It's really as simple as this. Black people are to be POLICED, while the rest of us (white people) are to be "protected". Furthermore, the justice system that we have built and maintain is designed to put blacks into prisons and go easier on whites. It's just a fact.
For black men, the risks of living in this country are simply appalling. One wonders how, with an apparently straight face, politicians and pundits can continue to insist that, not only is the United States a democracy, but quite simply the greatest country on earth. The major news stories we have seen over the last two years are not aberrations, and speak volumes about the hypocrisy of our system. The disconnection between our stated constitutional rights, and the actual practice in hell holes like the New York City "correctional system" would be jaw dropping if not for the fact that there's nothing new about this story. Poor people, especially poor people of color, are, and always have been, treated as disposable problems, not equal citizens with unquestionable rights.
And the long history of our justice system treating black Americans differently has huge consequences. Some have taken decades to acknowledge, such as the phenomenon of missing black men. These are men who are off the streets of their last resident town because of imprisonment, or because they relocated to avoid arrest (for anything from traffic tickets, to unpaid child support, to more serious charges).
New York City has 118,000 missing black men.
Philadelphia has over 30,000 missing black men.
And then there's the lost sleep, depression, and the suicides. Kalief Browder was a teenager kept mainly n solitary confinement in Rikers for 3 years, over a petty robbery charge that was ultimately dismissed. After two previous suicide attempts, and a downward spiral into paranoia and post-traumatic stress, he took his own live last year.
No doubt this kid's years in solitary confinement was the cause of his extreme distress. I find it hard to even think of what must have been pure hell on earth. I cannot imagine the pain of his parents. What must it be like to be beaten up, over and over again? How can we Americans continue to bear what is being done to our children?
And another topic for another day: what about extrajudicial sites like Homan Square in Chicago? Do other US cities have black sites? It's like something out of the Dirty War in Argentina, except it is not reported, and designed to make black Americans disappear.