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Young White Male Privilege in a North Carolina Courtroom

Once again, being a young white male (or any white person for that matter) has its privileges.  The most recent example happened right in my backyard.  A former University of North Carolina student managed to escape a more serious second degree murder conviction and, instead, was found guilty of the lessor offense of involuntary manslaughter.  His crime:  He killed three innocent black people while driving DRUNK the wrong way down a NC highway in July 2015.  Immediately after the accident, he was reportedly belligerent and demanding that rescue personnel address his medical needs instead of those of the victims he hit.  

The punishment for his crime:  21-year-old Chandler Kania was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years and 8 months and a maximum of 16 years and 4 months in prison by Judge Henry Hight Jr.  Does the punishment fit the crime?  Of course, it's going to depend upon who you ask.  Personally, I believe he should've been given at least 20 years for every life he took and 10 years for the 11-year-old he left critically injured.  But someone else might say this young man can be rehabilitated so don't let him waste his life away with the real thugs and criminals behind bars.  Grant him mercy and, believe me, he'll probably be a free man in less than 10 years and able to walk back into his white male privilege lifestyle. Just like Ethan Couch, whose white privilege "affluenza" defense got him 10 years probation after killing four people in an alcohol-related accident in Texas in 2013.  

But that certainly wasn't the case for a 37-year-old, Shannon Ford---a black man from Florida who was sentenced to 20 years behind bars after his log-hauling big rig collided with a school bus carrying 15 children in 2014.  NO ONE DIED and the most serious injury sustained was a leg injury.  Of course, the judge heard emotional testimony from the white parents and children about how devastating the crash was and how it would change their lives forever.

White privilege versus Minority Misfortune inside the justice system.


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