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Changing the Conversation about Race

Monday December 01, 2014 | Category: Civil Rights, Criminal, Legal Topics

I heard this interview on NPR a few weeks ago about a lawyer representing young black men and the struggles that they have on the streets simply because of skin color. I remembered it last week when the Ferguson riots were going on. No matter what your position is on the grand jury’s decision (I have one,  and it probably isn’t what you think ), the discussion on race is not over. Black Americans like Bryan Stevenson, the interviewee, are stopped by police solely because of skin color on a constant basis. I see this situation, disparagingly referred to as “Driving While Black,” in my office every day. It took many years of practicing law as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney for me to remove the blinders, but there is no denying that systemic change is needed in our country before everyone is treated equally. As the Red Hot Chili Peppers sing, “American equality has always been sour”, and just because we have moved from where we were in 1860 or 1960 does not mean the work is done. Jon Stewart said it best in this video,   “You’re tired of hearing about it? Imagine how fucking exhausting it is living it.”


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