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When They See Us and Economic Justice

Fighting White Supremacy Without Challenging It

When They See Us and Economic Justice

When They See Us is a masterpiece of cinematic storytelling. Director Ava Duvearney has woven a tapestry of pain, fear, and anguish like nothing we have seen in the streaming era. The 4-part, limited Netflix series chronicles the travails of a group of Harlem teens that became the Central Park 5. As well as, the lurid underbelly of American policing. This mini-series is the tale of how easily young Black men can be defamed and railroaded by a system that cares little about justice for Black people. It cares even less for the descendants of American slaves.

This story is as old as our 400-year tenure in this country. A White woman is injured. Political pressure applied. Young Black men breathing within a 10-mile radius will automatically become suspects. Coercion and spin will soon follow. Media will gladly jump on the story. Police will look to clear their blotter. Public defenders and prosecutors will work together to close the case. Justice will be successfully dodged, once again.

justice, when they see us

Economic Drivers

One of the many remarkable things about When They See Us is the sheer, unbridled terror experienced by the children and their parents. Knowing that you cannot protect your child from America’s predatory “justice” system is a feeling that few can understand. Being a child and realizing that the people you depend upon and look up to are powerless to prevent your demise is undoubtedly a soul-scarring ordeal. It could break the spirit of the strongest of adults. Nevermind, a child.

The powerlessness was driven by economics. If these families had the money to retain a quality defense attorney from the very beginning, this likely would have never happened. A reasonable attorney would have sprung those kids within hours. The city knew these families had nothing because of their race and their zip code. All of which was inflicted by American policy and practice.

Recently, Duke University’s Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity released a study called “The Plunder of Black Wealth in Chicago: New Findings on the Lasting Toll of Predatory Housing Contracts.” In it, economists outline how racist housing policy robbed Black residents of $3.2 to 4 billion dollars. Imagine what that number looks like in New York City, a much more valuable real estate market.

What could these families have done with that kind of money in their community?

How White Supremacy Wins

In this short video, Comedian DL Hughley speaks some of the most accurate words ever uttered concerning race in America:

Tweet this! There is nothing you can accuse Black people of that people will not believe. – DL Hughley

Meaning, no matter how vile or outlandish the accusation, White people will reflexively believe it. No request for evidence. No questions will be asked. They won’t even investigate the motivations of the accuser. The indictment will become gospel. White America, allies and enemies alike, will move on.

We saw this in the tumult around the ADOS Movement. The economic plight of 90% Black people in the US was dropped like a molten potato based on rumor and conjecture.

The Left Is Failing Black People

In August of 1619, a privateer vessel White Lion arrived in what is now Hampton, Virginia with a group of 20 African people that were re-kidnapped from a Portuguese slave ship. The first to step off the ship was a woman named Angela. This event was the beginning of the end. Driven by the value of free labor in fortune-building, White people began the most brutal form of slavery the world had ever seen, before or since.

This system was followed by convict leasing, Jim Crow, redlining, and much more. The descendants of slaves have never been made whole. White families have 10x the wealth of ADOS families. White America is about to transfer 30 trillion dollars in wealth from Boomers to Millenials. The vast majority of Black Boomers will transfer nothing more than debt and shattered dreams. This imbalance is at the core of American inequality. It was driven by and maintained by White Supremacy.

If the Left insists on fighting White Supremacy by not challenging it, real change will be impossible. Black children will continue to live in unprotected poverty.

White Supremacy wins…

What do you think?


Written by Michael Graham


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