Taking responsibility is on us

Privilege leads to people not being held accountable

McKenna Dirks

More stories from McKenna Dirks

3rd and Vine
April 5, 2022

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Courtrooms are supposed to keep people accountable for their actions, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with people of the upper-class.

It’s not uncommon to watch the news and hear about a defendant let go with probation or less these days.

I hate to say it but most of the time, the person being accused of such crimes is a privileged white man or woman.

These people could commit huge federal crimes that would normally call for a lot of prison time, but nobody bats an eye except the general public.

We show concern for these situations, but because most of America comprises middle-class income, the concern isn’t important.

People aren’t held responsible for their own actions, and it’s a serious problem.

For instance, the Brock Turner case. Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford University, yet he only received six months of jail time and ended up serving only half that time.

Prosecutors recommended six years in prison for Turner, while probation officials only recommended a “moderate” county jail sentence.

Turner will forever know what he did but continues to not take responsibility for it because he knows he’s white and privileged and will get away with it.

Another case would be Hillary Clinton using her personal email for top-secret information but still being able to run for president. This violates federal law.

FBI director James Comey relayed in a press conference that Clinton and her colleagues were “extremely careless” in handling classified information, but also said no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case against Clinton.

To me, Clinton’s actions felt like a slight betrayal to America.  I couldn’t trust a president like that.

Our current president, Donald Trump, is no angel either. Since the 1970s, at least 23 women have made sexual misconduct allegations against Trump.

Adding on to that, an Access Hollywood tape was released in 2016 of Trump boasting about grabbing a woman’s genitals.

Trump has dismissed the allegations as fabricated and politically motivated accounts pushed by the media and his political opponents. This defense has been largely accepted as no one feels they can pursue it further.

Nobody really knows the truth when it comes to politics. The media has a way of spreading ideas into the mind of America, even though women have stood up to testify against Trump. It could go either way at this point.

However, he is still America’s president even after all of these allegations. I don’t trust our president because he doesn’t feel the need to take responsibility since he has a lot of power.

Another great example would be the Jeffrey Epstein case. Epstein was convicted of sexual assault, sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of girls as young as 14 years old.

First of all, that’s disgusting.

Second, he pleaded not guilty in August of this year but died of suicide in his jail cell.

Previously in 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to a felony charge of solicitation and prostitution of a minor and was registered as a sex offender after that.

It’s not right for him to have a charge like that and not have it be considered until his case that was held this year. With that on his record, there’s a good chance he would have committed a related crime like that again.

Again, people — specifically rich white people — aren’t being held responsible for their own actions, even when they have committed huge crimes. The only people talking about it is the general public, and it’s not like our higher-ups actually listen to us.

Please just hold yourself accountable for your own actions to save everyone a headache, or don’t do anything illegal. That’s all.

Dirks can be reached at [email protected]