Solomon Jones: Sandra Bland Shows Black Women Also Need to Worry

Written by on July 28, 2015

Photo credit: Richard Harrington

The questionable death of Sandra Bland in a Texas jail cell – allegedly a suicide – has forced me to revisit the ugly realities I explained to my children in the aftermath of the Michael Brown case.

They are realities rooted in the complex relationships between race and class, between right and wrong, between law and justice. Because the frightening truth is that laws are applied unevenly, and justice is too often in the eye of the beholder.

Unfortunately, Sandra Bland’s death has broadened the problem. It has forced us to admit that in the months since Michael Brown was shot dead by then-Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, we have too often focused on the plight of black men. It seemed like the right thing to do. After all, black men are 21 times more likely to be shot dead by police than their white counterparts.

That troubling statistic that emerged in the wake of Michael Brown’s death and the nationwide protests that followed, compelled me to speak with my son about black men and police.

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