In accordance with a 2017 data from the United States Sentencing Commission, Black male offenders (who) obtained sentences that are, on average, 19.1 percent longer than White male offenders who carried out the same crimes and have the same criminal history.
In America, Police are twice as likely to use force on Black skinned people versus White suspects, according to a 2015 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
In other words, the psychological feelings and observations in Black America is that the psychology of White supremacy is embedded in the American criminal justice system.
In a society where racial image brings advantage to some humans across systems and institutions, racism becomes fully alive and well.
One of the latest talks around the criminal justice system of America is about Kyle Rittenhouse, who at the age of 17 in summer of 2020, was arrested for killing two men and wounding a third with a military style assault weapon, an AR-style semi-automatic gun.
This happened during a night of Black Lives Matter protest that erupted in the small town of Kenosha, Wisconsin after a Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot by a white police officer. He is currently reportedly partiallyparalyzed.
On Friday of November 19, 2021, a 12-person jury that was overwhelmingly white found Rittenhouse not guilty of all charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide.
Following his acquittal of all charges, protests have broken out across the US.
Rittenhouse who drove state lines from his home in Antioch, Illinois, into Kenosha, Wisconsin while toting a gun, illegally engaged in shooting, and killing other humans, yet walked away free.
The trial judge, Bruce Schroeder, a 75-year-old White man whohandled Rittenhouse’s case during which time he claimed self-defense has been accused of making racist jokes and being biased towards Rittenhouse during the trial.
It is important to know that Rittenhouse was somewhere he shouldn’t be, with a firearm he should never have possessed. But with racial bias baked into the American psyche and system he knows his white privilege is there for him always.And it did.
Schroeder praised jury as ‘wonderful’ after it reached the decision to free Rittenhouse.
Even the President of the United States, Joe Biden, a White man said, “While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken.”
Essentially, the President is saying we all must abide by the verdict. On the other hand, Vice President Kamala Harris, a Black female asserted that Rittenhouse’s acquittal is evidence that the criminal justice system needs to be reformed to be more “equitable.” “The verdict really speaks for itself,” “As many of you know, I’ve spent a majority of my career working to make the criminal-justice system more equitable, and clearly, there’s a lot more work to do.”
Many will then be asking why are blacks in general and many nonwhites upset about this verdict, while many whites especially the conservatives, are hailing the verdict?
The victims in this case are all whites. Rittenhouse killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 26.
These three men although they are not blacks seem to recognize the ingrained and widespread injustice against blacks, and joined in the night of anti-racism protests, meaning they were concerned about the ongoing violence against Black people by the police especially.
Historically, there is fear of blacks by whites, and whereby some whites present as pro-blacks and appeared protective of Black course, there seems to be less sympathy for such whites. Especially by white conservatives and white supremacists who are now celebrating Rittenhouse’s acquittal. In fact, they largely helped raise the $2 million bail money for his release from jail.
Over 60 years ago the same psychology of black injustice played out when in summer of 1964, three young civil rights workers—a 21-year-old black Mississippian, James Chaney, and two white New Yorkers, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24 had come to investigate the burning of the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Longdale, Mississippi. They were abducted and murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
And due to racism against Blacks and hatred for non-Blacks who support Blacks, the State of Mississippi never filed criminal murder charges against any of the men involved in the murders.
It was in 2005 that one of the perpetrators, KKK Edgar Ray Killen, was finally charged by the State of Mississippi and was convicted.
In historically racist America, there is what is called Scalawags, they were white Southerners who supported the Reconstruction plan after the Civil war and became supporters of black freedmen. Just like today as in the matter of the victims of Edgar Ray Killen and his co-murderers, and white victims of Rittenhouse might as well be described with the pejorative term, Scalawags, for supporting justice for the Black people.
Like the old America and today’s America, its citizens are divided over whether the system is continuously upholding ‘White Supremacy’ and undermining Black people in terms of equality and respect.
Since all lives matters, including white sympathizers of Black justice, will America ever witness a system that is not an unfair justice ground to any human no matter his or her physical appearance and general behaviors, and a system where equal importance and status is open to all.
Prof John Egbeazien Oshodi, a forensic/legal/clinical psychologist based in the United States, wrote in via email@example.com