Black In America: The Jeremy Meeks Issue

Posted: June 30, 2014 in Black In America, General
Tags: , , , , , , ,



A series, inspired by the CNN special, dedicated to race related identity issues concerning Black people in America.

The Story

So the case of Jeremy Meeks…

“We never want to glorify or put people like this in the news for reasons like this but a lot of you are talking about it online and for those of you who are doing it, we kind of wag the finger of shame at you we never want to put these on a pedastal.”

So let’s talk about this. Here is the news covering the story — because God forbid they not grab a story that would get ratings — but at the same time they are going to “wag the finger of shame” at everyone else for talking about it. I hope I don’t have to explain the hypocrisy of that.

Also, the news reporter uses the term “these people.” This couldn’t get any more disgusting. By these people I’m guessing he is referring to convicts. However, why are they “these people”? Is it because they committed a crime (as if the majority of the general public has not)? Or is it because in America once someone has committed a crime they are no longer considered to be part of the society?

Jeremy MeeksThe Problem

The problem with the Jeremy Meeks story is that America is still a place of antiquated delusion where people are either bad or good. Despite the huge area of gray in which most of the country resides, we take on this condescending air of moral authority when it comes to individuals that we do not know personally. Every day the media is covering attractive celebrities and talking who’s hot and who’s not, but, apparently, people who commit crimes are not allowed to be attractive. If women think the man is attractive then that just is what it is. That has nothing to do with the crime he may or may not have committed nor does it have anything to do with the morals of the women who admit to finding him attractive.

The real problem is not whether or not America thinks Jeremy Meeks is attractive nor is it that Jeremy Meeks may have a criminal record and is currently incarcerated. The problem is that this story made headlines and that even as Jeremy Meeks’ visual appeal became the topic of conversation on major news networks, there has been no admission to the fact that the major institutions of this country are enthralled with the superficial and deluded of their own flaws.

The Point

These sentiments illustrated in this coverage of the story expose the truth about what’s wrong with the media and with our criminal justice system. We objectify these people based upon the judgment of a well-known flawed justice system and we reduce them to unwanted objects to be dismissed by the general public. Where is the rehabilitation in that? How is it that we come to expect these individuals who are convicted of criminal offenses to serve their time as a non-human reject of society and return to society rehabilitated? It’s asinine. Yet we pretend that “these people” deserve the treatment that they receive. They deserve to have their civil liberties stripped from them; to be treated like animals; to be permanently branded by their past decisions. This is all okay…until “these people” become us or someone close to us. For those privileged persons in our society this seems less like a reality. For a person of color (especially a male) it is a statistical inevitability and harsh part of reality. For that reason, I take issue with the commentary surrounding Jeremy Meeks. It reeks of the kind of fascist ideology that has led this country to stumble in global respect and prominence.

I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,

An Angry Black Man


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