Philadelphia native and rapper Meek Mill was sentenced to two-to-four years at the Graterford State Correctional Institution for a probation violation on Nov. 8. When headlines of his sentencing hit the internet, every Meek Mill fan, supporter and friend had something to say about it. What caused the uproar is that he violated his probation stemming from 2008 gun and drug charges for riding dirt bikes.
Being a Philadelphia native myself, I know riding dirt bikes in Philly is a tradition whether it is in the summer time, at night or throughout the day. It was created into a positive community. When I would see guys popping wheelies down the block until they could not anymore, that would always amaze me. That is what got Meek Mill locked up. Riding ATVs and dirt bikes in the Philadelphia streets is technically illegal but, if it is so prolific and resulted in a positive community, what is the harm in that?
Meek Mill has been on probation for almost ten years and is constantly being reminded of his mistakes. Once you have something so daunting hanging over your head, people will never allow themselves to see you as the person you are today. That is the case with Judge Genece Brinkley who handed Meek Mill his harsh sentence on Nov. 8 against the recommendation of the assistant district attorney and Meek Mill’s probation officer. He could not see past the man who made those mistakes to the man who is now making progress.
Where is the slap on the wrist that some police officers get when they kill innocent people of color? Why is that luxury granted to people like Brock Turner, who received a lesser sentence than Meek Mill after being convicted of rape?
This is why his sentencing is unjust. It is because there are many examples that show people committing heinous and unforgiving crimes, but when it comes to a successful black man from the hood, he deserves punishment for a decade-old case. Now don’t get me wrong, he is a grown man on probation who should have been more mindful of his actions as far as the drug testing goes. But, he didn’t deserve the sentencing he received. Jay Z tweeted that Meek Mill’s sentencing was “unjust and heavy handed”, which I completely agree with. It does not matter what you have or what city you represent — a black man is overlooked in this unjust world.
Society sees the black man needing punishment because of the misconceptions against him but, all he needs is some compassion. Fortunately, Meek Mill received a large amount of compassion on social media from celebrities like, Kevin Hart, Nipsey Hussle, Isaiah Thomas, Rick Ross, T.I and fans from all over expressing their support and feelings about the injustices a black man faces in America.
Meek Mill’s album “Wins and Losses” that dropped this year not only reflected the wins and losses he faced through his life, but are reflecting them right now. Right when he was winning, he is forced to face this loss of time. This is just a minor setback, and he is going to bounce back even harder because he simply has no other choice. #FreeMeek