This pensive and unapologetic essay by Danielle Belton (BlackSnob.com) serves up some real facts about the differences in the way white criminals are handled and rehabilitated by our justice system versus the plight of non-whites. My favorite excerpt from this piece is this one: It’s the rare few (**people of color) that get to do what Wahlberg did—do the crime, do the time, then grow up.
… there are a lot of people with felony convictions who served their time who also deserve just as many chances as a violent teenage Mark Wahlberg received. Wrote a post about it for The Root. There are 5.85 million Americans with felony convictions, but most don’t get the Mark Wahlberg treatment, but instead of punching the repugnant Wahlberg down, why can’t we lift the reformed up? These former inmates need to rejoin society and start their lives over.
Should it be expunged? Sure. Why not? Wahlberg is a perfect example of how anyone, no matter how horrible and seemingly racist, can be reformed. Wahlberg—as far as I know—hasn’t publicly beat the crap out of anyone while screaming racist slurs in years. (Wahlberg’s last-known violent indiscretion was in 1992 when he beat up his neighbor.)
He never apologized for what he did to black music or how he initially made his fame off gross cultural misappropriation (while, you know, also seemingly not liking black people), but he did apologize for being a teenage drug-addict criminal. He’s never paid any reparations to his victims since becoming wealthy, but hey, he feels sort of bad. And he did his short time—45 days on what was supposed to be a two-year stretch—in prison through our highly flawed, but the only one we have, justice system.
(**inserted by Tiffany Cratic)