Misc 1 - Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
Bob Dylan’s song Hurricane, is about American middleweight boxer Rubin Carter, who was wrongly convicted of murder in the 1960s.
In the song, Dylan describes in detail, (the album version is over eight minutes long), Carter’s story. Carter, a black man, was wrongly accused and convicted of murder, and spent almost 20 years in prison until the courts determined he was wrongfully imprisoned. The purpose Dylan’s song was to decry racism and profiling against black people.
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that
In Patterson that's just the way things go
If you're black you might as well not show up on the street
'Less you wanna draw the heat.
Dylan released included the song on his 1976 album Desire, which led to widespread knowledge of the Carter case, especially in America. By most accounts, Hurricane is credited with rallying popular backing of Carter's defence. It’s notable, and oh-so-typical, that a white man’s protest song is the reason for the popularity of Carter’s case and his subsequent release from prison.
Carter’s (d. 2014) innocence has since been called into question, due to the details surrounding the crime and Carter’s own history of violence and assault. When he was 11 years old, he stabbed a man and was sent to juvenile detention. After a brief service in the army, he served time in prison for two muggings. Of course, due process was not exercised in his murder case, therefore his conviction is null. But, for his earlier crimes there were systemic issues at play, as mentioned in Neighbourhood Poverty and Adolescent Development. The article states that “poor outcomes associated with race and ethnicity are primarily an artifact of differential exposure to childhood poverty.” (pg 116) Carter grew up in a resource-poor neighbourhood, which contributed to the behaviours he exhibited before the crime and, ultimately, impacted the course of his life.
McBride Murray T., (2011) “Neighbourhood Poverty and Adolescent Development” Annual Review of Psychology.. 52:83–110