JAY-Z Pens New York Times Op-Ed About Meek Mill and the Criminal Justice System
JAY-Z has been one of the more vocal critics of Meek Mill's 2-4 year prison sentence ever since Meek was sent back to jail in early November for violating his probation. Shortly after the news of Meek's sentence broke, Jay blasted the decision as "unjust and heavy-handed" in a Facebook post.
With Rick Ross participating in a rally for Meek Mill, and Vic Mensa speaking about the case, Jay has now penned an op-ed piece for The New York Times calling for the public to pay close attention to what's happening with the Philly rapper.
"On the surface, this may look like the story of yet another criminal rapper who didn’t smarten up and is back where he started," Jay writes. "But consider this: Meek was around 19 when he was convicted on charges relating to drug and gun possession, and he served an eight-month sentence. Now he’s 30, so he has been on probation for basically his entire adult life. For about a decade, he’s been stalked by a system that considers the slightest infraction a justification for locking him back inside."
"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 goes on to say that Meek's case moved him to say something, but its not unique.
"The specifics of Meek’s case inspired me to write this. But it’s time we highlight the random ways people trapped in the criminal justice system are punished every day. The system treats them as a danger to society, consistently monitors and follows them for any minor infraction — with the goal of putting them back in prison."
Calling probation "a trap," Jay also salutes Color of Change for working to improve the approach to those on probation and parolees. You can read the full piece here.