Truthout Quotes Pitt Law Professor Thomas Ross Article On Race And Presumed Innocence And Guilt
In a Dec. 10 Op-Ed, non-profit news site Truthout quoted Pitt Law professor Thomas Ross’ William & Mary Law Review article “The Rhetorical Tapestry of Race” following the announcement of police officers Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo’s non-indictments in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
The editorial cites Ross’s article, quoting "White innocence is the insistence on the innocence or absence of responsibility of the contemporary white person" and observing, “What this means is that white people will not be considered guilty of a crime simply because on the color of their skin. This is due to the fact that white innocence is historically predicated on the criminalization and violation of (primarily) black bodies. The framing of whites throughout United States as inherently innocent and blacks as guilty not only encourages the continued perpetuation of white violence against black people, such as physical police violence, the discriminatory enforcement of laws, and mass incarceration, but also makes it a necessary condition of the state, as the state maintains its power and dominance through the criminalization of (mainly) black people.”