by Maria Lloyd
One must question the awkward silence coming from Black America regarding the case of Roy Brown. In December 2007, Brown robbed a Capital One Bank in Shreveport, LA. He walked up to the teller with one hand under his jacket and said it was a “stickup.” The teller handed Brown three stacks of bills. Brown took a single $100 bill, told her he was homeless and left, police said.
Guilt overcame Brown and he surrendered himself to police the next day, telling them his mother didn’t raise him that way. Police allowed him to sober up and interviewed him two days later. Police said Brown told them he robbed the bank because he needed money to stay in a downtown detox center, had nowhere to stay and was hungry. Brown was sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree robbery. He’s currently serving his time at the Madison Parish Detention Center (registration number 94441).
In 2011, a Caucasian man named Paul R. Allen was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a $3 billion security fraud that left at least 2,000 people unemployed. Allen was serving as CEO of the nation’s largest privately held mortgage lenders, Ocala, FL-based Taylor Bean & Whitaker, at the time of the company’s demise. Allen pleaded guilty to conspiring to mislead investors in Ocala Funding and providing false statements to federal regulators. Allen and his five subordinates received credit on their sentences for cooperating with investigators and testifying at company chairman and lead conspirator Lee Farkas’ trial.
A recent report from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, discovered that African-American men are, on average, given longer prison sentences than white men. The report reveals that black men found guilty between December 2007 and September 2011 received sentences that were a whopping 19.5 percent longer than white men found guilty for similar crimes. Why do we, as a people, sit back and read data that proves the injustice imposed upon our community? If this were occurring in any other community, there would be marches on Capitol Hill and extensive outcry in the media until the nation addressed the matter.
Why do you believe African-Americans remain silent on matters regarding injustice within the judicial system?
Maria Lloyd (@WritingsByMaria) is the Business Manager for the Your Black World Network. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and an advocate of dismantling the prison industrial complex, increasing entrepreneurship, reforming education, and eradicating poverty.