“If you are African-American, you are born on (perception) probation in America. Unfortunate but real. And even those who seem to be the fairest of people, seem to also want to naturally attach negative impressions to young black men who are not honor students. They unfortunately ‘assume’ something (bad) must be up with that kid. Maybe ‘they got what they deserved,’ the rational continues. No, is the answer to that question.
A white kid who smoked marijuana growing up is just going through youthful growing pains.
A black or brown kid smoking marijuana as a teenager must be a thug.
An unfortunate portrait, but looking at many of the media reports and the trial itself, one that is unmistakable to associate.”
John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, and author of business bestseller LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass).