Editorial Staff

White Privilege, My Family and the Criminal Justice System

~  by Eubie Drew  ~

 

Eubie with his grandma

Eubie with his grandma


As far as I know, none of my 1st- or 2nd-degree adult relatives (all but one being White) have a criminal conviction. But I DO know of at least 5 who had contact with the #CriminalJustice system, that had they been Black would’ve put them in jail or prison.

THAT was #WhitePrivilege.


One uncle, in separate instances:

1. Shot out several street lights for fun.
2. Cut a hole in the floor under a vending machine, from the basement below, & stole the cash.
3. Created fake driver’s licences so underage friends could drink.

Caught all 3 times. No lasting consequences.

THAT was White privilege.


Another uncle has had several instances of:

1. theft (including at the state capitol building),
2. threatening violence,
3. and trespassing,
4. stalking of women (fortunately NOT in combination with 1, 2 or 3)

He has been able to avoid consequences because of mental illness.

THAT was White privilege.


Yet another uncle, who has been clean for decades now, had:
  1. numerous small-time drug-related crimes,
  2. and a DUI.

Always received intervention instead of charges.

THAT was White privilege.


My biological father (not the guy whose last name I carry):
  1. stole from one employer,
  2. assaulted another employer,
  3. was repeatedly violent with my mother and his second wife,
  4. later got an underage girl pregnant.

He lost several relationships, but no lasting legal record.

THAT was White privilege.


Minor stuff (but only because she is White):
  1. My mother vandalized a boyfriend’s car when she thought he was cheating (he wasn’t).
  2. She would drive around in the middle of the night, then sit in her car in parking lots listening to music. Police would check her out then let her be. She did this A LOT.

THAT was White privilege.


For years, I used to walk residential streets at night when agitated. I was young, muscular and rough-looking. No problems whatsoever.

THAT was White privilege.


We all got to go on with our lives. Because we were White.

What has been your family’s experience?

 


Eubie Drew Eubie Drew is @EubieDrew on Twitter, Facebook and ALL internet platforms. Check out his BB&W posts.

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