Even though they’re just kids, in the eyes of the justice system, little black boys are often seen as criminals.
Recently, 12-year-old Georgian rapper Corey Jackson, AKA Lil C-Note, faced felony charges for supposedly selling CDs at a local mall in October 2018. In February, he had his day in court and his charges include disorderly conduct with violence, criminal trespassing, and obstruction.
The police said the reason for the arrest was because they told the child on two separate occasions not to sell his mixtapes in the mall. Jackson’s attorney, Mawuli Davis says this is completely false.
“When he was there, he was not selling any CDs or doing anything that would have been prohibited, he was there meeting other artists.”
The video, taken during the incident by Corey’s aunt completely contradicts everything that the police are saying. The officer is clearly grabbing the boy by the arm. And although Corey remained calm, you can tell that he was scared. As he’s dragged away, the video becomes shaky and the aunt is screaming at the officers. At the end of the video, we see Corey being strongarmed by a security guard much larger than he is.
I can’t say that I’m surprised by the video. Black people are having the police called on them just for breathing, and unfortunately, young black boys don’t get a pass.
I’ve watched videos of young black children getting arrested for selling drinks, an activity that young white children do every summer to raise money. No one asks them if they have a permit.
Remember back in October when a white woman accused a little boy of sexually assaulting her? Or in July when a white family called the cops on young black boys mowing lawns? No matter how socially progressive people think they are, they will always see black children, especially boys, as criminals.
A study, published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that both police and those not in law enforcement tend to dehumanize black boys. The fact that police are conditioned to think that young black boys are up to no good scares me. The deciding factor of guilt or innocence is based merely on the color of their skin.
“Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent.”
Charts in the study also showed that participants considered black boys to be less innocent than white children at the mere age of 10. Yes, 10.
At 10, you should be having fun with your friends and doing everything that 10-year-olds do. But instead, there are black boys around the country that are getting “the talk” from their parents. A talk that I will hopefully not have to give when I decide to have children.
I write a lot about the black community and issues within it; particularly when it comes to protecting black girls. But I always have to remind myself that little black boys can’t be forgotten either. It is a form of racism that has been ingrained in people’s brains.
It’s the same racism that got Emmett Till murdered at the age of 14 in 1955. The same racism that made the Scottsboro Boys famous. It’s situations like these that require people to look within themselves and check the racism and prejudice they have, even if they claim they aren’t racist. And yes, that includes the police.
Black children are not allowed to have their innocence. If you can’t see a problem with that, you’re not paying attention.
READ THIS NEXT
Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.