While the bias does exist, it’s not simply a black and white issue. It’s rare to find an overtly racist cop, or an overtly racist judge. The bias is nuanced; it’s woven into the system, and it builds with each interaction with the system until, at last, it results in unequal justice.
Consider the very first interactions: A cop and young black male interact on the street, and both give the other a bit of attitude. The officer gives some attitude because he’s tired of getting attitude from other young men, and the young man gives some attitude because he’s tired of getting attitude from other cops. Now, who’s at fault?
This, as simple as it sounds, is how it starts. Once the infection begins, it grows quickly. If you want to say the cop’s at fault because he’s the adult with training, you are right. And if you want to say the young man is at fault for disrespect or mistrust of a cop’s authority, you are right.
If both sides refuse to move toward the middle, we will all just keep going down this path, and another black family will plan another funeral. Or we can agree that we, each of us, will be better off accepting responsibility for an infection that we cannot defeat individually.