It is only the most intentionally obtuse among us who would deny that a bias exists in law enforcement in this country, but sometimes the evidence is so egregious and disturbing it defies belief. Take for example this case from Phoenix and this unbelievable example from Ohio (h/t to Jesus’ General where I originally read Nez’s piece). Lately it seems like even the wafer-thin veneer of civility and the lip service we payed for decades to the importance of civil rights have all but disappeared. Really ironic when you consider that this is the first time in history that a Black man has a real shot at the White House. So why the paradox? Why, when a majority of Americans may well decide that they trust the judgment, intelligence and morality of an African-American man more than that of any of his white counterparts, would we continue to accept different standards of justice for different races? There was a time when authority figures would at least have had the common decency to pretend they thought racism was wrong and they would have declared themselves “appalled” by the brutality and injustice visited upon their citizens. They don’t even bother to pretend anymore, being unabashedly and publicly supportive of race-based justice (see “Jena Six”).
Fairness and justice are not qualitative values. You can’t be “kind of” fair or “sort of” just. You either apply the standard equally or you don’t have any standard at all.