And all along the way, from the police officiers, to the lawyers, to the jurors, etc. are ordinary individuals. People who have their outlooks in life, etc., yet try to be as impartial as possible.
So, I believe, a heightened awareness of race should always be kept to the forefront because people are bias.
I'll give you an example. Through the years, I've worked with a number of blue collar white folks. And back in the old days, meaning the 1980's, things weren't so politically incorrect to talk about as they are today. I always noticed those folks commonly talked about the crack houses in the inner cities, but failed ever to mention about the meth labs in rural America. No big deal, and not a sign of overt racism, but nonetheless, it revealed to me how these folks were so willing to talk about the negatives of another group of individuals, but not of their own.
And this is just one of many examples I could give you. Its not overt racism, per se. But it shows people tend to be partial. And this partiality works its way through, when one sits on a juror, or elects a judge, etc. There are some people I've met through the years, who are good people, but I would not trust them sitting on a jury if I was falsely accused of murder.
People are much more partial than you may think. That's why lawyers work hard to screen potential jurors.
And if I could point to one well known case that points to people's partiality (both by black and whites, but, really, it applies to all races), is the OJ Simpson case. Never has there been a case that has polarized the races.
(The bit about the penitentiaries starts at 0:45. Needless to say, since it's Richard Pryor, the language is not pristine.)
A good Townhall read. Nice change of pace.