Betrayed by the criminal injustice system

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(NNPA)—It all seems so familiar, doesn’t it?

A Black man, or woman, or child is murdered by a White person—and America’s criminal justice system compounds the tragedy.

How deep is that particular well of American racial injustice now? How many names of innocents are on that list of sorrow? How many more times will we have to look at the faces of the survivors and see that the pain of the loss of a loved one taken by criminal violence has been etched more deeply by the betrayal of a system that—supposedly—exists to protect them?

In fact, until the civil rights victories of the mid-1960s, being betrayed by the nation’s White majority was the only thing Blacks could count on getting from the nation they helped build and support. Today’s “stand your ground” laws more than 20 states have enacted continue the cloaked-purpose dynamic of the post-1960s get-tough-on-crime and crack-cocaine-versus-powder-cocaine laws—and the 19th century vagrancy laws southern legislatures passed after destroying Reconstruction. They look “race-neutral” on the books but their origins and applications were and are shadowed by racial fear, anxiety, and hatred of Black people. Their goal is not justice but injustice.

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