I'll admit it... I feel some type of relief when the man who robbed the bank down the street wasn’t black and I am quick to presume the innocence of black people. That's not racist, right?
Let me explain:
Historically, black people have been incarcerated and, at times, killed, for crimes they did not commit, for no reason other than the color of their skin. In many of those cases, there was no one to advocate their innocence and they were ultimately left to serve sentences they did not deserve. This is why black people tend to side with other black people when it comes legal/criminal proceedings. Take the infamous case of OJ Simpson for example.
Regardless of your views on this controversial case, the OJ Simpson trial was a clear point in American history when the country was divided, there were black people (who believed Simpson to be innocent) and white people (who believed Simpson was guilty). The case was such a spectacle because not only did it involve a former football player and superstar, but it also involved an interracial relationship (which was also controversial at the time). When OJ Simpson was charged with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman, the black community was quick to come to his defense. In their eyes, accusing OJ of murder was just another instance of the judicial system trying to make an example of a black man, who just happened to be wealthy and successful, and put him behind bars. A majority of the black community celebrated the acquittal of OJ Simpson because they felt like they had finally gained a victory over the system that had been the source of injustice since the establishment of this country. Whether OJ did it or not, it is understandable why the black community rallied behind him throughout his trial.
When it comes to black people and crime, black people, myself included, like to believe in the innocence of other black people in any situation. While we may not always be correct, this is another instance of us having our own backs. When I hear about someone robbing a bank down the street on the 6 o' clock news, I am definitely hoping that the person who committed the crime was not black. When you examine the common stereotypes of black people, you’ll probably come across the words “ghetto”, “uneducated”, and we can’t forget Fox News’ favorite: “thug”. Being that these are the expectations of the black community for many, of course, we’re going to be relieved when someone black isn’t the problem or upholding the ‘thuggish’ stereotype. This isn’t us being insensitive about the crime, we’re just glad that there is an opportunity to show that crime isn’t a black thing, but a bad person thing.
That's not racist, right?
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think and be sure to tune in next week when I tackle relationships and interracial dating!