Why the LAW Hasn't Solved Systemic Racism

As an attorney, I am constantly getting asked questions about the law and while I am not a constitutional law scholar, the facts of the case are clear that in 244 years, we are still getting it so wrong in this country when it comes to our people.
The law is my home and I love it.  And while laws can be the solution for so much good, they can also be the cause of injustice and so much pain.  A patchwork of local, state, and federal laws have resulted in a system where whites are afforded more and better access to virtually everything; blacks are not treated equally from schools, to the health care system, to employment, and every opportunity in between.
In 1969 the United States became a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) which is a United Nations convention that commits it members to the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of understand among all races.  

Fifty years later, we aren't even close and the truth is, as stated in a report compiled by the Transnational Racial Justice Initiative, "the US will come into compliance with CERD provisions—and other human rights conventions—ONLY when it dismantles white privilege and makes the promise of "equality and justice for all" the letter and effect of the law." (emphasis added, see the full report here).
We can have a law, but it is the EFFECT of the law that matters. We have an Equal Protect Clause under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. We have the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  We often have the letter of the law but we don't always have the effect.  At the end of the day the rule of law is a tool that has been used ineffectively and unjustly.
Nevertheless, the changing of hearts and minds won't come through the law, but the changing of hearts and minds CAN determine who we elect and how laws are made and implemented, and that in turn will result in the societal change that needs to happen. 
The officials and leaders WE elect are ultimately the law creators and decision-makers (and appoint the judges and justices that uphold or strike down laws) and I think we can all agree, it is high time for a transformation.

Local, state, and federal laws needed to correct systemic racism won't happen overnight, but they CAN and WILL happen with unwavering participation by you and I and the entire electorate in our representative system of democracy.

People wouldn't need to be in the street sending the message to leaders and officials that Black Lives Matter if those same officials and leaders truly had in their hearts that people should be judged not by the 
color of their skin, but by the content of their character as Dr. King so aptly dreamed.
My dream is that the revolution beginning now will #persist through election day and beyond so that the status-quo that has been long-accepted is challenged AND changed.  A country where officials, leaders and laws don't see color ONLY PEOPLE as equal.
We must not shirk from our moral obligation, the voices of the people must be heard on the street and at the ballot box.
We have the opportunity to make progress in this area and one only need to look outside and see the flames igniting, but this is a fire that has been simmering and building for hundreds of years because of white privilege and our personal choices to accept the inequalities that exist for black people. I promise and commit to do and be better.  This week there have been actual fires, it is my hope that the peaceful protests continue and that the fire of change continues to burn in all of us.
I want to see our son grow up in a different world.  It starts at home, with education, with conversations, and with voting. 
To register to vote - click here.  WE NEED YOU.

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