Had an email from C talking about his relationship to 'race' and racism. In it he talked about something that I had forgotten about - the reputed link between blackness and criminality.

Of all the myth and stereotypes that I have digested, that one hasn't really stuck for me...(or at least not at the moment). I don't know why. Maybe it's because my personal experience of criminal behaviour has always been white people: attempted break-ins, trespass, neighbours from hell whose behaviour bordered well on the crimial side - and I guess even my own past behaviour...

Or more likely the reason is because the myth within my community as I grew up was that criminality only existed within dominant culture (leaving aside the stereotypes around aboriginality) ie white christian culture while my community only had - at worst - misguided people.

I could have directed C to read Stuart Hall about racism within the criminal justice system but I didn't. I remember that when B was doing jury duty a couple of years ago, she told me about a black kid who was up on some charge, can't remember. She said that when the jury went out to deliberate, one white woman gave her reasons for declaring the defendent guilty was because he was black - with all that implied to her - (the jury had no black people on it) and because his sisters in the visitors gallery looked menacing.

I know I vowed no hearsay on this site but I think this 'eye-witness' account is appropriate here.

<< | >>