Povertenza

Dear Judge,

I know that Davontaye’s actions caused the deaths of four people. But please don’t give him life in prison. He suffers from Povertenza. You may not know about this condition but Povertenza is an illness that people from impoverished socio-economic backgrounds have.

Due to the inability to access quality education and employment, Davontaye’s development has been stifled. This leads to poor decision making and I would further argue that since his neighborhood sees so much death and destruction, that he may even suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in addition to Povertenza.

Judge, it is clear that Davontaye can not be held responsible for his actions. He needs rehabilitation, not prison. Prison would only worsen his mental condition. 

Sincerely,

J.A.M.

This defense obviously doesn’t work for black  and poor youth. Yet, news outlets are spiraling about 16 year-old  Ethan Couch who caused the deaths of 4 people by drunk driving. His defense, was that he suffered from “Affluenza” a disorder that only the affluent have. According to his lawyers, Couch was shielded from personal responsibility his entire life. Discipline is not a word in his vocabulary.

Affluenza

Judge Jean Boyd sentenced him Tuesday to 10 years of probation but no jail time, saying she would work to find him a long-term treatment facility.

But Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” “There are absolutely no consequences for what occurred that day. The primary message has to absolutely be that money and privilege can’t buy justice in this country.” – CNN

Basically, Couch was coddled his entire life and now his punishment is more coddling.

On the flip side, there are millions of under-privileged youth across America, that have lived under the worst conditions imaginable. They’ve witnessed murders, endured hunger, and survived sexual abuse. However, upon committing a crime, they are handed down the harshest prison sentences imaginable. As I’ve pointed out before, many youth spend years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit because they didn’t have enough money to sway the justice system or get proper legal counsel. It’s a non-laughable joke.

If “Affluenza” is real, then I posit that my newly coined “Povertenza” be considered. Instead of jumping to fill up prisons, let’s start putting youth from disadvantaged backgrounds in treatment facilities. This would be ideal, but it won’t happen because there is too much money to be made. This is one of the reasons why Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr was able to sell 5,000 children to prisons.

Disgraced Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella Jr has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for conspiring with private prisons to sentence juvenile offenders to maximum sentences for bribes and kickbacks which totaled millions of dollars. He was also ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.

In the private prison industry the more time an inmate spends in a facility, the more of a profit is reaped from the state. Ciavearella was a figurehead in a conspiracy in the state of Pennsylvania which saw thousands of young men and women unjustly punished and penalized in the name of corporate profit. – Examiner

Most of the children he sentenced are likely to be from backgrounds that are far less privileged than anything Ethan Couch has experienced. His sentencing tells us a lot about the American justice system and how deeply embedded economic disparities are when it comes to accountability. Essentially, the poor are expected to be more accountable for their actions while the wealthy are viewed as inherently respectable (especially if they’re white). Being from what people view as a “good” family can go a long way. This opens the door for more opportunities and the right to be viewed as non-threatening even when your actions prove otherwise. This is exactly why racial and economic inequalities are an on-going battle.

The next time someone tells you that there is no such thing as “White” privilege or elitism, ask them why Affluenza is a viable defense but Povertenza isn’t.

JamAllen2-nb-smallJessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of OurLegaci.com & BlackBloggersConnect.com. To reach JAM, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com.

Follow OurLegaci on Facebook at Facebook.com/OurLegaci.

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489 thoughts on “Please Excuse Davontaye, He Suffers From Povertenza

  1. Why does it have to be an african american arguing povertenza? Oh that’s right because white people get away with crimes all of the time regardless or economic status. No one doubts the “justice system” is flawed but honestly I am sick of the whining and complaining if you don’t like it leave….regardless of education, family, or other background status you always make a choice for the right or for the wrong. I am not going to justify what the white kid did was right at all but unfortunately there is nothing any of us sitting behind a computer screen talking about it can do. People learn to be criminals but they also make the choice to be a criminal instead of a functioning member of society everyone has a chance to go to school there are free public schools EVERYWHERE so if you didn’t go to school or chose to drop out I do not feel bad for you and for most people a college education is also FREE through pell grants and student loans everyone has a chance and everyone makes a choice some people are just smarter than others and make the right choices…

    1. They’ll leave right after you give them proper back pay for all those years on the plantation, the pain and suffering caused to their families when they were originally taken from them, the cost of the return flight to Africa, and commensurate compensation for the injustices suffered in between. What amount do you think would be fair to give them?

      In the end, they’ll never really be able to go home because they don’t even know where they are originally from. Black slaves were robbed of their heritage.

      By the way, Pell grants do not come close to paying for college. As someone who received one, I can assure you that college was still a very expensive endeavor especially as certain states cut the award amount for those grants.

  2. I liked this article but the truth is it made me very, very sad for the world in general but particularly for the United States (which I traveled around recently).
    I have avoided watching and reading the news on a regular basis for the last few years and this was the first I’d heard about these two particular cases. The fact that some privileged child of luxury escaped the repercussions of taking the life of so many people with a defense based on the fact that he is basically too privileged, sickens me.
    Ireland, apart from a few major cities, is largely mono-cultural, so for the vast majority of my life I grew up without any awareness of racism and what it can do to a society. I’ve learned more as an adult from living in other countries (Colombia and the US) and I’m disappointed with how stuck in the dark ages the world is on these issues.
    I have no idea how an issue this big will ever be solved but at least you’re doing something, you’re educating the public and making aware of how bad the problem.
    You’ve written an excellent article. Keep writing more!

  3. I totally agree that the judge was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG along with everyone else in this case. There is absolutely no reason for any defense other than, “I screwed up; give me my punishment of prison time and accept my sincere apologies and sympathies.” But, I do think that it is more financial status than color of skin. I am white and would never get probation for killing four people. But, then again, I would never even think to ask for that punishment. I know the difference between right and wrong and everything about this case is: WRONG!

  4. affluence is NOT an excuse. neither is poverty or coming from a bad or abusive background.

    but this so often IS the excuse we’re supposed to swallow! I mugged that man because I’m poor. I didn’t know any better because my daddy used to do it too. stuff like that.

    so, now the shoe is on the other foot. if the circumstances of your upbringing can be an excuse in one case, it can be in the other.

    but is should NOT be.

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  6. Instead of all this bickering and arguing, could we maybe shift the focus to how we can overcome racism as a nation? Yes, it still exists in some form or another. I think it’s very difficult to disagree with that. And yes, horrible things have happened in the (recent) past. But, how/when are we going to start moving forward and building a nation where one is not defined by how dark his skin is. It is absolutely ridiculous and unbelievable to me how “America the Brave,” as a whole, is so incredibly
    ignorant.

  7. Don’t blame this on them being a white family, blame this on them having a scummy lawyer, a judge who’s clearly off his rocker. Money talks in this country, and I’m sure if they were any other race and all the circumstances were the same, the outcome would be similar.

      1. Unfortunately, I agree with you Natalie. It makes me incredibly sad that this happened. This young boy should absolutely be held responsible! Money or not — white, or not. It sickens me — to the core. I have been outraged since I saw this article, but don’t know what to do about it.

      2. Race plays a huge role in this, and white privelege is real – but it’s nowhere near the sole factor. To visit the example in this post, Wilkes-Barre PA, the central jurisdiction in the Ciavarella case, is nearly 80% white. Fee victims were shown in the local news coverage, but as I recall the family members I saw interviewed were all white. (This doesn’t signify and I was unable to find demographics on the case. It may be that only the squeaky wheels were white or some families were mixed race or adoptions.) Anyway, my point is… Just because rich white dudes have more more ability to get away with things unjustly does not mean it’s any less of a crime when a white defendant is victimized than when a black defendant is victimized by the same unfair legal practices. Of course, it’s not any more of a crime, either. That’s pursuit of equality.

      3. It does have to do with race, but not only race money as well. I wonder how much this judge got paid to render punishment that she did. We all know he should be in jail and the excuse he uses for having killed four people is ridiculous. I am white but I agree if that was a black boy there would be no doubt in would be in jail right now

      4. Money and privilege is the reason. More white people have it. Rich powerful people of color also get away with crime as well.

      5. You disagree with Levy and I disagree with you, up to a certain point. I believe race is not much of an issue as people think it is. Otherwise, Obama would have never become our President. It is money, influence, prestige, capability, brains, looks, fame, reputation, and luck that takes you places, and provides you with better treatment….

    1. Only someone white would say it has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with it. White privilege is real, whether you want to face the truth or not. That judge is the same as many other judges that send our young children, men and women to jail. Do the research. Watch A Time to Kill. It should open your eyes more. 🙂

      1. The only person I don’t blame here, really, is the lawyer. It’s their job to do whatever they can do legally to get their client off. But the judge is at fault. (And white, wealthy privilege is obviously a major factor.)

      2. It’s about classicism, not racism? If you think privileges can be sorted out and be completely untangled, you’re damn wrong. Having white privilege isn’t a +1 and being poor isnt a -1. You can’t that people are or are not on equal footing based on ONE factor. The outcome of Couch’s case isn’t based on one thing. Depending on ethnicity, gender, sexuality, income, cognitive function, and more, a case can have a radically different outcomes.

        P.S. have you seen the death row statistics in the United States?

      3. It’s more about money in this country. Pay offs don’t care what color their taking money from. For example OJ Simpson, Jay Z and Beyonce buying a whole hospital floor out for the delivery of their baby and don’t forget there is a huge list of “Black privilege” in this country as well

      4. the person who said they don’t blame the defense lawyer? sorry, but you’re morally off base, too. as sworn officers of the court, they have a duty not to lie. They can withhold some of the truth (refuse to point the finger of blame at their client), but they are not supposed to lie.

        “Affluenza” is a lie. What DOES exist – with a very similar psychopathological profile – is Narcissistic Personality Disorder, including a lack of empathy and a pattern of malice, negligence, disregard for others’ pain, and delusions of being godlike and above punishment/accountability. NPD is a disability, but does not allow for an “insanity defense” because narcissists like this boy can choose to do right and be accountable – it’s just painful to them, because they feel entitled to special treatment and attention, and entitled to avoid pain.

        for more internet info on this, I recommend the work of recovering narcissist and self-trained psychodynamic therapist Dr. Sam Vaknin, but read it with a critical eye toward his benevolent sexism/transphobia and internalized homophobia, and don’t put much stock in his outdated and bigoted views on autism; narcissists hate autistics, want to dominate them, and NPD makes it hard for them to understand autistic empathy. i.e. Dr. Vaknin would struggle to explain why autistic babies consistently cry when they see animals in pain unless he threw out most or all of his work on autism and started over, which he’s probably too emotionally weak to consider doing.

        The prosecutor chose not to even charge the boy with a felony, and the judge went along with it, because of his promising future in the stock market (gag). And, I’m guessing, because when they run for DA and reelection they can now count on sizeable donations from the rich white boy’s family, without it being questioned in society at large, other than on blogs like this and in the dignified shaking of defeated heads.

        And here in the comments section, you have the gall to spout believe-in-the-system nonsense about giving a full defense and all that crap. Meanwhile, the public face of the shrugging lawyer you condone is only possible because, behind closed doors, he convinced the prosecutor and the judge to abandon the public good, their duty to seek justice for the families of the slain, and any morals or principles they once had in favor of personal enrichment.

        I’ll go this far – the defense attorney was probably the lawyer acting with the most integrity in the room. At least you can spit on him all the time and he’ll understand. It’s the half-time do-gooders and their partners in crime, the naïve, the deluded, and the self-interested (like people who don’t bother to understand the defense attorney’s pressure role behind the scenes because it would make them uncomfortable), that we really have to watch out for.

      5. It also has to do with sentencing guidelines, which the judge is allowed to consider when sentencing. I also happen to agree that it has a lot to do with race, and with income. But if the judge didn’t have that option to use at sentencing, that boy would never have been sentenced to 10 years probation.

      6. Not true. I am not white, and I believe that race has “very little” to do with it. White privilege exists only when the person receiving the privilege is white; what about if the person receiving the privilege is black, do you still call it white? I know enough blacks who enjoy privileges. President Obama comes to mind, he can do NO WRONG. I call that the biggest privilege! and he happens to be black….

      7. I agree with you, and I think white privilege exists and “affluenza” is a crock. BUT you might want to use research data to support your point instead of a fictional book/movie!!! It’s like telling me to watch Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer as proof that Santa is white.

    2. It has nothing to do with black or white. A case can even be made for the scummy lawyer doing his job. Money talks though. I think it’s more about who has the money to buy their way into a rehab and out of jail. This is a case of the advantages money provides, more than anything else.

    3. Uuugh, excuse me? First off-hell NO if “they” as you say, were any other race and all the circumstances were the same this would not have had the same outcome-especially had he been black or brown. You obviously dont get it and im most sure that you must be white yourself. Also, can you please point out where the the hell that this author “blames this on them being a white family”? Her entire article goes off the premise of SOCIOECONOMICAL disparities and injustices deeply rooted in the U.S. “Justice” system, which, surprise surprise, has everything to do with racial inequality in its very essense. She is not “blaming this on them being a white family”, you fool. She is clearly basing this off power and privilege-which as even you seem to understand-is the reason why this boy is getting off the hook-ESPECIALLY, key word, especcially because,(drum roll please): he is WHITE. Aint no denying the extra influence his whiteness has in top of the $$$$$ his family could fork out. If you cant seem to grasp this simple yet fcked up reality of life, you sir, are way, way out of reality yourself.

      1. You are absolutely right… it was an article pointing out the casualties of economics. She also wanted us to know that this worked for this young boy BECAUSE the Judge could IDENTIFY with his status. She would never have been able to wrap her head around Povertenza as a real defense because she probably believes poverty is a choice.

    4. I couldn’t agree more lol. This article is pretty clearly just meant to rail against “Affluenza” which is a term I have a hard time imagining that anyone could take seriously, and it’s pretty self-degrading to write under the impression that it is anything but a legalized joke at best. It is furthermore ridiculous to think that an affluent Black family couldn’t get away with an equally preposterous defense were they to have the means to afford such a thing; in this country money DOES talk, and all the money in this country is really what’s causing all the problems from the prison-industrial and military-industrial complexes, the corrupt political money machine, etc. Furthermore, I’d like some journalists to start thinking outside of the box and consider the notion of: why the fuck do Blacks need to be here in the first place? They did not choose to come here; everyone talks about the iniquities of slavery, but nobody talks about how stupid and unjust it is that Blacks are kept out of their native land in a foreign culture which is hostile to their natural ways of life. I’d also like whoever wrote this “povertenza” shit to consider the notion that *regardless of economic circumstance*, nearly all of the most dangerous places in the world are majority Black or majority Muslim, so perhaps it just might be best to stop blaming evil rich Whitey for shit he isn’t responsible for by *any* standard.

      Oh, and before anyone goes there, I think a decision of “not guilty” is a legal travesty, and that this Couch deserves to be in prison right now, so DON’T presume that I’m defending him.

      1. As a “black” woman on the outside but clearly bi-racial ( my mom is white and my dad is black), I agree with almost all of your points… However if black people need to go back to Africa… Don’t white people need to go back to Europe? There’s no doubt in my mind that white people have honed in on their ability to use what they know to better themselves and ultimately manipulate the shit out of anyone who gets in their way… Which in America is not illegal so I guess if black people are going to stay here because they can’t afford that expenseie as flight back to Africa… They just need to get on whiteys level.

      2. I hope that you are kidding… otherwise if you are not pick up a history book. My native country is America, I was BORN here. However, none of our ancestors, INCLUDING YOURS are “natives”, at least not by your description. Lastly, sometimes it’s best to be quiet and let people “assume” you have a brain.

      3. Money in some ways does serve as an equalizer but since black people are an even smaller minority as you go up the socioeconomic ladder such an assertion is a non sequitur. The problem here is that a legal system that is ideally based on a consensus has been disregarded due to aspects that are highly correlated with race. Now if were going to start accepting “ignorance of the world” as a valid defense there’s thousands of black people that ought to be retroactively acquitted although clearly crime is only tolerable when the perpetrator is white. You can make whatever argument you like about how this country doesn’t belong to blacks but the reality is that my ancestors were as involved in constructing this nation as those of any white person and in many cases blacks and whites share those ancestors. When people are enslaved and two populations thoroughly mixed the cultures of those groups are no longer separate. I’m not going to relinquish my entitlements so that I can go live in a place where they don’t speak MY language or have the same values simply because the majority doesn’t appreciate being collectively criticized. If you accept that an entire group can be held responsible for the actions of selected individuals white people are responsible for the destruction of the world from which black people came. If you don’t then perhaps it would be best to stop interpreting articles like this one as personal attacks directed at each white person.

    5. “I’m sure if they were any other race and all the circumstances were the same, the outcome would be similar.” Ummm what country are YOU living in??? certainly not the US!!

    6. lol…I guarantee you, NO, the outcome would never be the same. All you have to do is look at the news. They are showing the blatant injustices daily. Where are you?

    7. what are the chances of a black family having money for that kind of lawyer though? Look at the data which races get the harshest sentences? which races are most likely to get arrested?

    8. As much as I would love for this to be true…I could never in any way envision a black child getting away with this. Money talks big, but race—and racism— is still a major issue in this country, try as we might to deny it.

    9. question? we know Ethan killed 4 people drunk driving ,but how exactly did Davontaye kill 4 people was he also drunk driving? is this the exact same story with the only difference being race? I am puzzled by the missing pieces of the story here. I think in order to say this is racist both stories have to be almost mirror image to one another. All this article tells us is that the white kid was drunk driving killed 4 people used a dumb ass defense and got 10 years probation and a black kid who ___________________________ and killed 4 people used the same excuse and it didn’t work. there is a difference in Vehicular manslaughter and murder in the first degree. If its the same story then ya Davontaye got screwed and no its not right or fair. I just feel that this article doesn’t provide enough information for me to jump aboard the hate whitie parade.

      1. You must be an attorney 🙂
        I feel the same way, and I believe that the author of this article didn’t have anything to do the day he wrote it and invented a story and put it out here to see what happened…. and I felt for it. I never waste my time (I don’t have much of it) reading, but today I was curious…
        This case has no body to grab and give an opinion…

      2. Ironically, if you really read and interpreted the article, the “majority” of you would see it was not intended to provoke a “hate whitey” parade. It was actually intended to be a mirror and have us look at ourselves and stop making daily judgements about people based on skin color (Well at least that’s what I chose to take from it). It’s the same thing on both levels. For example, I don’t seem to “fit” in a lot of circles due to the fact that I am a black man who speaks with intelligence and articulation. For me, I get labeled as not being black enough because I choose not to allow the blatant racial injustices I experience daily to deter me from striving to live a good loving life. Sure, I have had people lock car doors on me because of their insecurities, I have been accused of killing the black family because my girlfriend is hispanic, I also have been socially indicted for real fear when being pulled over by a cop for a “routine traffic stop” or the old “where are you headed to,” conversation starter. It’s all bologna! But when are we going to stop trying to find blame in everything in this world and start loving each other and being champions of change. Don’t worry…I am not in a kumbaya frame of mind writing this. I am simply saying, we all have varying struggles in this world with injustice being inevitable, but the most tragic of all injustice is to lose hope. Ask the late Nelson Mandela! My mom said something to me when I was a kid that still resonates with me to this day…”baby, no matter how bad you want it to be the world isn’t fair, and will never be, until judgement day. So dry those tears and smile…because peace can only be giving to you by your own means.” I pray for peace, and I do so with love not with bitterness. You ALL be good!

    10. Look, we all get it. Stop stating the obvious. Stop making your life just an exercise in blaspheming. If you want to do something then rock the boat. Revolutionize the system. Continue your education and advocate the education of everyone! The more you yell WHITE PRIVILEGE blah blah blah at everyone’s face or anyone who isn’t as mad to the bone as you, the more you create distrust and hatred for anyone resembling a “privileged white person”. Those of you who understand the how and why and need for change concerning institutionalized white privilege are ready to vocalize your hopes for an equal and just future! So do it, get off your high horses (your “anti-white anti-class high horse) and roll up those sleeves. Get into the system and change it. Do what Miles Davis or John Coltrane did for music. Learn the system, and shake it.

      …white privilege is institutionalized, and as such it is a cultural reflex that reinforces a power structure based on something as insignificant as skin color. It is true and unavoidable in many areas of life and unfortunately in many levels of the US justice system. Those people who are born and bred to feel elite and feel white (notice I say “feel white”) develop into egocentric narcissists who are blind to the consequential miseries their self indulgence inflicts on others less fortunate (not necessarily less amoral); and it is only natural that a creature would use what is at its disposal for self preservation. Unfortunately, many of us are unable to be brave enough to sacrifice our egos or our very “rawhides” even when we know what we did is very wrong.

      This boy in question (the offender let off the hook) we do not know how he may feel. His parents no doubt hired this lawyer, and no doubt had their reasons (love for their son, love for their reputation). But this boy, may not he feel guilt? Also, what life can he possibly live following this? Who will trust him? Will he ever be safe in public again? He has been labeled “mentally incompetent” (borderline sociopathic). I’d say the justice never was in the courts to begin with. It is and always has been with the people!! We decide who is and who is not punishable…through press, through conversation.

      Now let us voice our opinions of this trial. And let us put the legal system (once again) on the block. Privilege (white, wealth, class, clique) has got to go! So please don’t banter or blaspheme anymore. Do something about it goddamnit!

    11. I cant wait for the day when everyone wakes up and realizes race, gender, sexual orientation, religion…NONE of that matters. WHAT does matter is that we are the impoverished vs. the rich and the rich LOVE that we squabble over “social” issues of difference, because it keeps us from forming strong against them.

    12. Yes, it’s because they’re white. White people are the most racist people on this planet and think they are superior to everyone else. Their pathetic and desperate attempts to make up for their lack of talents and accomplishments when compared against other races is disgusting and pitiful. They’re the main reason America is so flawed today.

      1. Truth, you are going against your name! I am not white and I couldn’t disagree with you more! I grew up among non-whites and I saw tons of racism there. As a matter of fact, “inequality, unfair treatment, racism, cruelty, taking advantage, fraud, pride, and whatever name you want to give it….” does not know boundaries, and it is abundant in ALL RACES, COLORS, SHAPES…..
        I know great white people, and evil white people.
        I know great black people, and evil black people.
        I know great….. I can on for ever….

      2. My greatest fears: (1) Smokers who don’t think second hand smoking hurts their children, (2) Thinkers who only think of how to attack others, and (3) Racists who are trying to stop racism

    13. go fuck yourself you fuck, four people are die, they paid the judge and sorry ass lawyer to let the bitch go free, better be glade it wasnt no from my family , they fuck want be alive today. Dam he would make a good bitch behind bars. Moma and dad want be able to save his asshole!!!

      1. LOL ….Statistics…confounding variables….the questions we raise when we are educated and know how to think!

    14. Then you don’t live in the real world, brother! You posit a hypothetical “if they were any other race” but this is not what has happened, is happening or will likely ever happen. Yes, you can get away with murder if you are rich and ANY race, but the system is capitalizing on an existing bias that is not swept away or ameliorated by your “if” sentimentality. Please! I do blame this on whiteness and its privilege – those factors go hand in hand with the insane likelihood that you ARE rich. Goodness, I am sick and tired of folks thinking that one act on one side of an equation magically balances out a million acts on the other side. Wishful thinking and defensiveness of one’s own privileged position don’t change the statistics.

    15. I agree, however, money alone won’t do. It requires influence, reputation, fame, knowing the right people, etc., along with money to get things in your favor…..

    16. I agree with you Levy. However, money is not the only thing needed, it has to come along with a name, prestige, influence, reputation, charisma, fame, looks, etc… regardless of race. If a black person possesses any of the before-mentioned items, he will get away with a lot. If race was it, then President Obama would not have become our President.

  8. This is a great point that hasn’t been made strongly enough elsewhere. The inverse insinuation in the whole Affluenza thing is that every drug dealer or mugger was perfectly aware of the concepts of responsibility and righteousness but made a conscious decision to go against them and do bad things with full understanding of their actions, unlike this kid who had no choice in the matter. Totally insane!

  9. Both conditions sound like made up BS from US Psychologists with too much spare time on their hands.. Oooh I’m poor so I have an illness that makes my decision making poor.. Ooh I’m rich so I don’t know how to take responsibility for my actions.

    Both come down to modern parenting, where you’re not allowed to give your child proper boundaries and then enforce discipline when the child oversteps those boundaries.

    I was brought up on a 3 level system. Level 1 = being told to stop because my behaviour isn’t acceptable. Level 2 = Being told that if I don’t stop now I will get a smacked backside.. Level 3 = smacked backside.

    I didn’t become a thug etc. I learned how far I could push my luck, I learned that my actions have consequences and that if I misbehaved I would be punished. I was maybe punished 4 times in my entire childhood. But now we have to put children on the naughty step and reason with them etc. Young children don’t have the ability to reason and because we’ve adopted this “let them do what they like” attitude where they aren’t punished if they swear at you (the parent) or talk to you like you’re a piece of rubbish/garbage etc and are never told no or that they can’t behave like that we have ended up with a whole generation of spoiled, bratty, rude little gits who run roughshod over everything and expect respect without showing any first.

    1. Amen, I was brought up the same as you and as a 63 y.o. grandmother who raised 1 son you are totally correct. My son is not in jail or on drugs. he is a hard working young man of 37 who is married, pays his child support and also helps take care of his wife’s 2 children. I disciplined him to know right from wrong because at birth he had 2 strikes against him. ( Male and Black). i didn’t have much money so i taught him not to do the things that later would cause him and myself grief. This new generation is absolutely horrible, privileged little brats.

    2. Actually, Affluenza is the BS Term that was made up. The Povertenza was a term the article writer made up to show how silly the original word was. But yes, I agree with the rest of your comment.

    3. I feel that you are ignoring a rather large elephant in this room. In the cases of extreme poverty, parents are often too busy to be as active in their children’s lives as would be ideal. When exactly do parents who have to work five crappy minimum wage jobs between the two of them just to keep some semblance of a roof over her family’s head while probably dealing with living in a dangerous or run down neighborhood have the ability to monitor their children’s every moment?

      Or the parents who themselves suffered severe trauma as children or adults due to their socioeconomic status. They are mostly not able to afford getting any help for the ensuing mental health issues and therefore perpetuate the cycles. They are literally incapable of being proper parental figures.

      In many cases, impoverished youths are forced to grow up and survive I whatever way possible. This is often how gangs recruit new members. They offer protection and “family” the disenfranchised youths seek.

      Do not be so quick to judge others based on your own personal history. You were able to be what your child needed and that is very commendable. But it also means that your situation in life allowed it. That is not the case for so many people these days.

      1. What about the rich family, where each parent works 60 to 80 hours a week and the child is left with nannies to be raised? Their status means that they can’t afford to be seen as weak, not to mention that if news got out that they had a crazy son, or that they were busy dealing with family issues, it could cause havoc with their stock.

        No, it’s much better to donate to the right politicians, and hush everything up. Maybe if we give Jr. that corvette that he wanted so much, he’ll calm down then…

        TL;DR version: There are shitty parents on both ends of the spectrum

      2. I am not saying there are not terrible parents on both ends. There are terrible parent throughout he spectrum. My point was raised in an effort to point out what I view as a flaw in the realm of “kids these days just aren’t raised right” mentality exhibited in the post I was responding to. The examples listed initially were much more targeted at lower income children.

        As for upper class, I went to school with a large number of them, which was aawkward as I was solid lower middle class. I had an unfortunate insight into the lives they led. It is an exceedingly troubling experience. They also act out due to lack of parental supervision. However, there was much less survival or finding of some sort of “family” as I saw in the bad neighborhoods I lived in. With these children it was primarily either tryong to force negligent parents to pay them SOME kind of attention (good or bad), or personalities similar to Couch: highly narcissistic individuals who can do whatever they want and never be held accountable. ..ever. I am not saying that all of them were that way. This primarily only pertains to the children and teenagers who did act out or cause trouble.

    1. I agree with this statement whole heartedly. I believe that because the defense of Affluenza was accepted that the parents of this boy should now be criminally and civily liabke for their son’s behavior as they are the direct cause. Negligent homicide.

  10. I find this article poorly written because the article does not say what crime Davontaye did. Until otherwise, I think the argument about “white privilege” is useless.

    1. Devontaye isn’t real. They are saying, what would have happened if it had been a poor or black teenager that had done the same crime as the white rich teenager. What would the consequences have been if you’d replaced the defendent in original story?

    2. It doesn’t say what crime Davontaye committed because Davontaye is a fictitious person used to prove a valid point. Obviously you did not look at the facts.

      1. And that’s why this is a bad, dishonest, immoral, hate-no gearing article. No one could have gotten life in prison under this charge. A poorer kid might have been locked up for 2.5 years.

        All of the outrage over this case is predicated on the idea that this kid got an inappropriate sentence, but no one’s actually laying out the facts to demonstrate that.

      1. I hope you know that by calling someone an “idiot” for questioning the validity of something is in its own way acting “privileged.” Which is the equal of “white elitists.” You may be intellectually privileged, as witnessed by your ability to understand the content and point of the above article, but your hostility towards someone who is reluctant to buy in immediately actually subverts your intellectuality and in turn makes you an elitist.

  11. Just chipping in as one white guy who recognizes how ludicrous it is for my fellow white folks to say things like, “ It has nothing to do with black or white.”

    1. Count me in too. OJ was the exception that proves the rule. He had enough money to buy white privilege. The comments about “we can’t be racist because Obama” don’t seem to get: he is is vilified nonstop using racial dog whistles if not outright epitaphs of that kind, and he is threatened incessantly to a greater magnitude than possibly any president before him.

  12. If it were my kid, I wouldn’t even give them a lawyer, they effed up they pay the price period.
    It’s both sides the parents fault these problems. The “3 step” up bringing, I was raised the same. And have other friends, white, black, Hispanic raised in the same way… these kids need discipline, boundaries etc or they act like fools.. then they play the systems that allow this kind of “affluenza” type crap.

  13. Reblogged this on Hot Comedy and commented:
    Sunday blog share. More evidence for the need to teach cognitive science and psychology in public schools at young ages so your/our/their future will be able to better understand themselves in the most dynamic meaningful way possible.

      1. Fables and parables are outdated ways of communicating moral lessons biased with cultural beliefs.
        I am talking about teaching people to better understand physiocognitive principles of emotion, action and reaction to the environment. This will allow them to better interpret and judge their surroundings and actions more appropriately with the present environment and not by what other people think/imply what they should do in that moment.

  14. To the author – You turned an issue that’s not race related and used it to progress the cliche of white supremacy. And you did this by turning the article’s subject in to a race matter. Essentially you’re being racist to make a point about racism. Are you trying to say that there exists no affluent blacks? No poor whites? Rather than turning everything about race, try reporting about things that matter in the story like how obviously bullshit the defense is or how the families of the victims are. Racist.

    1. Cite two places in this article in which the author made this a race issue. Her focus is about differing socio-economic backgrounds.

      1. Forget citing two places in the article where the author made this a race issue; the entire article, starting with the headline, makes it a race issue. Not to mention the part where she mentions how this would not be a viable excuse for black and poor youths (as opposed to just poor youths) and the last line about white privilege.

  15. It is so sad how whenever anyone tries to point out the honest facts about privilege and racism in America it causes an uproar and people begin to get defensive, ignorant and retreat into denial. First of all those who read this article with the intent to make it about black vs. white that’s your misinterpretation so please stop accusing the author of race baiting. Even though the hypothetical situation uses a black impoverish kid this can easily be applied to any other race aside from white of course. The assumption that because she brings up the issues with white privilege immediately means she is by default advocating strictly for black poor youth is false, and distorts the main message behind the article.

    She makes valid points and instead of people trying to undermine and contest her points with “not the ordinary” cases is not only unintelligent but also a clear fear of accepting the reality of America’s current position. I’m appalled by those who claim this entire article is all about race and pulling out the “black card” when that could not be further from the truth. I hate the fact that only white people can talk about racism or white privilege without being accused of looking for pity or a hand out, but I applaud the author for writing this anyway.

    If racism upsets you personally that’s fine, but please no more ridiculous comment about “racism no longer exists”, “lets not bring race into this”, “it would have been the exact same outcome had he been black”, “stop pulling the black card”, “white privilege is pure nonsense and nonexistent”, or any other ignorant comments such as these. These comment are counter productive and not educating whatsoever.

    1. Agreed. The reality is that had it been a POOR white child, the lawyer WOULD have used Povertenza instead of Affluenza. And it would have worked equally as well.

  16. I don’t think this is an example of white privilege. Some indigent white kid from deep woods Kentucky would certainly not have received the same treatment as Ethan Couch. I think this is an example of socioeconomic privilege and the ability to purchase a chink in the armor of the justice system. “Affluenza” is obviously a ridiculous defense, as is “Povertenza.” We should not be lamenting the fact that a “Povertenza” defense does not work; we should be concerned that an “Affluenza” defense did work.

    1. A white kid from the deep woods of Kentucky likely would have received the same treatment. As would a black kid from inner city projects. It was a fairly typical sentence for a sixteen year old convicted of this offense.

      The “Affluenza” defense didn’t really work. Couch was convicted, and got a similar sentence to the one that anyone else would have gotten. His parents are choosing to pay for a nicer rehab, but that’s not a matter of an unusual sentence. People sentenced to rehab generally have the option to pay for their own rehab in place of being sent to an overcrowded, understaffed, ineffective rehab at taxpayer expense. I suppose that it’s kind of outrageous that the publicly funded rehab facilities are so bad, and maybe that Couch’s parents are trying to send him to one with an ocean view, but neither of those things are a result of the affluenza defense.

  17. Couch is a juvenile, and was sentenced under juvenile law. He will be on probation until he is 26 years old after spending 2 years in a private rehab that probably smells nicer than a jail. But he will go to bed, classes and get up on a very tight schedule. He will not have access to friends or family. He will have to earn privileges. When he gets out, he cannot even sneeze wrong without getting sent to prison, no ifs ands or buts, no additional trial he will have to pay probation costs every month. He will be restricted on where he can work and go to school. He may even be restricted to not being able to drive until he finishes probation. ALL OF THIS AT NO COST TO TEXAS TAXPAYERS. I say better than jail all the way around. And he may come out a better person who stays sober. Chances are better than if he went to plain old jail. The judge did good.

    1. “The judge did good” only if she applied the same results to a poor black or brown kid and afforded him the same rehab facilities at no cost to the taxpayers. In fact, wouldn’t this be a better solution to a whole slew of crimes, quality rehab centers. The problem here is the inequality of income. A poor kid would have a public defender with a hella case load and little time to prepare a defense, let alone the money to hire expert witnesses. This kind of case screams class and economic inequality. What you see as a good result is strictly the consequence of affluence!

  18. While this does have to do with race (slightly), it deals more with the capitalistic nature our country is plagued with. The law can only remain blind so long. This actually shows that not even a white person’s life is more valuable keeping an affluent inheritor

  19. It never ceases. This constant race bashing back and forth all the time.

    I’m not saying that there isn’t an issue here where the rich kids are getting away with things that the poor do not. That’s obviously the case and has been all along. The problem with this entire article comes down to the writer being a racist and that’s just pure and simply the truth.

    I have plenty of rich black friends that have kids that get away with outrageous things all because of money. I’ve seen white poor kids get jammed up with some pretty harsh sentences just like I have black kids. Is that to say there isn’t an imbalance, no because there obviously is and I would be a fool to say that there isn’t a bias that goes on in the courtrooms on a disproportionate level against blacks. Yup it happens.

    But what about all of those black kids that are being sentenced by black judges that are sick and tired of seeing black kids doing stupid shit that lands them in the courtroom? How about those activist minority judges that see their place on the bench to send a clear message to their own community that they’re not going to tolerate their own people making a bad name for those of the same race?

    You are absolutely stupid to think that this isn’t happening because it has, does, and is on a daily basis in our courtrooms.

    When you make this white against black there is always going to be someone that thinks they can use some weakly propped up argument of how whites are privileged and blacks are oppressed. Yeah well tell that to some of my black friends that are tired of that excuse being used to justify the mock outrage that people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson use to incite the rest of the black community when race isn’t the real issue. Tell that to some of my black friends that are sick and tired of not being taken serious because people like Sharpton and Jackson have taken away credibility to the real issues that face youth in their communities all because people are sick and tired of race baiting and have come to start ignoring real issues because their tired of feeling as if they are being attacked for not agreeing with the outrage.

    This is the edge that cuts both ways. The black community is alienating people that are tired of the same old issues being brought up and turned into an issue that is being compared to slavery and black oppression that hasn’t existed on that level in a wide spread way in many years now. What about the folks that want to move on and build better relations by leading through example? Such people as Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated that it was possible to affect change through peaceful progress and not through hate speech that is all too common from the black community’s current mainstream examples of leadership.

    How can anyone take issues in the black community seriously when you have Sharpton on MSNBC constantly engaging in hate speech on a political and social level? This is a problem that has to be addressed if we are going to make any real progress towards true peaceful co-existence.

    So go ahead and attack me. I see things differently. I can empathize with the issues that the black community faces as a minority. As a gay man I have had to deal with my fair share of oppressive behavior at the hands of others many times and still very much do today. But I am also a minority within a minority in the gay community because I also do not support Democrats or the liberal movement whatsoever. I support Libertarian views which are socially liberal but constitutionally and fiscally conservative. I am attacked constantly by others in the gay community for my views and attacked by Christians and Muslims alike. I am attacked by the lunatic right wing fringe as well as the militant liberal gay movement for not standing by them because I disagree with the message and the delivery method of the community.

    I know.. it’s not the same thing right? Really? So you think it’s about what is the same and what is different? Here is what is the same. It’s abusive oppression. Black men in the gay community are looked down upon just like white gay men. The difference is that you will find more people in a public place that are uncomfortable with someone because they are gay than you will because someone is black. That’s a fact. So tell me again about how blacks are being abused and the only ones that can relate to the struggle of being taken seriously as equals. Tell me again how blacks are the only ones that can relate to being verbally attacked as well as attacked for so called morality issues. I would venture to guess as well that the stark reality also may be true in this day that you are far more likely to be attacked because someone doesn’t like the fact you’re gay than the fact that you’re black. I could be wrong but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if that could be proven as well.

    So how about instead of continuing this race baiting crap and the cry me a river of tears montages from various militant black role models in the community, we start setting examples of peaceful co-existence and trying to work towards solutions instead of inciting more hate.

    How about instead of attacking one another in the comments saying things like “because you’re white” you start looking at the issues that guys like Don Lemon are bringing up and try dispelling this idea if not outright discouraging the black community to use a victim mentality to justify more hate and anger for a change and start making a positive outlook and promoting peace and cooperation to improve the quality of life in the community? Isn’t that what all of us should be doing? When are we going to stop listening to the hate mongers and start fighting our gut reactions to lash out in anger?

    We need to be the examples. The edge cuts both ways in these issues. The difference in how we resolve them is the difference between being good and moral people that stand up for just causes together or being part of the various factions that continue to feed upon negativity and hate to keep their voices relevant to the conversation and even to profit from our fueled outage. We have to set a precedent in our communities for doing the right thing instead of what’s easy. It’s much harder to do what is moral and ethical for the good of all than it is to be selfish and motivated for self gain or even corrupted by greed.

    Say what you will but I’m right and I know it and I refuse to take part in a black vs white debate that none of you are going to prove to me exists on any level enough to continue the justification of slinging hate around. It’s just pathetic and childish. I for one want to see everyone who deserves to be treated with respect and dignity have that opportunity. I want people to be able to agree to disagree and still be able to be friends with one another while not infringing upon the rights and freedoms we should all enjoy equally.

    Isn’t that what Martin Luther King Jr. wanted for ALL of us. Not just blacks, but ALL of humanity? Did people only listen to the message and believe that his words were for one race? I believe that a man of God such as himself believed that equality and equal respect are something we earn through good will and intent along with being examples of what others should aspire to be through our good works.

    If you guys didn’t take away something of that from looking at the great voices from history, the message was lost on you and you will never truly learn what it was they were attempting to teach us all.

  20. Sad that this becomes a white black issue when the argument of affluenza is absolutely ridiculous and the judge should be thrown out for his sentencing ! The judge is wrong

  21. JAM, thank you for writing this. I’d like to think that Ethan Couch was given the chance of a lifetime to learn from his mistakes, and that he will do right in the future. The simple comparison you made speaks volumes about the wealth disparity and race issues in our country, and I’m behind you in using this opportunity to further open up dialogue about it. We can’t fix it if we don’t talk about it.

  22. Wealth or poverty do not define our morals. Any parent who is willing to “blame” their child’s poor behavior on their income level should be ashamed. I was born poor. Raised by a single mother in the 60’s when it was considered shameful. She taught me right from wrong, how to accept the blame when I messed up, how to take responsibility to fix my wrongs, how to work hard, how to take nothing for granted. I worked my way through college (paid for every bit of it myself) and graduated. My children have been fortunate enough to have more than I ever did at their age but they are both being taught the same things my mother taught me. They are required to hold a job, get good grades in school, be respectful to all. They are regularly given the gift of “no” by me and their father. No, you may not have that. No, you may not go there. No, you may not do that because it is wrong. None of us should use some half-assed excuse for poor behavior. It’s a choice no matter which side of the tracks you come from!

  23. You know what sickens me even more than the “Affluenza Defense” and the lack of personal responsibility being assessed in that case? It’s Black reporters with a chip on their shoulder–like the writer of this oh-so-scholarly article–who take every chance they can to attribute injustice or unfairness in the American legal system to race. I have a very valid question. If you’re so sick of racial divides and differences, then why do you bring up race and “white privilege” every fucking chance you get?? Stop, just stop. You’re not helping out your race or anything. All you’re doing is coming across as immature and bitter. And you know what? Most “socio-economically disadvantaged” black kids that get harsh prison sentences get them because they’re no-good, thugging, gangbanging stupid fucking niggers. end rant.

    1. You know what sickens me even more than white people bitching about black reporters with a chip on their shoulders? The fact that this was not meant to be a scholarly article and you, Mr. Wonder Bread asshole, interpreting it as such. You just get your tighty-whities all bunched up in a knot thinking about how much you hate black folks and salivating at the chance to use the term “stupid fucking nigger.” I bet you came all over yourself after you wrote that, you race-baiting piece of shit. YOU are the problem. YOU are the issue. You don’t ever have a valid question because you have no idea what valid means. You tell the author that she is not helping out her race and that she is coming across as immature and bitter. You, on the other hand, come across as churlish, childish, short-dicked and petulant. (I think we will all wait while you run to the dictionary to look up “short-dicked”. ) I wonder why you bothered to reply; the only reason I can think of is you wanted everyone to know that you don’t know you are supposed to hyphenate gang-banging. Pfft.

  24. I am a middle aged white male. I have NO money, and when I can work, it is in menial jobs for sub-standard pay to oppressive employers. That being said, I was also sentenced for theft that I admitted to. I received the MAXIMUM for a MULTIPLE offender, though this was my first criminal act EVER! This happened not because of money, but religion. I was not even allowed to speak in court because the judge ‘didn’t need to hear what I had to say’, and was told to be ‘more open minded about religion’. IN OPEN COURT he said these things, and was never called to task for them. IF an individual commits a crime, he or she admits to it or is caught in the act, they should not be sentenced based upon color, wealth, or social standing. This is unfortunately not the case. IF an individual shows remorse, admits to the crime (and there were no physical victims), they should be given a lighter sentence than the absolute maximum. IF you kill someone through negligence, will, or sheer lack of thought, then you should, AT THE LEAST be imprisoned for life, regardless of race, gender, wealth, or social standing. In the ‘assfluenza’ case, he needs to be put to death, period.

  25. I am not upset at the lawyers… it is their jobs to lie, deceive and BS their client’s way to freedom. In fact, I applaud this lawyer for having the cajones to attempt such a thing as “affluenza”…. I am, however, disgusted with the judge and jury (if there was one) for setting such a ridiculous precedent in allowing such a blatant BS defence to be taken seriously. And yes, I agree with the author completely that if we are going to use socio-economic pressure as a defence for such acts then it needs to be applied across the board on both sides of the spectrum.

    The families of the deceased need to fight this and sue the judge as well as get that kid into jail where he belongs. I don’t care if it’s his first offense or not, he has killed people and needs to be held responsible for his actions.

  26. Many people here deal with the need to highlight personal or anecdotal experiences in response to this article. I see it for what it is…comparing justice in America. Those who are old enough know that the justice system here in the US is rife with preferental treatment towards whites. This is just fact. Those who grew up in the 80’s,90’s and beyond have been lead to believe that racism is dead. It is not. Further I’ve adopted Dr.Frances Cress Welsing’s definition of racism,…it is a system of white supremacy ….Therefore the use of the term has been distorted over the years and people apply it indiscriminately to include others who are non white. This just isn’t so…This article is highlighting that given the same set of circumstances…a non white would not have been given an excuse for killing 4 people..it would have been 4 counts of vehicular homicide with a jail sentence for each victim. The judge recognized this priviledge (white) and ruled accordingly. Those of us old enough to remember know that this same decision making prevailed in southern courts and northern ones as well.

  27. Affluenza, my eye. If they have so much affluence, they ought to be sued for it. It should cost them something. These families have suffered tremendous loss resulting directly from selfishness, lack of discipline, and lack of respect for the lives of others. I am disgusted.

    Primary functions of the state, such as prisons and public education should not be incorporated. We are going way overboard in contracting out essential functions of government. Our children and grandchildren are reaping the awful consequences.

  28. Race privilege and socio-economic privilege are two vastly different things. I have white privilege but I have never had money. But with you having gone to Syracuse University, where tuition is $38,000, you probably have never met a poor person. But we won’t hold that against you. However, if you want to start calling people out about being rich, keep the conversation to money before some intelligent poor person searches Google to find out where you really come from.

    1. Thank you so much for this. I knew there was something a bit off about the way this article was written, and you hit the nail on the head.

      Although, she might have gotten a few of those ‘black only’ scholarships to go to that school, you never know (speaking of privilege).

  29. <<< White Guy…. This whole thing is stupid…. The judge should be fired the kid the white spoiled little brat left with the grieving father/husband for a good @$$ beatin and thrown in prison with the other people that make stupid decisions right along with this judge, Mr and Mrs Couch too for doing a crap job raising there kid…. The problem here is the problem with the world is its morals…. If they were black yeah theyd be in prison unless they had enough money to talk as good as the Couch's money did…. and there are diffrent standards held on diffrent races each having there own pros and cons, unfortunately thats america for ya…. and if you disagree with that then your bout as brilliant as the jury in the above trial…. Peace….

  30. I’m not saying race isn’t an issue…….but I think financial standing is a much bigger one. The poor will always be judged more harshly and have no means for a good defense. I don’t care if you are black, white, orange, or purple……If you are dirty and dressed like a street person or you look clean and have a nice suit, people are going to judge you within a millisecond of meeting you. We do not give each other the benefit of the doubt. We think poor people are beneath others and associate them with deserving less out of life, lazy, dumb, etc. If a rich person commits a crime then “they made a mistake” in an otherwise great life. If a poor person commits a crime they are a drain on society and should be dealt with harshly. OJ Simpson, Barkley, etc…… We seem to give the already advantaged rich more advantages…..and poor people even harsher lives.

  31. beautifully articulated! truth resounds in your words!
    i read through a couple of the comments above, i have to admit not many, but the idea that race had no hand in this is absolutely outrageous. when white ppl deny institutionalized racism (the only ppl who buy into this theory are wealthy, white liberalesque) it allows our culture to stick it’s head in the sand continuing to allow it to happen and condoning it. also, classism plays a huge part in this whole deal! i appreciate your pointing out exposure to violence and the fight for daily survival those in poverty are exposed to. when we see a cop, he is there to remove someone, not protect someone. fighting for things like food, access to proper medical care and keeping the bills on engulfs our minds, consuming our thoughts, taking away our power to think about long-term solutions to our problems. it is necessary to be hyper-focused on basic needs-food, shelter, heat, transportation, child care, exhaustion, health, mental health-that it is impossible to put energy into anything else. our ghettos grow larger everyday. as public access to proper education decreases, poverty increases. and bc of institutionalized racism, patriarchy, sexism, etc. the ppl most affected by these issues are people of color, immigrants, and mothers. for anyone who denies that these things are real, that it is perpetrated upon us in a way that has been strategically planned out, i would suggest looking at the rate of incarceration of people of color for nonviolent offenses, the rate of literacy in comparison to rich white counterparts, the quality of education overall in low income areas. this has been put in place by those in power to ensure they stay in power by not allowing us the time to look around us and take care of the overall illness, we can only treat the symptoms which come down on us like torrential flood-waters.

  32. Now this is what I’m talking about Ms. Mitchell. Let’s talk about the disparities in social justice. I think that Povertenzia is a much more provocative argument that Affluenza however we all know that the streets would be running …. At the end of the day there is no way that this young man should have gone free. If anything he has more access and exposure to consequences. If he hadn’t then let’s put his parents in jail. Let’s see what would start happening then.

    No piece… No justice…No justice no peace. Really.

  33. So, basically what this article is saying (because of that last statement) is that because a rich white boy got off of drunk driving and murder, ALL white people are rich, privileged, and would get off on the same.
    Seriously? White privilege isn’t a thing. It’s not. I’m white. I live in a pretty run down but ‘cosmopolitan(meaning mutli-racial)’ neighborhood. While I’m walking 200 yards from the bus stop to my home, on an average day, I get accosted for money, change, or food, and when I refuse, I get yelled at and threatened. I’ve seen the same people getting into their cars and driving away later in the day.
    White privilege is to be ‘assumed’ to be well off. The only time that anyone is privileged and white is if they actually ARE rich. It’s not because they’re white, it’s because they have money.
    Riding the bus on a daily basis, I’m insulted for being white, threatened for being white, and judged for being white.
    Repeat after me. Just because someone is white doesn’t mean they’re rich and privileged.
    The use of the term “white privilege” only promotes hatred and racism.

    In short, the only privilege there is for being white is that we get to sit back and accept racism and hatred from black people, because after all, “black people can’t be racist”. Right?

    Note. I do feel that the rich boy should be rotting in prison the same way that I would be if I got drunk and killed 4 people with my car. I also agree, the problem of ‘for profit’ prisons and other points made in this article are perfectly valid. However, the insinuation that this is a race issue is just disgusting and ignorant.

    1. White privilege does not refer merely to financial status. Yes, there are black racists- there are racists of EVERY race, culture, etc. One is no less wrong or offensive than the other, however, the extent and power associated with the racism minorities receive in this country from some white people is what makes the difference. This is the kind of thing you would have to see and experience to believe, so with you being white, I could understand how you might not get it

  34. What kills me is that the main people in this country being targeted by racism recognize and accept it as a way of life and move on. They don’t like it but they have no choice other than to just deal with it from time to time and do their best to rise above it. However, people in this nation who know absolutely NOTHING of experiencing racism deny its existence so earnestly! Its insane…. If you haven’t experienced something for yourself, YOU HAVE NO OPINION ON THE MATTER!!! What this means in simplest terms is that if you’re not African American, you will NEVER understand what it is like to be black in this country-period. So you can deny all you like that race is no factor, but you only further prove the point that it is by saying that because you are basing it on your own experiences of not encountering true racism. A person of ANY minority in America can attest to a very present level of racism in this country. The question I’d like to pose is how can you be so SOO positive that white privilege doesn’t exist?? It is an undeniable reality that at one point in our nation, black people were shamelessly injusticed on a regular basis and on a very large scale. We can admit that now, but at the time, as blatant as it might have been, it was still denied. So how can you be sure that there’s no way it ever happens now- because the laws have changed?????? Please….. Now that is TRULY IGNORANT…

    1. it is blatantly obvious that we still are a race oriented society. look at the prison statistics. the majority of ppl in prison are black men, then hispanic men then white men. most ppl are in prison for nonviolent offenses. and although drug use is stable across the ethnic planes, there are more black ppl in jail then white ppl. crack is a form of cocaine that has baking soda and water added to it, the water is cooked off, and you are left with a crack cookie, which is then broken down and sold as crack rocks. so really there is less cocaine in a gram of crack than in a gram of powder cocaine, but due to the fact that powder is primarily a “wealthy white” drug and crack is a “poor black” drug you serve 5 years for crack to every 6 months served for powder, and that is if the da or federal attorney decides to prosecute. most white ppl get off for their first offense with probation, but there are plenty of black ppl who are hit with a three strikes max sentencing for their first drug offense. this can be done by charging the subject with additional charges like possession of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute and drug paraphernalia. not to mention if they happen to have a gun in the car or any number of other things within a certain radius of a school, etc. bam three strikes right there! life in prison for ppl who are younger than 16 years old. the fact is white ppl are less likely to be pulled over on nonsensical charges like no tag light or being in the wrong neighborhood or looking suspicious. white ppl are less likely to be subjected to stop and frisk activity. there is a fantastic book out called the new jim crow by michelle alexander and it is amazing!!!! i would suggest everyone read it and take a good hard look at our colorblind nation again.

  35. seriously? you can’t compare two separate cases and say the reasoning behind the African American case is because of his race? Your placing big assumptions which you don’t know the in depth details of. A huge reason we have racism like this in our country is because we constantly talk about placing white and blacks in separate categories which you have clearly done here. Stop talking about our differences and start talking about our similarities and maybe we’ll start placing each other in the same category and come together like we’re supposed to. Yet people think bringing awareness like this will make a difference? You’re only making the problem worse.

  36. 4 people dead and he walks away with 10 yrs probation , HE WAS DRUNK !!!!! Him being drunk had to play apart. there’re are people who are serving life sentence and didn’t mean to do it either . He’s old enough to drive , drink and party but not old enough to do the time $$$$ played a huge part in this !!
    &Racistism still exist!!!

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