Research has shown that cities with larger Black populations rely more heavily on fines and fees. This isn’t by accident - it’s by design.
And as Black America pays the price, it’s fair to ask, “How is this sort of racism going unchecked?” Well, this is how it works.
According to the study, “Who Pays for Government? Descriptive Representation and Exploitative Revenue Sources,” conducted by political science researchers at the University of Memphis and Vanderbilt, the “use of fines and court fees for local revenue” disproportionately affects Black people.
Cities like Ferguson, Missouri, have been exposed for racially profiling Black people in an effort to generate profits. The Guardian reported that Black people there were “pulled over up to 10 times as often as white neighbors.”
In Jacksonville, Florida, ProPublica analysis found that tickets “were disproportionately issued to [B]lacks, almost all of them in the city’s poorest neighborhoods.” Often times when people are unable to pay, it messes with their record and can even lead to incarceration.
It’s essentially a TRAP - to get money from us one way or another!
One of the most important points all this information proves is that Black people ARE being targeted by police forces. It’s not some paranoia that we have in our minds. It’s real.
So if the police want relations to be better? They should make sure their departments aren’t being racist to start!