Since Meek Mill received his 2-4 year prison sentence, Jay-Z has been publicly speaking out against the decision, both on stage and on social media. And now, he’s taking that frustration to The New York Times with an Op-Ed piece called The Criminal Justice System Stalks Black People Like Meek Mill.
Calling out Judge Genece Brinkley for her sentence, the piece breaks down the racist nature of probation and how it’s effected people of color differently over the years.
What’s happening to Meek Mill is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day. I saw this up close when I was growing up in Brooklyn during the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of a second chance, probation ends up being a land mine, with a random misstep bringing consequences greater than the crime. A person on probation can end up in jail over a technical violation like missing a curfew.
The specifics of Meek’s case inspired me to write this. But it’s time we highlight the random ways people trapped in the criminal justice system are punished every day. The system treats them as a danger to society, consistently monitors and follows them for any minor infraction — with the goal of putting them back in prison.
Jay-Z closes things out with a link to Color of Change, a racial-justice organization that is fighting to correct the issues plaguing the system.
The entire piece is available here.