to the courtroom.

To that end, in April 2018, the Equal Justice Initiative opened two new sites in Montgomery, Alabama: The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, which presents an interactive and digital narrative exhibit linking the trauma of slavery to modern-day challenges in criminal justice; and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the nation’s first memorial to the victims of racial terror lynching. Together, these spaces challenge each one of us to confront a difficult history and commit to creating a more just and peaceful future. We encourage and welcome all to visit.

Anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells once wrote, “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” The museum and memorial strive to further the work of so many activists and advocates, past and present, striving to eradicate the roots of racism and inequality—and working to make that achievement lynching’s final legacy.

Jennifer Rae Taylor is a senior attorney at the Equal Justice Initiative.
 
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This article summarizes the research conducted at Harvard in order to undercover the reasons by so many black people in the state of Massachusetts were in prison. Their results are not surprising to any black person, however the most important thing about this research is that they have the data to backup their conclusions


It wasn’t Black-on-Black crime. Violent video games and rap songs had nothing to do with it; nor did poverty, education, two-parent homes or the international “bootstraps” shortage. When a judge tasked researchers with explaining why Massachusetts’ Black and Latinx incarceration was so high, a four-year study came up with one conclusion.​
Racism.​
It was always racism.​
According to 2016 data from the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission, 655 of every 100,000 Black people in Massachusetts are in prison. Meanwhile, the state locks up 82 of its white citizens for every 100,000 who reside in the state. While an eight-to-one racial disparity might seem like a lot for one criminal justice system, nationwide, African Americans are imprisoned at almost six times the rate of white people. So, in 2016, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants asked Harvard researchers to “take a hard look at how we can better fulfill our promise to provide equal justice for every litigant.”​
After gathering the raw numbers from nearly every government agency in the state’s criminal justice system, examining the data, and researching the disparate outcomes, Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program found that Black incarcerees received more severe charges, harsher sentences and less favorable outcomes than their white counterparts. They looked at more than a million cases, from the initial charges through the conviction and sentencing, and discovered disparities that could not be explained by logic or reason.​
“White people make up roughly 74% of the Massachusetts population while accounting for 58.7% of cases in our data,” the study explained. “Meanwhile, Black people make up just 6.5% of the Massachusetts population and account for 17.1% of cases.”​
Of course, that could only mean that Black people commit much more crime, right?​
Nope.​
OK, then maybe Black people commit worse crimes.​
That wasn’t it.​
What they found is the criminal justice system is unequal on every level. Cops in the state are more likely to stop Black drivers. Police are more likely to search or investigate Black residents. Law enforcement agents charge Black suspects with infractions that carry worse penalties. Prosecutors are less likely to offer Black suspects plea bargains or pre-trial intervention. Judges sentence Black defendants to longer terms in prison. And get this: The average white felon in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections has committed a more severe crime than the average Black inmate.​
The study, “Racial Disparities in the Massachusetts Criminal System” (pdf) unearthed a number of factors that contribute to these significant disparities, including:​
  • It’s not that Black people are criminals: It’s that the cops think Black people are criminals: For instance, despite making up only 24 percent of Boston’s population, Black people made up 63 percent of the civilians who were interrogated, stopped, frisked or searched by the BPD between 2007 and 2010. According to the researchers, this suggests “that the disparity in searches was more consistent with racial bias than with differences in criminal conduct.”
  • Black suspects don’t get bail: The average bail is slightly higher in cases involving Black defendants. Furthermore, more Black and Latinx defendants are detained without bail as compared to white defendants.
  • Black people are charged with higher offenses: But curiously, when they get to court, Black defendants are convicted of charges roughly equal in seriousness to their White counterparts despite facing more serious initial charges.
  • There are actually two separate systems: The study notes that prosecutors are more likely to exercise their discretion to send Black and Latinx people “to Superior Court where the available sentences are longer.”
  • And separate sentences: If you’re Black and charged with crimes carrying a mandatory minimum, you are substantially more likely to be incarcerated and receive a longer sentence.
  • Especially if they find drugs or guns on you: Black and Latinx people charged with drug offenses and weapons offenses are more likely to be incarcerated and receive longer incarceration sentences than white people charged with similar offenses
  • Sentencing length: The average Black person’s sentence is 168 days longer than a sentence for a white person. Even when the researchers controlled for criminal history, jurisdiction, and neighborhood, they concluded: “[R]acial disparities in sentence length cannot solely be explained by the contextual factors that we consider and permeate the entire criminal justice process.”
The researchers even looked at poverty rates, the family structures of convicted felons and the neighborhoods they lived in. They eventually decided that the only reasonable explanation that explained the disparities was racism.​
One of the more interesting parts of the report juxtaposed people who possessed illegal firearms with people arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI). They reasoned that both acts are potentially dangerous but statistics show that driving under the influence actually causes much more harm to the public than simply carrying an unlicensed firearm. But, because white people make up 82 percent of people who are convicted of OUI, the state considers operating under the influence as a “public health problem,” so the charge is often resolved without a felony conviction. In fact, 77 percent of the people who don’t end up with a felony conviction after admitting that they operated a vehicle under the influence are white.​
However, despite Black defendants making up 16.4 percent of firearm cases in 2012, 46 percent of the people convicted of a firearm offense was Black. And 70.3 percent of the time, the Black person’s only offense was carrying a firearm without a license.​
Read the rest of the article here:​

Sometimes the issues here are more complex.

Why do the police think black people are criminals?

Is it that black people are more likely to be aggressive, criminal and all black people then people go with the stereotype?

Or is it that white people want to keep black people down and as such the system turns them into criminals?

Sometimes with these things you have to look at both sides, rather than assuming one and ignoring the other.
Then stop doing it. We live as black people and the factual history of this country shows that whites are more aggressive and criminal. So for police to think otherwise can't be based on anything but racism.
 

IM2

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Or is it that white people want to keep black people down and as such the system turns them into criminals?
Correct and this is how they did it
A History of Tolerance for Violence Has Laid the Groundwork for Injustice Today
We are living in America’s era of mass incarceration. With just 5 percent of the world’s population, this nation holds 25 percent of the world’s prisoners—and many more people impacted by its crime policies. More than 2.1 million Americans are incarcerated in jails and prisons, up from less than 200,000 in 1972, while over 4.6 million more are on probation or parole. These numbers are not faceless. African Americans make up about 13 percent of the nation’s population, but constitute 28 percent of all arrests, 40 percent of the incarcerated, and 42 percent of those on death row. African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are all more likely to be arrested, jailed awaiting trial, and sentenced to jail or prison when compared to white Americans. Perhaps the starkest statistic, recent data predicted one of every three black boys, and one of six Latino boys, born in 2001 would go to jail or prison within their lifetimes if current trends continue.

In some ways, these statistics outline a contemporary problem—but the challenges they describe are legacies of systems much older and deeper. The same judgments about criminality, race, and control that led one Mississippi official in 1865 to remark, “Emancipation will require a system of prisons,” still color our political discourse and policy outcomes. And the widespread yet largely unknown story of racial terror lynching continues to shape our lives.

View attachment 490368

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to the thousands of people killed in racist lynchings

The experiences of African Americans murdered and terrorized by mob violence for generations between Emancipation and the struggle for civil rights, alongside the virtual inaction of local and federal law enforcement and lawmakers, lay the groundwork for the inequality and injustice we face today. Understanding the current system’s roots in racism and dehumanization is critical to extracting the problem and growing something better.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 12 million African people were kidnapped, chained, and brought to the Americas after a torturous journey across the Atlantic Ocean. In the United States, the labor of enslaved black people fueled economic growth, while an ideology of white supremacy and racial difference was created to justify slavery as morally acceptable. In the nineteenth century, a thriving plantation economy and forcible taking of land from Native people increased demand for enslaved labor and, through the domestic slave trade, the South’s enslaved population rose dramatically.

After the South’s defeat in a bloody Civil War, the nation adopted the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery “except as punishment for crime,” while leaving intact a bitter resistance to racial equality. Continued support for white supremacy and racial hierarchy meant that slavery in America did not end—it evolved. The identities of many white Americans, especially in the South, were grounded in the belief that they were inherently superior to African Americans. Many white people reacted violently to the requirement to treat their former “human property” as equals and pay for their labor. In the first two years after the war, thousands of black people were murdered for asserting freedom or basic rights; cities like Memphis and New Orleans were sites of violent mob attacks on black communities.

Between 1868 and 1871, a wave of terror swept across the South, resulting in the deaths of thousands of African Americans—some killed merely for failing to obey a white person. Congressional efforts to provide federal protection and civil rights to formerly enslaved black people were undermined by the United States Supreme Court’s rulings in cases like The Slaughterhouse Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1872); United States v. Reese, 92 U.S. 214 (1875); and United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876). Soon, Northern politicians retreated from a commitment to protect black people and Reconstruction collapsed. In 1877, federal troops were removed from the region and white Southerners used their regained power to bar black people from voting; legalize racial segregation; and create an exploitative economic system of sharecropping and tenant farming that would keep African Americans indentured and poor for generations.

Convict leasing—a horrific system in which black people were convicted of crimes under discriminatory “Black Code” laws and then leased to private businesses to labor under inhuman conditions for state profit—created a new kind of bondage some scholars have described as “worse than slavery.” At the same time, Jim Crow and racial integrity laws prohibited social interactions between people of different races, especially black men and white women. Lynching soon emerged as a primary tool to enforce racial hierarchy and oppression while terrorizing black people into accepting abusive mistreatment and subordination. Federal, state, and local governments largely tolerated these terrorist acts.

Often committed in broad daylight and sometimes “on the courthouse lawn,” racial terror lynchings were directly tied to the history of enslavement and the re-establishment of white supremacy after the Civil War. These lynchings were also distinct from hangings and mob violence committed against white people because they were intended to terrorize entire black communities and enforce racial hierarchy. Unlike frontier justice in the West, racial terror lynchings generally took place in communities with functioning criminal courts—viewed as too good for African Americans. Despite its lawlessness and terrifying unpredictability, lynching was sanctioned by law enforcement and elected officials, and the perpetrators acted boldly and with impunity. Victims were sometimes publicly tortured for hours before their brutalized bodies were left out on display to traumatize other black people. Members of the mob frequently documented their atrocities by posing for photographs with a dangling, bloodied, or burnt corpse.

Most of the more than 4,400 documented victims of racial terror lynching killed between 1877 and 1950 were killed in the 12 Southern states; Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana were among the deadliest. Several hundred additional victims were lynched in other regions, with the highest numbers in Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, and West Virginia. Many more victims were undocumented and remain unknown. This brutality continued into the twentieth century, and national leaders and mainstream media outlets quickly learned to use white supremacist views and pro-lynching rhetoric for political gain. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt declared, “the greatest existing cause of lynching is the perpetration, especially by black men, of the hideous crime of rape.” An editorial in the Memphis Avalanche Appeal advised, “Let [the black man] keep his hands off white women and lynching will soon die out.”

“[If] it requires lynching to protect women’s dearest possession from ravening, drunken human beasts,” white women’s rights activist Rebecca Felton wrote in the Atlanta Journal in 1898, “then I say lynch a thousand a week if necessary.”

Sexual violence became the most common justification for deadly vigilante violence targeting black men and terrorizing black communities. In fact, fewer than 25 percent of documented African American lynching victims were accused of sexual assault and less than 30 percent were accused of murder. Because African Americans were presumed guilty and dangerous, accusations lodged against them were rarely scrutinized; nearly all were lynched without an investigation, much less a trial. Shortly after Reuben Sims was lynched for assaulting a white woman in Baldwin County, Alabama, in 1904, the local sheriff admitted he was innocent but nonetheless refused to arrest any members of the lynch mob.

When 17-year-old Henry Smith was accused of killing a white girl in Paris, Texas, in 1893, he was quickly captured and condemned without trial or investigation. On February 1, a mob of 10,000 people gathered from across the state to watch as Henry was paraded through town on a carnival float, forced onto a 10-foot-high platform at the county fairgrounds, brutally tortured for nearly an hour, and then burned alive. “Caucasian Vengeance for African Barbarity,” declared a Fort Worth Daily Gazette headline above an article describing the fate of the “Animal Form of Rapist-Murderer-Savage-Fiendish Negro, Henry Smith.”

In common but much-less-publicized incidents, lynching victims were targeted not for allegations of crime but for pursuing political and economic equality. Dozens of black sugar cane workers were lynched in Thibodaux, Louisiana, in 1887 for striking to protest low wages. In 1884, after Calvin Mike cast a vote in Calhoun County, Georgia, a white mob attacked and burned his home, killing his elderly mother and his two young daughters, Emma and Lillie.

Reverend T. A. Allen was lynched in Hernando, Mississippi, in 1935 for organizing local sharecroppers. According to press coverage, Rev. Allen—known to wear a button that read “Every Man a King”—was shot through the heart; his body was found chained and floating in the Coldwater River.

Others were lynched for refusing to address a white man as “sir” or demanding to be served at the counter in a segregated soda shop. William Brooks was lynched in Palestine, Arkansas, in 1894 for asking to marry his white employer’s daughter. In Labelle, Florida, in 1926, Henry Patterson was lynched for “attempting to assault” a white woman; soon after his death, news spread that his “offense” had actually been asking for a drink of water.

Hundreds more black people were lynched on allegations of arson, robbery, non-sexual assault, and vagrancy. Reporting on the lynching of a black man in Millersburg, Ohio, in 1892, an Indiana newspaper explained:

He had lingered about people’s doorsteps and annoyed them in various ways. There are supposed to be no Negroes in Holmes County. Nothing is known of the victim’s history, not even his name. He was said to be the only Negro in the county.
In 1930, a 65-year-old black woman named Laura Wood was hanged with a plow chain in Barber, North Carolina, for allegedly stealing a ham. After an overcoat went missing from a hotel in Tifton, Georgia, in 1900, police whipped two black men to death while “interrogating” them in the woods; newspapers did not report their names. In a strictly maintained racial caste system, white lives and white property held heightened value, while the lives of black people held little or none.
Efforts to pass federal anti-lynching legislation repeatedly failed, largely due to concerted opposition by Southern elected officials. Due to this federal inaction and local indifference, only 1 percent of lynchings committed after 1900 led to a criminal conviction.

Facing the constant threat of attack, nearly 6 million black Americans fled the South between 1910 and 1970 as traumatized refugees, abandoning homes, families, and work in hopes of escaping racial terror. When parts of Georgia experienced a mass black exodus after gruesome lynchings in 1915 and 1916, the local planters “attributed the movement from their places to the fact that the lynching parties had terrorized their Negroes.” Lynching profoundly reshaped the American landscape and burdened already vulnerable communities with pain and disadvantage still with them today.

Importantly, these lynchings were not isolated hate crimes committed by rogue vigilantes; they were targeted racial violence perpetrated to uphold an unjust social order. Lynchings were terrorism. This violence left thousands dead; significantly marginalized black people politically, financially, and socially; and inflicted deep trauma on the entire African American community. White people who witnessed, participated in, and socialized their children in a culture that tolerated gruesome lynchings also were psychologically damaged. State officials’ tolerance of lynching created enduring national and institutional wounds that survived to oppose the goals of the civil rights movement and modern calls for equality.

Jars containing soil from the sites of confirmed lynchings in the state of Alabama are displayed at the Equal Justice Initiative offices.

Many lynchings occurred in communities where African Americans remain marginalized, disproportionately poor, over represented in prisons and jails, and underrepresented as decision-makers in the criminal justice system. The racial terror epilogue to slavery grafted onto the racial hierarchy narrative a presumption of guilt and dangerousness, and entrenched white power structures soon adopted rhetoric defending racialized vigilante violence as necessary to protect white property, families, and the Southern way of life from black “criminals.”

The persistent presumption of guilt and dangerousness assigned to African Americans has made minority communities particularly susceptible to the unfair administration of criminal justice. Research demonstrates that implicit bias impacts policing—marking young men of color for disparately frequent stops, searches, and violence—and all aspects of the criminal justice system, leading to higher rates of childhood suspension, expulsion, and arrest at school; disproportionate contact with the juvenile justice system; harsher charging decisions and disadvantaged plea negotiations; a greater likelihood of being denied bail and diversion; an increased risk of wrongful convictions and unfair sentences; and higher rates of probation and parole revocation.

Research has also shown that racial prejudice is directly related to public support for “tough on crime” laws that lead to long sentences and mass incarceration. So deeply entrenched is the presumption that people of color are dangerous and guilty that, according to a 2014 study, informing white Americans’ about racial disparities in incarceration rates led to more fear of crime and more support for punitive criminal justice policies.

Lynchings were not isolated hate crimes committed by rogue vigilantes; they were targeted racial violence perpetrated to uphold an unjust social order.​


Perhaps the clearest intersection between the history of racial terror lynching and modern criminal law is seen in the death penalty. As lynching attracted national and international condemnation after the 1920s, capital punishment became a more acceptable means of achieving the same ends. Many defendants of the era learned that replacing a lynching with a death sentence did little to achieve a fair trial, a reliable conviction, or a just sentence.

In Sumterville, Florida, in 1902, after a black man named Henry Wilson was convicted of murder after a trial lasting just two hours and 40 minutes, the judge promised the mob of armed white men filling the courtroom that the ordered death sentence would be carried out by public hanging—though that violated state law. When the execution was set for a later date, the mob threatened vigilante action. In response, Florida officials quickly moved up the date, authorized Wilson to be hanged before a jeering mob, and congratulated themselves on the “avoided” lynching.

By 1915, court-ordered executions outpaced lynchings in the former slave states for the first time. Between 1910 and 1950, African Americans fell to just 22 percent of the South’s population but constituted 75 percent of those executed in the region. More than 80 percent of documented lynchings in America between 1889 and 1918 occurred in the South, and more than 80 percent of the nearly 1,400 legal executions carried out in this country since 1976 have also been in the South.

Modern death sentences are disproportionately meted out to African Americans accused of crimes against white victims; efforts to combat racial bias and create federal protection against racial bias in the administration of the death penalty remain thwarted by familiar appeals to the rhetoric of states’ rights; and regional data demonstrates that the modern death penalty in America mirrors racial violence of the past.

The bold and unpunished deaths of black men, women, and children deemed dangerous—like Trayvon Martin in Florida; Philando Castile in Minnesota; Tamir Rice and Samuel DuBose in Ohio; Alton Sterling in Louisiana; Sandra Bland in Texas; Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland; and many, many more—continue to demonstrate the fatal consequences of a racialized presumption of guilt permitted to fester for more than a century. The trauma borne by Anthony Ray Hinton and countless more men and women condemned to death only to be exonerated many years later reveals the arrogance of a judicial system built on a history of injustice but still confident in its ability to fairly and justly judge who should live and who should die.

Chattel slavery in the United States required manufacturing a myth of racial difference to justify the brutal practice of buying and selling African men, women, and children as property. The inhumanity of slavery was largely intolerable unless there was a narrative that enslaved people were not really people. The military battles and legal developments that led to the abolition of slavery did nothing to undo that project of dehumanization, and those same ideas survived to justify racial terror lynching through the criminalization of black identity. Today, dehumanization and the fear of the “black criminal” remain at the core of our national acceptance of a prison system that cages and warehouses millions of people of all backgrounds. The impact of American mass incarceration is felt far beyond the black community, but the black community and its history illustrate the roots of this crisis—and potentially a path out.

After nearly 30 years advocating on behalf of the condemned and incarcerated in the Deep South, we at the Equal Justice Initiative believe that telling the truth of the slave trade, racial terror lynching, Jim Crow segregation, and mass incarceration can free us from the division and conflict that have grown out of centuries of euphemism and avoidance. We believe that bravely committing to this effort can set our community on the path to the honest reflection that will uproot and expose these poisons, and that this work cannot be relegated to the courtroom.

To that end, in April 2018, the Equal Justice Initiative opened two new sites in Montgomery, Alabama: The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, which presents an interactive and digital narrative exhibit linking the trauma of slavery to modern-day challenges in criminal justice; and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the nation’s first memorial to the victims of racial terror lynching. Together, these spaces challenge each one of us to confront a difficult history and commit to creating a more just and peaceful future. We encourage and welcome all to visit.

Anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells once wrote, “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” The museum and memorial strive to further the work of so many activists and advocates, past and present, striving to eradicate the roots of racism and inequality—and working to make that achievement lynching’s final legacy.

Jennifer Rae Taylor is a senior attorney at the Equal Justice Initiative.
TEACH!
 

IM2

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Maybe they could stop punching whites and asians in the back of the head, if they want to stay out of prison.

Then there's carjacking, home invasion and robberies. Just stop it if you dont want to go to prison
Normal thinking Americans know why there Are so many Black Americans in prison.

And, it's not the reason these so called Leftist expert say.
Since we are black, we know it's the reason.
 

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Or is it that white people want to keep black people down and as such the system turns them into criminals?
Correct and this is how they did it
A History of Tolerance for Violence Has Laid the Groundwork for Injustice Today
We are living in America’s era of mass incarceration. With just 5 percent of the world’s population, this nation holds 25 percent of the world’s prisoners—and many more people impacted by its crime policies. More than 2.1 million Americans are incarcerated in jails and prisons, up from less than 200,000 in 1972, while over 4.6 million more are on probation or parole. These numbers are not faceless. African Americans make up about 13 percent of the nation’s population, but constitute 28 percent of all arrests, 40 percent of the incarcerated, and 42 percent of those on death row. African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are all more likely to be arrested, jailed awaiting trial, and sentenced to jail or prison when compared to white Americans. Perhaps the starkest statistic, recent data predicted one of every three black boys, and one of six Latino boys, born in 2001 would go to jail or prison within their lifetimes if current trends continue.

In some ways, these statistics outline a contemporary problem—but the challenges they describe are legacies of systems much older and deeper. The same judgments about criminality, race, and control that led one Mississippi official in 1865 to remark, “Emancipation will require a system of prisons,” still color our political discourse and policy outcomes. And the widespread yet largely unknown story of racial terror lynching continues to shape our lives.

View attachment 490368

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to the thousands of people killed in racist lynchings

The experiences of African Americans murdered and terrorized by mob violence for generations between Emancipation and the struggle for civil rights, alongside the virtual inaction of local and federal law enforcement and lawmakers, lay the groundwork for the inequality and injustice we face today. Understanding the current system’s roots in racism and dehumanization is critical to extracting the problem and growing something better.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 12 million African people were kidnapped, chained, and brought to the Americas after a torturous journey across the Atlantic Ocean. In the United States, the labor of enslaved black people fueled economic growth, while an ideology of white supremacy and racial difference was created to justify slavery as morally acceptable. In the nineteenth century, a thriving plantation economy and forcible taking of land from Native people increased demand for enslaved labor and, through the domestic slave trade, the South’s enslaved population rose dramatically.

After the South’s defeat in a bloody Civil War, the nation adopted the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery “except as punishment for crime,” while leaving intact a bitter resistance to racial equality. Continued support for white supremacy and racial hierarchy meant that slavery in America did not end—it evolved. The identities of many white Americans, especially in the South, were grounded in the belief that they were inherently superior to African Americans. Many white people reacted violently to the requirement to treat their former “human property” as equals and pay for their labor. In the first two years after the war, thousands of black people were murdered for asserting freedom or basic rights; cities like Memphis and New Orleans were sites of violent mob attacks on black communities.

Between 1868 and 1871, a wave of terror swept across the South, resulting in the deaths of thousands of African Americans—some killed merely for failing to obey a white person. Congressional efforts to provide federal protection and civil rights to formerly enslaved black people were undermined by the United States Supreme Court’s rulings in cases like The Slaughterhouse Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1872); United States v. Reese, 92 U.S. 214 (1875); and United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876). Soon, Northern politicians retreated from a commitment to protect black people and Reconstruction collapsed. In 1877, federal troops were removed from the region and white Southerners used their regained power to bar black people from voting; legalize racial segregation; and create an exploitative economic system of sharecropping and tenant farming that would keep African Americans indentured and poor for generations.

Convict leasing—a horrific system in which black people were convicted of crimes under discriminatory “Black Code” laws and then leased to private businesses to labor under inhuman conditions for state profit—created a new kind of bondage some scholars have described as “worse than slavery.” At the same time, Jim Crow and racial integrity laws prohibited social interactions between people of different races, especially black men and white women. Lynching soon emerged as a primary tool to enforce racial hierarchy and oppression while terrorizing black people into accepting abusive mistreatment and subordination. Federal, state, and local governments largely tolerated these terrorist acts.

Often committed in broad daylight and sometimes “on the courthouse lawn,” racial terror lynchings were directly tied to the history of enslavement and the re-establishment of white supremacy after the Civil War. These lynchings were also distinct from hangings and mob violence committed against white people because they were intended to terrorize entire black communities and enforce racial hierarchy. Unlike frontier justice in the West, racial terror lynchings generally took place in communities with functioning criminal courts—viewed as too good for African Americans. Despite its lawlessness and terrifying unpredictability, lynching was sanctioned by law enforcement and elected officials, and the perpetrators acted boldly and with impunity. Victims were sometimes publicly tortured for hours before their brutalized bodies were left out on display to traumatize other black people. Members of the mob frequently documented their atrocities by posing for photographs with a dangling, bloodied, or burnt corpse.

Most of the more than 4,400 documented victims of racial terror lynching killed between 1877 and 1950 were killed in the 12 Southern states; Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana were among the deadliest. Several hundred additional victims were lynched in other regions, with the highest numbers in Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, and West Virginia. Many more victims were undocumented and remain unknown. This brutality continued into the twentieth century, and national leaders and mainstream media outlets quickly learned to use white supremacist views and pro-lynching rhetoric for political gain. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt declared, “the greatest existing cause of lynching is the perpetration, especially by black men, of the hideous crime of rape.” An editorial in the Memphis Avalanche Appeal advised, “Let [the black man] keep his hands off white women and lynching will soon die out.”

“[If] it requires lynching to protect women’s dearest possession from ravening, drunken human beasts,” white women’s rights activist Rebecca Felton wrote in the Atlanta Journal in 1898, “then I say lynch a thousand a week if necessary.”

Sexual violence became the most common justification for deadly vigilante violence targeting black men and terrorizing black communities. In fact, fewer than 25 percent of documented African American lynching victims were accused of sexual assault and less than 30 percent were accused of murder. Because African Americans were presumed guilty and dangerous, accusations lodged against them were rarely scrutinized; nearly all were lynched without an investigation, much less a trial. Shortly after Reuben Sims was lynched for assaulting a white woman in Baldwin County, Alabama, in 1904, the local sheriff admitted he was innocent but nonetheless refused to arrest any members of the lynch mob.

When 17-year-old Henry Smith was accused of killing a white girl in Paris, Texas, in 1893, he was quickly captured and condemned without trial or investigation. On February 1, a mob of 10,000 people gathered from across the state to watch as Henry was paraded through town on a carnival float, forced onto a 10-foot-high platform at the county fairgrounds, brutally tortured for nearly an hour, and then burned alive. “Caucasian Vengeance for African Barbarity,” declared a Fort Worth Daily Gazette headline above an article describing the fate of the “Animal Form of Rapist-Murderer-Savage-Fiendish Negro, Henry Smith.”

In common but much-less-publicized incidents, lynching victims were targeted not for allegations of crime but for pursuing political and economic equality. Dozens of black sugar cane workers were lynched in Thibodaux, Louisiana, in 1887 for striking to protest low wages. In 1884, after Calvin Mike cast a vote in Calhoun County, Georgia, a white mob attacked and burned his home, killing his elderly mother and his two young daughters, Emma and Lillie.

Reverend T. A. Allen was lynched in Hernando, Mississippi, in 1935 for organizing local sharecroppers. According to press coverage, Rev. Allen—known to wear a button that read “Every Man a King”—was shot through the heart; his body was found chained and floating in the Coldwater River.

Others were lynched for refusing to address a white man as “sir” or demanding to be served at the counter in a segregated soda shop. William Brooks was lynched in Palestine, Arkansas, in 1894 for asking to marry his white employer’s daughter. In Labelle, Florida, in 1926, Henry Patterson was lynched for “attempting to assault” a white woman; soon after his death, news spread that his “offense” had actually been asking for a drink of water.

Hundreds more black people were lynched on allegations of arson, robbery, non-sexual assault, and vagrancy. Reporting on the lynching of a black man in Millersburg, Ohio, in 1892, an Indiana newspaper explained:

He had lingered about people’s doorsteps and annoyed them in various ways. There are supposed to be no Negroes in Holmes County. Nothing is known of the victim’s history, not even his name. He was said to be the only Negro in the county.
In 1930, a 65-year-old black woman named Laura Wood was hanged with a plow chain in Barber, North Carolina, for allegedly stealing a ham. After an overcoat went missing from a hotel in Tifton, Georgia, in 1900, police whipped two black men to death while “interrogating” them in the woods; newspapers did not report their names. In a strictly maintained racial caste system, white lives and white property held heightened value, while the lives of black people held little or none.
Efforts to pass federal anti-lynching legislation repeatedly failed, largely due to concerted opposition by Southern elected officials. Due to this federal inaction and local indifference, only 1 percent of lynchings committed after 1900 led to a criminal conviction.

Facing the constant threat of attack, nearly 6 million black Americans fled the South between 1910 and 1970 as traumatized refugees, abandoning homes, families, and work in hopes of escaping racial terror. When parts of Georgia experienced a mass black exodus after gruesome lynchings in 1915 and 1916, the local planters “attributed the movement from their places to the fact that the lynching parties had terrorized their Negroes.” Lynching profoundly reshaped the American landscape and burdened already vulnerable communities with pain and disadvantage still with them today.

Importantly, these lynchings were not isolated hate crimes committed by rogue vigilantes; they were targeted racial violence perpetrated to uphold an unjust social order. Lynchings were terrorism. This violence left thousands dead; significantly marginalized black people politically, financially, and socially; and inflicted deep trauma on the entire African American community. White people who witnessed, participated in, and socialized their children in a culture that tolerated gruesome lynchings also were psychologically damaged. State officials’ tolerance of lynching created enduring national and institutional wounds that survived to oppose the goals of the civil rights movement and modern calls for equality.

Jars containing soil from the sites of confirmed lynchings in the state of Alabama are displayed at the Equal Justice Initiative offices.

Many lynchings occurred in communities where African Americans remain marginalized, disproportionately poor, over represented in prisons and jails, and underrepresented as decision-makers in the criminal justice system. The racial terror epilogue to slavery grafted onto the racial hierarchy narrative a presumption of guilt and dangerousness, and entrenched white power structures soon adopted rhetoric defending racialized vigilante violence as necessary to protect white property, families, and the Southern way of life from black “criminals.”

The persistent presumption of guilt and dangerousness assigned to African Americans has made minority communities particularly susceptible to the unfair administration of criminal justice. Research demonstrates that implicit bias impacts policing—marking young men of color for disparately frequent stops, searches, and violence—and all aspects of the criminal justice system, leading to higher rates of childhood suspension, expulsion, and arrest at school; disproportionate contact with the juvenile justice system; harsher charging decisions and disadvantaged plea negotiations; a greater likelihood of being denied bail and diversion; an increased risk of wrongful convictions and unfair sentences; and higher rates of probation and parole revocation.

Research has also shown that racial prejudice is directly related to public support for “tough on crime” laws that lead to long sentences and mass incarceration. So deeply entrenched is the presumption that people of color are dangerous and guilty that, according to a 2014 study, informing white Americans’ about racial disparities in incarceration rates led to more fear of crime and more support for punitive criminal justice policies.

Lynchings were not isolated hate crimes committed by rogue vigilantes; they were targeted racial violence perpetrated to uphold an unjust social order.​


Perhaps the clearest intersection between the history of racial terror lynching and modern criminal law is seen in the death penalty. As lynching attracted national and international condemnation after the 1920s, capital punishment became a more acceptable means of achieving the same ends. Many defendants of the era learned that replacing a lynching with a death sentence did little to achieve a fair trial, a reliable conviction, or a just sentence.

In Sumterville, Florida, in 1902, after a black man named Henry Wilson was convicted of murder after a trial lasting just two hours and 40 minutes, the judge promised the mob of armed white men filling the courtroom that the ordered death sentence would be carried out by public hanging—though that violated state law. When the execution was set for a later date, the mob threatened vigilante action. In response, Florida officials quickly moved up the date, authorized Wilson to be hanged before a jeering mob, and congratulated themselves on the “avoided” lynching.

By 1915, court-ordered executions outpaced lynchings in the former slave states for the first time. Between 1910 and 1950, African Americans fell to just 22 percent of the South’s population but constituted 75 percent of those executed in the region. More than 80 percent of documented lynchings in America between 1889 and 1918 occurred in the South, and more than 80 percent of the nearly 1,400 legal executions carried out in this country since 1976 have also been in the South.

Modern death sentences are disproportionately meted out to African Americans accused of crimes against white victims; efforts to combat racial bias and create federal protection against racial bias in the administration of the death penalty remain thwarted by familiar appeals to the rhetoric of states’ rights; and regional data demonstrates that the modern death penalty in America mirrors racial violence of the past.

The bold and unpunished deaths of black men, women, and children deemed dangerous—like Trayvon Martin in Florida; Philando Castile in Minnesota; Tamir Rice and Samuel DuBose in Ohio; Alton Sterling in Louisiana; Sandra Bland in Texas; Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland; and many, many more—continue to demonstrate the fatal consequences of a racialized presumption of guilt permitted to fester for more than a century. The trauma borne by Anthony Ray Hinton and countless more men and women condemned to death only to be exonerated many years later reveals the arrogance of a judicial system built on a history of injustice but still confident in its ability to fairly and justly judge who should live and who should die.

Chattel slavery in the United States required manufacturing a myth of racial difference to justify the brutal practice of buying and selling African men, women, and children as property. The inhumanity of slavery was largely intolerable unless there was a narrative that enslaved people were not really people. The military battles and legal developments that led to the abolition of slavery did nothing to undo that project of dehumanization, and those same ideas survived to justify racial terror lynching through the criminalization of black identity. Today, dehumanization and the fear of the “black criminal” remain at the core of our national acceptance of a prison system that cages and warehouses millions of people of all backgrounds. The impact of American mass incarceration is felt far beyond the black community, but the black community and its history illustrate the roots of this crisis—and potentially a path out.

After nearly 30 years advocating on behalf of the condemned and incarcerated in the Deep South, we at the Equal Justice Initiative believe that telling the truth of the slave trade, racial terror lynching, Jim Crow segregation, and mass incarceration can free us from the division and conflict that have grown out of centuries of euphemism and avoidance. We believe that bravely committing to this effort can set our community on the path to the honest reflection that will uproot and expose these poisons, and that this work cannot be relegated to the courtroom.

To that end, in April 2018, the Equal Justice Initiative opened two new sites in Montgomery, Alabama: The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, which presents an interactive and digital narrative exhibit linking the trauma of slavery to modern-day challenges in criminal justice; and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the nation’s first memorial to the victims of racial terror lynching. Together, these spaces challenge each one of us to confront a difficult history and commit to creating a more just and peaceful future. We encourage and welcome all to visit.

Anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells once wrote, “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” The museum and memorial strive to further the work of so many activists and advocates, past and present, striving to eradicate the roots of racism and inequality—and working to make that achievement lynching’s final legacy.

Jennifer Rae Taylor is a senior attorney at the Equal Justice Initiative.

I get the feeling you're just trying to make things fit your agenda.

Anyone who sees such a situation so simply, isn't usually interested in the truth.
 

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