The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Editorials

July 20, 2013

Editorial: Zimmerman case points to distrust of US legal system

(Continued)

However, an abundance of statistical evidence related to crime, suggests the contrary. For example, an American Civil Liberties Union study released in June showed that black Hoosiers were about three times more likely than white Hoosiers to be arrested on marijuana charges. This discrepancy exists despite evidence that the incidence of marijuana use among whites and blacks is roughly equal.

Media are littered with reports that show anecdotal or statistical evidence that blacks, across the country and in specific locales, are targeted as crime suspects more often than whites.

While racism is still an ugly part of our society, most police officers are upstanding citizens, sworn to enforce laws that are based on the tenet that all should be equal in the eyes of justice. So why would African Americans feel targeted, and why would statistics indicate that they sometimes are?

Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the concept of "institutional racism," which suggests that people are often victimized because they don't have personal or cultural connections within institutions, and don't clearly understand the way the system works and how best to stay out of trouble.

The issue is thorny and deep-seated; and the protest of the Zimmerman verdict is not without justification. Maybe one day in a case like George Zimmerman's, judgment will be passed and few will feel that racial prejudice swayed the verdict. That day, clearly, is a long way off.

In summary Maybe one day in a case like George Zimmerman's, judgment will be passed and few will feel that racial prejudice swayed the verdict. That day, clearly, is a long way off.

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