The tragic death of George Floyd has exposed once again a festering problem that has been ingrained in American life since the first slave ship dropped anchor off Virginia in 1619.
“Racism in America is like dust in the air,” former NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote in the Los Angeles Times. “It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere.”
Racism is in our criminal justice system. Sadly, it’s also in many of our churches.
And, if you open your eyes, you can see it in the details of everyday life, like driving through a different part of town.
Research shows that blacks are more likely to be pulled over for traffic stops than whites, which comes as no surprise to Sen. Tim Scott, a black Republican from South Carolina. He was pulled over by law enforcement seven times in one year, usually for “nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood, or some other reason just as trivial,” he said.
In a 2018 report to the United Nations, the Sentencing Project concluded, “African Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to experience lengthy prison sentences.” Other research shows that blacks have more negative attitudes toward the criminal justice system than whites.
The United States has the largest prison population in the world, roughly one-quarter of the world’s incarcerated, and black Americans are far more likely than white Americans to be in prison.
But the passage of a bipartisan criminal justice bill in 2018 provides a road map for enacting positive change.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Steve Yount