Monday, April 06, 2015

Let's Talk About Race, Baby... Again

I find it odd, and sad, and sick and twisted, that when people hear that there are more black men in prisons than white men they say it’s because black men commit most of the crimes. I mean, that is patently false, and yet people seem to believe it.

But do people believe it that when a black man is arrested on a drug charge, even a minor drug charge, most of the time they get jail, and yet when a white man is arrested on a similar charge they often get a trip to rehab.

Is that fair? Is it racist? Well, then what about this …

Back on March 23rd, the Iowa Gazette ran two separate crime stories. One story was about three white University of Iowa wrestling team members who’d been charged with burglary, and the other story, on the same day, remember, and was about four black men who were suspects in a different burglary.

Same crimes; different races. And when Lee Hermiston, the reporter who covered both stories, and the newspaper, told the tale, they posted pictures of the accused in the paper with one notable difference: the three white men were named alongside their yearbook photos, while the four black men were named alongside the mugshots taken at the time of their arrest.

White men get pretty pictures in suits and ties, while black men get mugshots.

And so, when the time comes for a trial, don’t you think it already looks like at least four of those seven men are guilty, while the other three look like it was just some colossal mistake, or college prank? This idea that the paper used two different types of photographs to portray seven different men all charged with the exact same time perpetuates the idea that black men are thieves and white men are good old college boys.

And in the stories on the alleged thieves, the white men are called wrestlers while the black men are referred to as burglars. You think that gives anyone a leg up when, or if, the cases go to trial?

Still think there isn’t a race problem in this country?

1 comment:

the dogs' mother said...

Shock value for the wrestlers? That's all I can come up with...