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White and black lives matter

Melvin B. Miller
White and black lives matter
“White and black lives matter!”

America is becoming increasingly more oppressive. Once the oppression applied primarily to blacks who endured slavery and racial discrimination. Whites were led to believe that they had the benefit of a privileged status not available to blacks. However, those arrested for opposing the recent Straight Pride parade became the victims of Boston Municipal Court Judge Richard Sinnott regardless of their race.

Although it is established law that the district attorney has exclusive authority over whether or not to prosecute someone arrested by the police, Judge Sinnott insisted on setting bail on non-violent demonstrators although District Attorney Rachael Rollins had decided not to prosecute. She had to get an order from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts to enforce her ruling.

For decades African Americans have complained about abuses they have endured from the criminal justice system. Their complaints have not received the attention they deserve. A common concern is the frequent fatal shooting of blacks by the police. In 2018, police shot and killed 992 people, according to the Washington Post tally. Even though 452 whites were shot to death by the police compared to 229 blacks, whites seemed to tolerate the fatal shootings of their own tribe. Many objected to the slogan “Black Lives Matter.”

Since the 1970s the rate of incarceration in the U.S. has climbed. In September of 2013, the U.S. rate was the highest in the world with 655 in prison per 100,000 of national population, according to the World Prison Population List. This is a higher imprisonment rate than any country in Africa or South America, Asia or the Middle East. The rate for England and Wales is 140, Italy is 98, France is 100, Germany is 75, Russia is 402 and China is 118.

The unpleasant incident before Judge Sinnott should establish that America’s criminal justice system has become more brutal for everyone regardless of race. One’s rights can be summarily ignored in court, and there is a greater likelihood of being shot by a policeman or imprisoned than is the case for residents of European countries. It is time for whites in America to become aware that “white lives matter,” even for those who aren’t rich.

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