Fourteen Examples of Systemic Racism in the US Criminal Justice System


The biggest crime in the U.S. criminal justice system is that it is a race-based institution where African-Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people.

Saying the US criminal system is racist may be politically controversial in some circles. But the facts are overwhelming. No real debate about that. Below I set out numerous examples of these facts.

I will be paraphrasing and add in some extra content, to see Bill’s list click on the link above. 

1) Surge of arrests within the last 4 decades, pertaining to the War on Drugs. Though White Americans sale more drugs and drug use is along similar enter-ethnic as Black Americans; Black people make up the majority of arrests.

2) Cops stop and harass Black/Latino Americans disproportionately. With policies like Stop & Frisk, among others.

3) Since 1970 arrests have skyrocketed; thanks in part to the Nixon administration perception of crime being a Black plague. Literally. After presidents like Ronald Reagan, Bush Sr., etc exacerbating it instead of getting rid of these unjust laws and policies.

4) Black Americans are excluded from jury duty illegally.

African Americans are frequently illegally excluded from criminal jury service according to a June 2010 study released by the Equal Justice Initiative. For example in Houston County, Alabama, 8 out of 10 African Americans qualified for jury service have been struck by prosecutors from serving on death penalty cases.

5) Trails are rare for Black Americans and this is historically true as well.

Trials are rare. Only 3 to 5 percent of criminal cases go to trial – the rest are plea bargained. Most African Americans defendants never get a trial. Most plea bargains consist of promise of a longer sentence if a person exercises their constitutional right to trial. As a result, people caught up in the system, as the American Bar Association points out, plead guilty even when innocent. Why? As one young man told me recently, “Who wouldn’t rather do three years for a crime they didn’t commit than risk twenty-five years for a crime they didn’t do?”

Americans need to wake up; Black Americans need to wake up. People like Ida B. Wells and so many sacrificed so much to push our ethnicity further in a society that routinely took so much from us, while kicking us in our face. The judicial system isn’t different in retrospect from the late 1800’s. The only difference is Black Americans fought harder. After slavery the so called slave class excelled quickly. They opened businesses, became educated, and were rapidly climbing up in society.  The society of that day didn’t like it; that is why Tulsa, Durham, Northern Manhattan, etc  were burned down. The majority of Black people lynched were those who owned land, and businesses. Now I am not saying the same thing to that extent is what is happening now. What I am saying is society hasn’t changed that much. American society still think of Black Americans as violent, non-thinkers, and any other negative trait you can think of. On top of that you have some Black people who think that is true as well. I refuse to be mentally weak and subservient. I know what is going on and talking points from Bill O’reilly, some of my friends, some of my relatives, the media, etc will not detour me. Especially those who haven’t researched these issues, studied the past; I am also optimistic at the same time. The perseverance from Black Americans have been amazing, but it is time for us to re-program ourselves and remember the past so we can create a brighter future.

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