Criminal image

Black men in this country have a 32% chance of spending time in prison. Latino men have a 17% chance. White men have a 6% chance. Women as a whole are vastly less likely to go to prison than men, but women of color make up the overwhelming majority of women who do. (For these and more solid basic facts, check out the Sentencing Project’s fact sheet.)

It is tempting to assume that that’s because people of color are the ones committing all the crimes. But what if it had more to do with the fact that when people of color break the law – especially Black people – we notice, and we call the cops. When white people break the law, we give them the benefit of the doubt, or decide not to call the cops even though we know what they’re doing is wrong.

Think that’s unlikely? Or perhaps true to a limited extent, but only a little and certainly not enough to explain the differences?

Please, please watch this segment of NBC’s “What Would You Do?” I promise you it will be one of those things you bring up in casual conversation all the time.

Watch the video here.

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