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17

Mar

More than a century ago, W.E.B. Dubois observed: “Daily the Negro is coming more and more to look upon law and justice, not as protecting safeguards, but as sources of humiliation and oppression. The laws are made by men who have little interest in him; they are executed by men who have absolutely no motive for treating the black people with courtesy or consideration; and, finally, the accused law-breaker is tried, not by his peers, but too often by men who would rather punish ten innocent Negroes than let one guilty one escape.”

An observation borne out by lynch mobs that killed with impunity and mass tragedies such as a 1920 riot in Ocoee and the 1923 burning by a white mob of Rosewood, an all-black Levy County town, for which no arrests were made. And more recently, with the notorious 1992 acquittal by an all-white jury of four white Los Angeles cops involved in the brutal beating of Rodney King.

The message: black lives have little worth.

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