|Type of paper:
|Racism Criminal justice
The most recent shooting of the black young man called Treyvon Martin is an indication that the United States of America is still struggling with issues of racism. As protests and demonstration are being staged to call for political intervention, there is an ongoing discussion whether the story had an element of discrimination and injustice against people of color. However, what makes a majority of the Afro-American population angry is that the killer of Mr Martin's son, George Zimmerman, was set free because he acted out of self-defense (Milligan). Many people are growing pessimistic about the issue of racism. Nevertheless, the country had made tremendous advancements more specifically from the 1960s when the Jim Crow laws that castigated violence against the black population were in operation (Milligan). There has been a worrying trend in the manner in which the fundamental protections that were enshrined in the American constitution for the minority groups have been withdrawn. Some section of people argues that racism there is no hope for the end of racism while others especially the whites do not recognize racial discrimination of the black minority community.
The most important lesson that most Americans should learn from the story is that racism is still a significant issue of national concern in the country as evidenced by the widening gap over interpretations on the subject from both the African American populations and the Caucasians. According to a statement that was released by former President Barack Obama, there has been a trend of unequal treatment of the African Americans and Caucasians by the justice system of the World's Superpower (Milligan). It ranges from heavy death penalties to trade laws and the use of drugs. It brings us to the narrative that appeared in the DW magazine highlighting the debated-on racism whereby the human rights activist narrates how he was touched by the sentiments that Obama made. The activist confessed his own experiences as an African American. He remembers going shopping, and fellow white customers would look at him with eyes expressing fear that he would steal something. On top of that, people would have their cars locked as he was going past them, and therefore, he believes that nothing would be necessary than people expressing themselves on how they have been victims of racial discrimination and profiling on a public platform (Milligan).
It is worth noting that majority of people pretend that racism does not exist when in the real sense the country is sinking into the sea of police brutality, unfair judgements and murder of minority groups in the country. Dating from the era of slavery, 80 percent of the people of the color have been going through a rough time on the hands of the cruel United States justice system (Chaney and Robertson 484). For example, there were profound assault of Blacks in the year 1920 at Harlem, and the unforgettable law enforcement against Black women as well as other ethnic minority groups of women. Additionally, the current generation seem to have forgotten the beating of Rodney King, as well as, the murder of Amadou Diallo in cold blood but the most recent death of Trayvon Martin seems to have reminded the country that police brutality is a serious issue (Van Gonzalez and Mayes 410). According to Professor Michael Tonry's research findings, Whites have a tendency of excusing police violence against the Afro-Americans due to racial profiling inherent in a majority of them (Van Gonzalez and Mayes 417). A section of individuals as a consequent have it that African Americans deserve the punishment that they receive from the Justice system of the country. Additionally, research shows that African American males are regarded as prototypical criminals and this notion is reinforced by the media, general public and the disheartening sentencing outcomes (Van Gonzalez and Mayes 410). In fact, there is evidence that male African American with more Afrocentric characteristics such as full lips and dark skin are more likely to get death sentences than their counterparts whose skin color is lighter.
Research shows that the police are a real manifestation of white supremacy on the field. It is worth noting that despite efforts such as community policing, increased sensitivity education of the police and the raised levels of educational requirements for the recruited police force, there has been low to no improvement in the efforts to reduce police brutality against the African American males (Van Gonzalez and Mayes 413). It is because none of the attempts tackle the broader societal issues regarding police brutality, as well as, white sovereignty which the police play a crucial role in castigating. There is a large number of police departments that are being investigated by the United States Department of Justice showing that the measures to curb police brutality cases such as shooting and killing of innocent civilians have been ineffective (Van Gonzalez and Mayes 421). It is worth noting that currently race is an essential factor that should not be ignored in the current era whereby African American male view the police as corrupt and above the law which makes it difficult to eliminate police brutality.
Tonry further unravels majority of the most interesting facts from a survey that was carried out in the year 2001 concerning crime, race and public opinion which can be used to show why the majority of the American society stands police brutality directed against males of the color (Trevino). Notably, the participants of the survey composed of 978 non-Hispanic Whites, and 1,010 African Americans had different opinions regarding the criminal justice system. For example, 40% of the whites and 90% have it that the criminal justice system does not treat blacks unfairly (Van Gonzalez and Mayes 409).. On the other hand, 10 % of the Blacks and 56% of the respondents believed the criminal justice has been at the forefront in ensuring fair treatment of the Blacks (Langan 49). The research findings showed that whites create a favorable environment for police brutality to thrive.
Like gay marriage, racism has dominated significant discussions in offices, church sermons, happy moments at bars and TV talk shows. Also, social media has not been left behind too in this discussion. The question that many people ask themselves is where there all the black protesters when the African American superstar O.J Simpson was judged with murder (Trevino). Some section of American citizens has expressed disgust at lack of protest whenever there is the killing of black American young people (Roberts 19). Consequently, there is unwavering faith in the realisation of the American Dream. However, the most promising thing is that during the protests there were people from different races joining hands in voicing their aggrievances that justice had not been done for the family of Trayvon Martin.
"Between the world and me" is a book that Coates uses to address his son in a more powerful and nuanced view on the African American male life in a country that is marked with white race supremacy. The writer confesses what he has gone a lot of racial discrimination unravelling a personal and historical insights about what it means to have a black body in America. Throughout the work, Coates clearly portrays how race comes from racism and describes as not being the innocent daughter of mother nature. Consequently, racism does not have a genetic origin but it is a result of people's quest for social stratification (Coates). The white majority believe to be at the top of this hierarchy leaving those who are African Americans at the bottom of this structure. Those that the society has placed at this position suffer prejudice and profiling because of their skin color (Coates). He portrays street life at Baltimore where he is struggling with drugs and the authorities. In the face of the multiple recent and past injustice done to the African Americans by the law enforcing departments of the United States, Coates is expressing little hope for an end of racism (Coates). She gives instances of the death of Rev. Clementa Pinckney who was killed with other church members in Charleston, murdering of Sandra Bland in the Waller County of Texas and then claiming that she committed suicide and the brutal murder of Samuel DuBose by the University of Cincinnati police officers.
While the majority of the American population especially the African Americans believe there is a lot of injustice being done against the male blacks the white community have it that blacks have not been mistreated by the Criminal Justice department of the US. Many killings have taken place recently which shows that racism as a cancerous disease ailing the American dream. The pessimism for the end of racial profiling and injustice for the African Americans is echoed by Coates'" Between the World and me". He portrays how it feels like to be a black body in the US in the face of white supremacy.
Chaney, Cassandra and Ray Robertson. "Racism and Police Brutality in America." Journal of African American Studies, vol. 17, no. 4, Dec. 2013, pp. 480-505. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s12111-013-9246-5.
Van Cleve, Nicole Gonzalez and Lauren Mayes. "Criminal Justice through 'Colorblind' Lenses: A Call to Examine the Mutual Constitution of Race and Criminal Justice." Law & Social Inquiry, vol. 40, no. 2, Spring2015, pp. 406-432. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/lsi.12113.
Milligan, Susan. "A Place for Race in America." U.S. News Digital Weekly, vol. 5, no. 30, 26 July 2013,p.5.EBSCOhost,search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=89479383&site=ehost-live.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. , 2015. Internet resource.
Langan, Patrick A. "No Racism in the Justice System." Public Interest, no. 117, Fall94, pp. 48-51. EBSCOhost,search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=9411046090&site=ehost-live.
Trevino, A. Javier. "Criminal Justice Contra Racial Justice." Contemporary Justice Review, vol. 2, no. 3, Oct. 1999 327. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=4004371&site=ehost-live.
Roberts, Rebecca. "Racism And Criminal Justice." Criminal Justice Matters 101.1 (2015): 18-20. Web.
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