My local representative, who is African American, wanted to get tough on kids. He says he learned about that from a VA politician. They call that "the southern strategy" in this video. They also explain how the addition of black policeman to the police force (and black teachers to the school system) doesn't change this problem.
White people think they are being colorblind when you see skin color even if it doesn't translate in the conscious mind; it is caught in your unconscious mind. Many people think being colorblind is best, because everyone wants to be treated as a unique and loved individual. That's the goal, but we can't truly do it without facing our past and what our past has created that is in our subconscious. We need to actively change it.
The good news is: Mississippi is making an important move to do that by stopping the school-to-prison pipeline.
See Colorblind: Rethinking Race (2012) from Barbara Allen on Vimeo.
Here's an unfortunate recent example that I came across just after posting this. 14-yr-olds used to be thought of as kids, but now they're being tried as adults.