The Tale of Two Americas: Justice by Phenotype

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ferguson moFerguson, Missouri, right in the American heartland is a microcosm of the macrocosm of justice and equal protection under the law. Last year, a young white American male named Edward Snowden stole troves of data and intelligence from the National Security Agency (NSA) where he had worked as a contractor. The irony is that this young man was earning more money than the average American. His hiring record showed that his references had not been verified and his credentials not validated. More simply, he was not qualified for the position for which he was hired and highly overcompensated for the work that he actually performed.

This was not a gaffe. It is common practice in corporate America for white males to occupy positions for which they are not qualified for. A study conducted at one of the nation’s top universities Princeton by Associate Professor for Sociology and member of the office of Population Studies Devah Pager’s showed that it is easier for a white male with a prison record to get a job than a black man with a college degree. In this study he hired young men to pose as job applicants, assigning those resumes with equal levels of education and experience, and sending them to apply for real entry-level job openings all over the city of Milwaukee and New York City. According to Pager During nearly a year of fieldwork, teams of testers audited hundreds of employers, applying for a wide range of entry level jobs such as waiters, sales assistants, laborers, warehouse workers, couriers, and customer service representatives.

The results of these studies were startling. Among those with no criminal record, white applicants were more than twice as likely to receive a callback relative to equally qualified black applicants. Even more troubling, whites with a felony conviction fared just as well, if not better, than a black applicant with a clean background. Racial disparities have been documented in many contexts, but here, comparing the two job applicants side by side, we are confronted with a troubling reality: Being black in America today is just about the same as having a felony conviction in terms of one’s chances of finding a job.

ferguson-mo-2The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that women in America make 77cents to every $1.00 a white male makes so Snowden was not an exception he was the rule. The young male named Edward Snowden then added insult to injury by running into the arms of America’s enemy -in -chief Vladimir Putin the spy turned President of Russia who welcomed him with open arms and helped himself to the early Christmas gift that Snowden had bestowed upon him in July. For Putin it was indeed Christmas in July. Snowden began his assault on his nation by revealing their spy programs and some instances that America spied on friends and allies.

Michael Brown steals some bubble gum from the convenience store, exchanges a few words with the store clerk. As he is walking home the cops are called and he is ordered to put his hands up by the police officer. He obeys and suddenly his teenage body is blown to pieces by bullets from the officer’s gun.

Ferguson, Missouri erupts in anger and outrage of police brutality that was reminiscent of southern USA in the 1960s. The last time that the world saw such riveting pictures was the Sharpeville massacre in apartheid South Africa in the 1970s when apartheid police opened fire on school children who were protesting having to use Afrikaans instead of English as the language of instruction.

The police in Ferguson Missouri began to beat up journalists and shove them aside in an effort to suppress the voice of people protesting. They shot to death a mentally disabled man and one officer was heard on video verbally threatening to murder the protestors. A rally sprang up in support of the officer for upholding the law by acting as police, judge, jury and executioner. He has to date raised more than $150,000 thousand dollars from the Ku- Klux Klan and its supporters. The Ku- Klux Klan is well known throughout American history as one of America’s first terrorist organizations which was responsible for the deaths of millions of people of color manly those of African origin and a strong supporter of segregation and apartheid and Adolf Hitler’s teachings and philosophies.

Under the American justice system two young men break the law. One steals bubble gum and receives swift justice from the barrel of the police officer. There is no jury, just a sentence and no appeal. The other steals from his nation intelligence worth billions and trillions and he is invited to speak at conferences. There are no officers coming after him, there are no protestors. Even though his actions will cost thousands of lives his life is spared and there is no one demanding that the law be upheld. This is the tale of the two Americas where there are two justice systems based on phenotype.

Ferguson, Missouri the shining city that is basking in the spotlight of the camera lenses and video cameras.  America is under a microscope. Countries like Russia ,China, Egypt and Zimbabwe are looking at the murder of protestors and arrests of journalists and they are emboldened in saying, “Yeah, that’s how we want our society to be!”

By Anna Mosi-Oa-Tunya 2014

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