Sue Speaks On Bryant Case
By Michelle Armstrong
Derald Wing Sue pointed to testimony at Kobe Bryant's preliminary hearing as an example of how negative stereotypes of blacks are reinforced by the criminal justice system. "When charges of rape are mixed with graphic details of the alleged assault," said the professor of psychology, "there is a stronger likelihood that associations of black Americans and violent crimes are made among white jurors." In contrast, research indicates that whites find it difficult to believe that police officers could engage in misconduct. "You have two very different world views here," he suggested.
Sue, author of Overcoming Our Racism: The Journey to Liberation, said that blacks distrust the system because of past experiences of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment. He cited the Rodney King and Susan Smith cases as examples. Police officers who beat King were acquitted partly because jurors held the tenet that black men are dangerous, Sue said, while Smith's false claim that a black carjacker had murdered her children was quickly accepted by the public before it learned that she had drowned her own sons.
The article, entitled "Some Inland Blacks See Racism in Bryant Case" appeared in the October 14 edition of the Press Enterprise.