When the Streets Speak for Themselves: A Reflection on Black Lives Matter from Porcaro Law

If you haven’t had a chance to watch Dave Chappelle’s guerilla special titled “8:46”, we urge you to put it on your to-do list. It’s one of those comedy performances that does more than make you laugh. In fact, you may even cry. Some truths are hard, but necessary.

At the moment, our country is in the midst of an uprising. Black lives have always mattered, but not everyone seems to realize that. As a result, major institutions and cultural systems have developed in a way that works against Black people and other marginalized communities.

“This is the streets talking for themselves”

In response to Don Lemon’s call for celebrities like Chappelle to step forward and speak up for Black lives, Chappelle responded with a clear respect for grassroots efforts like localized protests in lieu of celebrity blanket statements.

“This is the streets talking for themselves,” Chappelle said. “They don’t need me right now.”

The title “8:46” is based on the precise amount of time that Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck, even after he said “please, I can’t breathe,” “mama,” “they gon’ kill me” — even after he fell unconscious.

In his special, Chappelle made sure not to leave out the innumerable other victims of racist hate crimes and police brutality, including Trayvon Martin and Philando Castile.

At Porcaro Law, we also believe in the power of the people to bring change to an unjust system. Every day, we see how the criminal justice system tries to pigeonhole individuals to a predefined fate. That’s why we practice law — to provide representation to folks, Black or not, so they don’t lose the opportunity for the second chance we all deserve.

In many cases, like auto accidents or personal injuries, the victim isn’t even at fault, and we try our hardest to make sure individuals achieve fair representation.

Racial disparities in insurance coverage still exist

In 2017, the Consumer Federation of America released a study proving that predominantly Black neighborhoods paid upwards of 70% more on auto insurance premiums than other areas. At the same time, 27.4% of Black Americans were living in poverty, compared to 9.9% of White Americans.

You can imagine that this means Black people are more likely to be uninsured. This becomes problematic when an auto accident or personal injury occurs.

Insurers claim colorblindness (The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America said, “Insurance rates are color-blind and solely based on risk”). But the numbers don’t add up, and racial justice fighters know that colorblindness is a form of racism.

As a firm that practices cannabis law, we recognize that drug criminality disproportionately affects Black people

Cannabis law is more relevant now than ever before. Currently, marijuana is legal for adults ages 21 and over in 11 different states, and it’s legal for medical use in 33 states. This includes our home state of Florida.

In a 2020 analysis presented by the American Civil Liberties Union, Black people were proven to be 3.64 times more likely than White people to be arrested for cannabis possession, despite similar usage rates. In some states, this number was almost 10 times as high. In most of the US, the disparity is only growing.

People who have been deemed a felon as a result of cannabis possession are not allowed to work in the cannabis industry, ever.

At a time when cannabis has become a profitable industry all its own, we work to help Floridians from all backgrounds legally acquire the medical cannabis they need to live their life to the fullest. Whether people realize it or not, this is a racial justice issue.

Putting Black Lives Matter into action

At Porcaro Law, we stand with the Black community. We will continue to use our legal expertise to help all people — including Black, indigenous and people of color — realize the justice they deserve.

With expertise in auto accidents, personal injury and cannabis law in the state of Florida, we know that we have the capacity to make a difference. And we’re not going to let that be in vain.

Our firm will continue to make an effort to help the black community by taking part in events at our Delray Beach non-profit partners, donating to local charities, and helping the community by providing them with meals and other necessities. This is something we firmly believe in and are passionate about at Porcaro Law.

Watch Dave Chappelle’s Special “8:46”

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