Re: “Where is outrage over vandals during BLM protests?” (July 25)
Because many sense that the law in the United States does not treat everyone equally, the question of equal treatment frequently invites indignant responses.
But when complaining about the law’s unfair application, our respect for facts should always precede our displeasure.
Sunday’s letter contrasting the treatment of those who participated in the Jan 6 insurrection in Washington D. C. with the supposed treatment of those who joined last years’ Black Lives Matter demonstrations around the country presents a perfect example of indignation coming first.
The letter implies that unlike the insurrectionists, the vandals who set fires, damaged businesses and buildings and looted during the BLM demonstrations did not run afoul of the law. But even a cursory internet search tells us that is not true. Hundreds have been charged with crimes associated with BLM demonstrations — in Madison, Wisconsin; Portland, Oregon; Las Vegas, Nevada and elsewhere.
But comparing the number of arrests, eventual convictions and punishments meted out to vandals or insurrectionists (not that the Jan. 6 insurrectionists didn’t do some vandalizing of their own) distracts from the central problem with our unequal justice system.
No matter where you look, money has the loudest voice in our nation’s courts.
It talks when the poor who are unable to raise bail are jailed awaiting trial, sometimes for months.
It talks when wealth allows some to delay the legal process so long that they avoid punishment for years, if not forever.
It talks when large corporations shrug off fines levied for their bad, even criminal behavior — sometimes billions of dollars — as just another cost of doing business. (businessinsider.com)
Whether the BLM-associated vandals or the insurrectionists deserve more outrage might be open to debate.
That the many wealth-based disparities in our justice system should be the target of everyone’s righteous indignation is not.