John Legend seems to be one of the very few sane people in the curious case of Felicity Huffman. Singer and criminal justice reform activist twitted his two cents, and it is as close to reality as possible.
People want Felicity Huffman’s head. Comments got from “She should never work again,” to “white privilege” and then to much, much worse. However, the first, maybe the most popular comment about her future acting jobs, goes against the justice and moral system. After jail, many prisoners find themselves penniless and with no prospect to get a job. So, they end up in jail again because the system failed them. They did their time and they should be given a chance at normal life. Same goes for the rich, the poor, black, Hispanic, white, Muslims, Christians, …
As for white privilege, it exists, but it’s not a constant. The biggest support came from John Legend and Eva Longoria. Both are minorities and parents. This is a light sentence, but jail time is exactly that. Enter Legend, singer, father, husband. He expressed his concerns and got deep into another case. Legend tweeted: “
I get why everyone gets mad when a rich person X gets a short sentence and a poor person of colour Y gets a long one. The answer isn’t for X to get more; it’s for both of them to get less (or even none!!!) We should level down not up.”
Chrissy Teigen’s husband continued: “Americans have become desensitized to how much we lock people up. Prisons and jails are not the answer to every bad thing everyone does, but we’ve come to use them to address nearly every societal ill,” Legend added.
“It’s insane we locked a woman up for 5 years for sending her kid to the wrong school district. Literally everyone involved in that decision should be ashamed of themselves,” the Grammy winner continued. “Her sentence shouldn’t be fewer years. It should be ZERO.”
John Legend was referring to the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, a single, black mother in Ohio who was convicted in 2011 of using a family member’s address to get her kids into better public schools. She was handed two concurrent five-year sentences, which were suspended to 10 days.
“And no one in our nation will benefit from the 14 days an actress will serve for cheating in college admissions,” he concluded. “We don’t need to lock people up for any of this stuff.”
The real issue is that mothers, as well as fathers, know that getting into great school matters. But instead, our focus should be on making schools, Universities, lower on the ranking lists, better. No one says that there was no crime, but wishing Felicity Huffman and her family all the worst is disturbing. Famous or not, this family will need a miracle to stay together, with or without the unnecessary hate.