Working on some of the biggest court cases in recent years, including those of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, could have the capacity to rattle your faith in the justice system but former National Bar Association President Ben Crump says these cases have only strengthened his faith.

“The fact that when they kill our children and are not held accountable is just alarming. It’s alarming that our system will help laws like ‘Stand Your Ground’ that tells, not just the police, but also any Tom, Dick and Harriet citizen that they can kill an unarmed Black or brown person and go home to sleep in their beds at night. There is progress and that’s what we have to continue to fight for. For instance, you know, when the white policewoman was convicted in Dallas, Texas, that was the first time in history that a white policewoman was convicted of murder for killing a Black man. That verdict was for Trayvon Martin, for Michael Brown and Sandra Bland. These cases helped educated America, and raise the consciousness level, that Black lives matter. Each and every case plays a role in making the jury and the court and the judicial system, more conscious,” Crump said.

In his new book, “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People”, Crump not only talks about the recent killings of Black people he also explores the ways the prison system can basically kill one’s future. He will be discussing his book in Philadelphia on Monday night at WHYY studios.

“We don’t even expect equal justice now because we are so jaded when it comes to law protecting us. That’s the very case we argue in ‘Open Season’, The fact that the laws that are supposed to protect us are in fact the ones that are killing us,” Crump said. “Black males make up 7% of the population in America yet they makeup almost 50% of the population on death row there’s no way to justify that no matter how much they try. If things don’t change in the next 25 years, one in every three Black men would be convicted felons. So when you think of the collateral consequences that come with being a convicted felon, it is about you know, you can’t vote, you can’t serve jury duty and you can’t serve in the military. That’s that’s a tip of the iceberg.”

Crump said he doesn’t think we should get discouraged.

“We have the continuous struggle. As Frederick Douglass said, ‘Without struggle, there could be no progress’. We have to know that we will be struggling a lot for any progress that we make nowadays, but it’s worth it,” Crump said.

jperry@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5749

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