|Monique as “Mary Jones” in the film Precious|
By Julianne Hing | Colorlines
The shocking Cobb County, Ga., prosecution of Raquel Nelson, who law enforcement blamed when her son was killed by a drunken hit-and-run driver, has drawn national headlines and outrage. But criminal justice watchdogs and cultural critics point out that, while Nelson’s story is extreme, it’s not that unusual—and it’s the product of centuries worth of demonizing black women that has taken a new, insidious turn during the current recession.
“This hit and run story is such an apt metaphor for what’s happening,” said Nikki Jones, a sociologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “American policies have essentially been a hit and run on black women that leave them in circumstances where they’re managing day to day and then getting punished for their very victimhood.”
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