Which Is More Criminal? Being Black Or Being Poor?

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On Monday, socialite Paris Hilton pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors after being busted in Las Vegas with cocaine.

Paris Hilton Hearing

On Monday, socialite Paris Hilton pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors after being busted in Las Vegas with cocaine.

Ms. Hilton was put on probation and also got a suspended sentence on a one-year jail term.

In 2006, Ms. Hilton had a DUI and was arrested 3 times in the following months for driving with a suspended license. For this, she eventually served a total of 20 days in jail.

Ms. Hilton is also heir to the Hilton Hotels chain and worth, by some estimates, as much as 30 million dollars.

Dig this:

  • The likelihood of a Black male going to jail for life is 16%, compared to 2% for white males and 9% for Hispanic males.
  • Of the 682 inmates put on death row between 1995-2000, 48% were Black, 20% were white, and 29% were Hispanic.
  • Blacks make up 12% of the U.S. population, yet we make up 44% of the prison population.
  • A Black can expect to be imprisoned 41% longer than a white convicted for committing the same crime.

Also, as we’ve already covered in another post, Blacks families earn only 58% of what whites families earn and white families are $95,000 richer than Black families.

One of the things that amaze me are that the seemingly mutual arguments that Blacks are inherently criminal and that Blacks are poor are used to justify the great percentage of Blacks in prison.

One would think that if we were inherently criminal, we should be expected to commit crimes. And if we can be expected to commit crimes, then what we’re doing isn’t even criminal anymore. It becomes like an affliction or a condition; a disease almost but one that affects the sufferer from birth and which shouldn’t be penalized but treated; and treated with the same care and concern with which one treats cancer.

Also, one would rightly imagine that the poor would be more likely to commit crimes. And I’m not gonna suggest that every poor person is Hugo’s Jean Valjean—stealing a loaf of bread to prevent his nieces and nephews from dying from hunger—but sheer need would provide a greater logic for the crimes of the poor.

All this said, shouldn’t rich white people who are not inherently criminal nor have the requisite need that we’ve associated with the poor, receive even stiffer prison sentences for any crimes that they commit?

I mean, after all, being both white and rich, what excuse do they have for being criminal?

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RELATED:

Man receives 15 year sentence for unweighable amount of crack

Should Paris Hilton receive 15 years in jail for her offense

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