Bibb County Superior Court Judge Verda Colvin advised a courtroom full of teenagers about recognizing the value of education and the path to a successful career.
Her harshly candid words brought some of these children to tears. According to Colvin she wanted to speak to their hearts and that’s what she did.
“You can have the ultimate experience—you can be in this body bag, listen to me. The way you’re going, you will go to jail or you will end up in this body bag. The only way someone will know you are in here is by this tag with your name on it. Stop acting like you’re trash,” she said.
These harsh, but necessary words from Colvin moved the teens to tears.
Colvin’s speech missed out a point: She forgot to mention that not only are black people frequently stopped by the police, but black communities receive far more attention from the police than white people. Moreover, black men are often charged and prosecuted differently than their white counterparts.
The disproportionate number of black people in prison is not conditioned by the fact that black people are prone to committing more crimes; it is a result of the role race plays in the criminal justice system which goes, far beyond profiling.
Even though African Americans and whites use and sell drugs at the same rate, black men are almost 12 times more likely to go to prison than white men.
From the very beginning, black folks have always been targeted by the police with their fate depending not solely on the poor decisions they make, but also on the unjust system in which they live.
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