Irony oh irony.  Miss Ruth’s post on prison and second chances had me shaking my head when I saw it this morning.

Yesterday, we had another meeting at church to discuss Waking Up White.  The book discusses one upper middle class white woman’s awakening to the racial issues and social injustice in the US.  One of the many things we discussed was the prison system.  The topic that led into this was whether or not the police deal with African-American youth fairly.

One of the women told us about her daughter and a group of friends being stopped by the police as they walked home. Yes, there had been a series of break-ins in the area so talking to the teens was in order.  But the police were noticeably aggressive with the one young many who also happens to be African-American.  Coincidence?  Hardly.  Add to this the fact that the suspects in the break-ins were white and . . . yes, they were white.  So treating that one teen differently than the rest makes even less sense.

It isn’t enough to notice when you are treated unfairly.  We need to wake up.  We need to see how those around us are treated.  And while we are at it we should share some second chances.  There’s no reason that those of us slowly awaking should get them all.

–SueBE

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