2019-2020 Commentary — 22 October 2019
Justice for All

By Elisha Sparks

In Dallas, Texas, a police officer named Amber Guyger shot and killed Botham Jean on Sept. 6 , 2018. Jean was her neighbor and they lived on different floors. Guyger claims she walked into the wrong apartment thinking it was hers and took him as an intruder. Jean was said to be in his apartment eating ice cream on his couch when Guyger busted in. She was later sentenced to 10 years in prison. 

This case has sparked controversy all over social media–or all media outlets, period. One reason as to why it sparked controversy is because the story that is told by the suspect didn’t click with some people. Some question whether the consequence that Guyger got would be the same if she was black. In my eyes as a Black female, I would say not at all. Here’s why. 

A rapper named Tay K who is most known for his breakout hit “The Race” was sentenced to 50+ years in prison as a minor in July of this year. He was involved in a similar type of case involving a murder and home invasion  with a group of teens. He never pulled the trigger during the invasion but due to his affiliation, he was charged as if he did. 

What’s the difference between Tay K and Amber Guyger? The color of their skin.

Cases like this happen often all over the United States. Black men who commit the same crime as white men have sentences that are 20% longer. Why is that? Isn’t justice supposed to be accommodating to everyone no matter the color or class of a person?

Clearly the definition of justice has stayed the same but the action has changed. 

In 2019, we need to get rid of the system that is not made for people of color. As the people of a country that calls itself the “land of the free,” we should be able to be treated fairly, not having to compete in a race with a competitor who is two steps in front of the start line before the race even starts. 

 

 

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