How well do you know your rights? While many of us might have heard our rights rattled off — maybe in snippets of TV shows and movies — far fewer of us actually understand what they mean when they’re applied in real life. And in America, these unalienable rights aren’t unalienable for everyone. Meek Mill teams up with the New York Times to get to the bottom of what our rights really are, and he comes to the project with personal experience. “The criminal justice system has a set of rights created to protect you,” the video explains. ‘But do you think it’s really protecting us? Rapper Meek Mill was the victim of the miscarriage of justice. His experiences are leading him to speak out: it’s time to change the system.”
The way that our rights are meant to protect us looks very different to the way the criminal justice system often plays out — especially if you’re a black man in America. Meek Mill has an important lesson to teach:
America has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world — and black men bear that burden, often as the victims of injustice or serving ridiculous sentences for petty crimes. The rights may exist for all, but in America, they’re only ever used for some.