When the FBI charged dozens of celebrity and otherwise-wealthy parents for cheating to get their kids into highly selective colleges, many expected the offenders to be treated like anyone else.
But the media seemed to be breaking from protocol in one infuriating way.
No mugshots or reputation-ruining background checks were ever released.
The FBI says it’s not their policy to do so - but where was all this caution for Black mothers accused of “stealing an education” for their kids? Like Tanya McDowell, for example...
In 2012, she was sentenced to five years in prison for enrolling her son in a school district in which she did not officially live - all while battling homelessness.
Her harsh punishment and case details (which included a drug-related charge) were broadcast in the media for anyone to critique. And what about Kelley Williams-Bolar?
In 2011, she received two felony convictions, spent nine days in jail, and was ordered to pay five figures in fines for using her father’s address to help her daughters attend a better performing school in another district.
Black families are rightly furious over the inequality of both the education and criminal justice systems.
Our desperation to provide better opportunities for our children is portrayed as a moral failing, punishable to the highest degree.
The media and federal prosecutors ought to keep that same energy with these white and wealthy parents.