There’s a line of division drawn within the justice system in the United States. It’s a line that’s as plain as day to those who open their eyes to see it but remains obscure and vague enough that the people who make the laws can have plausible deniability. That is the uneven line drawn between the treatment of different races within the U.S. justice system. It’s a topic that’s long been on my mind and given the very recent horrific mass murder in Buffalo NY by a white supremacist shooter, I felt compelled to talk about it.
This guy walked into a supermarket, and started without hesitation, killing Black people. In a video captured during this horrific event, he had trained his gun on a white person, apologized, and moved on. All the facts are plain as day that this was clearly a racially motivated attack. This was a white man, with a horrible racist word written on his gun, shooting Black people. This is where the division of justice comes in. Media holds a great enough power that it plants seeds long before a case like this goes before a judge. They control the narrative, and how they portray this mass murderer often influences how he will be portrayed in court. Take the horrific murder of Trayvon Martin for example. A large amount of media outlets went out of their way to villainize him even though he was the tragic victim. Or when Sandra Bland was murdered by the police, her character was quickly brought into question. Same with the tragedy of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Fox News portrayed them both in the worst light imaginable.
Also, I want to talk about how not everybody gets their day in court. To even see the justice that everybody is supposed to see. Police officers have killed many young Black & Brown men and women without compunction. Laquan McDonald for instance was shot 16 times by officer Jason Van Dyke (15 of the shots were after he was already on the ground). This was a 16-year-old child. Van Dyke is already free, having only served three years for killing a 16-year-old boy. Timothy Loehmann, who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, is appealing to get his job back (he wasn’t fired for the murder of Tamir Rice, but for misfiling paperwork). Cases like these are sadly commonplace in America.
Then you look at the opposite side of the coin, and it’s a different story all together. The killer in Buffalo was taken into custody without incident. The murderer Dylan Roof who killed 9 people in a Charlotte church was arrested without incident (they even stopped and bought him Burger King). James Holmes, who opened fire in a Denver theater during a Dark Knight screening and killed 12 people was taken into custody without incident. The list goes on and on. That is the uneven distribution of justice. These mass shooters are being handled with kid gloves while Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson or Philando Castille was murdered reaching for his driver’s license or Eric Garner had the life choked out of him for selling cigarettes.
Sad that it had to take the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor to wake a lot of people up to the horrible atrocities occurring in the world, but it has sparked activism amongst many celebrities. Famous people of Hollywood and the music world alike are using their celebrity to give attention to causes that need to be given worldwide attention instead of being a blip in the 24-hour news cycle. Luminaries like Beyonce, Barack Obama and George Clooney used their fa- reaching voices to give support to the movement surrounding justice being served after George Floyd’s murder. That seems to have sparked on ongoing movement of consciousness amongst the rich and famous. Even recently at a concert Justin Bieber stopped his performance to ask for a moment of silence to remember the 10 people murdered in Buffalo. He asked his fans to give thought to how horrible racism is.