The Onion does a hilarious skit about a blond white woman accused of killing her classmate. The punishment administered by the judge is not the death penalty, a long prison sentence or even community service. Instead, she is punished by forcing her to go on trial as a 300 pound black man. The skit goes on to show the girl’s parents crying in court over the judge’s cruel and unusual punishment. "No one in this country deserves the horror of being treated like a black man," they say in front of a group of news cameras.
While the skit was certainly funny in its own right, it was built on a very serious set of functional inequities in America’s justice system: black men are more likely to be searched, arrested, convicted and incarcerated for crimes, even when they didn’t do anything wrong. While we’ve heard about the cases of the Scott Sisters and Kelley Williams-Bolar, there are thousands of other men and women in prison after being found guilty of simply being black.