Oprah Winfrey opened up Super Soul Sunday this week by stating an often hidden fact concerning the lives of black men.
“It’s a fact that we imprison more people in our country that any other nation on earth. 1 in 3 black men born into this century is expected to be incarcerated.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Sunday’s conversation saw mama O sitting down in her sprawling backyard with Civil Rights Attorney and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson.
The conversation placed a light on forgotten souls living inside the prison justice system. Oprah credited her reading of Stevenson’s book, ‘Just Mercy,’ with opening her heart and altering her view on incarcerated individuals.
June 8th’s broadcast shined enlightening facts on the black man’s plight within the criminal justice system.
Oprah said, “For the most part society believes criminals are criminals and they deserve to be in jail, locked away and punished. Society thinks criminals to be different from them and show very little care or concern towards their well-being.”
Often on social media you will hear black people saying “Stay Woke.” But when it comes to the criminal justice system, just about everyone falls asleep on the reality of what’s actually going on inside.
Bryan Stevenson shed light on why that happens.
It’s because we have been coerced, pushed and nudged to go that way by the profitable political justice system.
The agenda makes you demonize other people, fear them and be angry at them for their perceived wrongs.
Stevenson said judgements about inmates, may not be correct nor fair.
“If most people saw what I’ve seen they would feel different about the world. We’ve actually been taught, trained and pushed to think that way. For The last 40 years we’ve been all little bit corrupted by the politics of fear and anger. Where we quickly demonize other people. We’ve been told to be angry. We’ve been told to be afraid. We put theses people in institutions far away, where you don’t see them, we don’t get to interact with them.”
When you’re afraid and angry it’s easier to think things about people that may not be complete and fair. When you i don’t have to see it, when you’re distant, it’s easier to kind of imagine this world is a world that you don’t have to spend any time worrying about.
There is a presumption of guilt that gets assigned to black and brown people in this country. A presumptive of dangerousness, though a history of racial inequality, that has become a problem that manifested itself in judgement.
What’s going on in our country right now is we see racism on a daily basis rearing it’s ugly had. Without bodycams and cameras a lot of people could not have imagined. – Oprah
Oprah’s thoughts on police brutality and the black lives matter movement:
“Those of us in the black community know that this thing has been going on for years. There just wasn’t cameras to show you that these things were going on”, Oprah said.
While explaining her fear of pit bulls, and the belief that the breed is harmful, Oprah made a very insightful, striking statement.
The media mogul compared black men to the ferocious tabled dog breed. “To many white people and police officers, black men are like pit bills.”
Watch the first 10 minutes of the video below.