Digging to Roam

Intent and White Privilege Keeps Whites Out of Jail

White hand grabbing jail bars

The common saying that “it’s the thought that counts” is supposed to apply to gift-giving, but it was destined to morph — as all language does — and has been used to justify the continuation of a broken criminal justice system. Not everyone’s thoughts count, though. Intent is determined by the powerful — and benefits the powerful, or those who least threaten the status quo.

What is privilege?

White privilege provides a protective buffer of assumptions that is not given to people of color, especially not to black people. To better understand how this functions, think of whiteness as a protective benefit-of-the-doubt shield. To level up the shield, you have to be given more layers of privilege.

For example, three additional layers of privilege would be able-bodied, cis male and in in the one percent. The kicker is, no one has any say in the shield they start with. Less-protective shields suffer more damage more frequently because they are weaker against accusations of ill intent. Higher-level shields have so many automatic protections that they do not have to worry about the same dangers as lower-level shields. A person and their shield are nearly inseparable.

A cornerstone of the criminal justice system in America is that everyone is (supposed to be) considered innocent until proven guilty. We can’t forget about the shield, because it doesn’t disappear in the courtroom.

This is an exerpt, continue reading on Wear Your Voice Mag

Kristance Harlow

September 19, 2016

Crisis Help USA
Emergency
Virtual & International
Crisis Help USA

Find help for a crisis by texting, calling, or chatting online with these free crisis organizations. Looking for one outside of the USA? Check out our support listings.

Crisis Text Line
Text: “HOME” to 741741

Suicide Lifeline
Text: “ANSWER” to 839863
Call: 1-800-273-8255

Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-422-4453

The Trevor Project
Text “START” to 678678
1-866-488-7386
Emergency

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call your local emergency number. The numbers listed here are the commonly used numbers for the stated region, the numbers can vary greatly depending on where you live. If you don't know your country's equivalent to 911, this wiki page and The Lifeline Foundation have comprehensive listings.

Americas

911

The Americas
Europe

112

Europe
Africa

112 & 999

Africa
Asia

112, 999, 110

Asia
Oceania

112, 911, 999, 111, & 000

Oceania
Virtual & International

These online and international resources may help you anywhere you are located. Looking for local support outside of the USA? Check out our support listings.

DV Support Abroad
Call toll-free worldwide
1-833-723-3833

I'm Alive Virtual Crisis Center
Live chat with trained volunteers

Crisis Connections
24/7 crisis support with interpretation in 155+ languages

Leave a Comment





Join the mailing list.

No spam and we will never share your information.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.