Studies show that for an identical crime, black teenagers are more likely to be arrested or jailed than white teenagers. Black people are around four times as likely to get arrested for marijuana possession, despite surveys showing black people use marijuana less than white people, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
In Ferguson, where protests have continued over the shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, official reports show black people being pulled over, searched, and arrested at disproportionately high rates compared to their share of the population. An ACLU study found a similar imbalance in Boston, where two-thirds of police stops involved black residents — despite black people making up just one-quarter of the city’s population.
Even after being convicted of a crime, being white may still hold advantages. A Princeton University study examined hundreds of American employers’ hiring and found that white people with felony convictions were preferred as much as black people with clean backgrounds.