Rapper Meek Mill’s recent sentencing for 2-4 years for probation violation continues to cause outrange in the hip hop and black community at large. The rapper, who has been on probation for drug and gun possession conviction he received at 19, reported to prison last week amid protests in Philadelphia by many that felt his sentence is too harsh.

Two recent violations led to Meek’s sentencing. Back in March, he was involved in an altercation at an airport in St. Louis. All charges against him were later dropped. In August, he was arrested for popping a wheelie on a motorcycle on the set of his music video in New York. Again, the charges were dismissed when he agreed to attend traffic school.

 

One of the people who feel these minor violations should not be sending Meek away to prison for possibly four years is Jay Z. Today, Jay Z published an op-ed expressing his grievances with the criminal justice system. Titled “The Criminal Justice System Stalks Black People Like Meek Mill”, Jay Z’s op-ed discusses how the probation system has been used to keep black people in invisible chains.

Here is a small excerpt from the essay:

“What’s happening to Meek Mill is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day. I saw this up close when I was growing up in Brooklyn during the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of a second chance, probation ends up being a land mine, with a random misstep bringing consequences greater than the crime. A person on probation can end up in jail over a technical violation like missing a curfew.”

Jay Z goes on to point out that organizations like Color Of Change, a racial justice organization, are working with people in Philadelphia and the courts to cause much needed change.

Read the full essay at New York Time’s website.

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Roman Debotch is a filmmaker, photographer, and co-founder of blackexcellence.com. Through the platform that is Black Excellence, she has been able to marry her passion for story telling with her passion for issues affecting the black community. Roman earned her B.A. in Film and TV Studies and ventured into the world of video production after college. She produced music, corporate, and event videos for years before co-founding BlackExcellence.com. Since then, she has been working as a contributor to the platform as well as continuing her video production business. The very limited time Roman is away from either writing or shooting a video, she can be found hiking or enjoying one of Southern California's beautiful beaches.

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