Race

The Curious Case of White Men Getting Away With Rape

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 6.04.12 PMRecently, a  Massachusetts judge released the sentence for high schooler David Becker, who was accused and found guilty of sexually assaulting two of his classmates. For this, the young white high schooler merely received two years probation. No jail time, no real consequence for the horrendous crime he committed. When asked about the sentencing, the judge responsible responded that they ‘didn’t want to ruin the child’s life’. Really? You’re not ruining his life, he did that to himself. Where is this sympathy when thousands of black bodies are charged with real jail time. Where was this sympathy when the judicial system rightfully convicts thousands of young black lives who’s lives are now ‘ruined’ as you put it. And does Becker really deserve this sympathy? Because he was the one that committed this crime, he’s the one who now has to face the consequences of his actions (although it doesn’t seem like he’s facing real repercussions), and he was the one that ‘ruined’ the lives of those two high school girls when he decided to step beyond the boundaries of “no”.

Now, does that seem fair? The monster of these girl’s nightmares gets to walk away without any real consequence. Soon, this monster will join them once again at school and they’ll be forced to share halls with the same person who sexually assaulted them. This feather-light ruling is one of several more, most noticeable comparable to that of Brock Turner’s. Like Becker, Turner sexually assaulted a woman on Stanford college campus and received a minimal sentence. This rightfully provoked outrage, and we thought that others would at least learn from that judge’s mistakes. But apparently not, because here we are again, back at it with another white boy getting off on something that deserves real jail time.

I’m sorry, but this just wouldn’t be the case if Becker was black. Judges tend to lack this type of sympathy once the accused’s skin gets darker, and that’s just ridiculous. There’s absolutely no reason why the color of your skin should determine how long or how severe your prison sentence is. Yet, we still see white men get off with sentences way less serious than the crime they committed- it just doesn’t add up. Not only is it unfair to us, but to the women who Becker and others like him sexually assaulted. We live in a society where more blame is put on the sexually assaulted than the assaulters. Officials most likely overwhelmed the victims with questions like “what were you wearing?” And “are you sure you didn’t say yes?” They have to live their lives knowing that their assaulter basically got away with ruining their lives, and that is incredibly sad. Come on, America- we have got to do better.

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Nyah Hardmon

Nyah lives in Miami, FL where she studies journalism and creative writing - any questions, comments, or concerns can be sent to nthardmon@gmail.com.

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