I would like to address racism in the criminal justice system because to build a relationship between the police and the public you need a good foundation and that is far from what we have built. This stems back to the 1880’s when Jim Crow laws was made legal, and even though the law was later abolished in 1964 we still have a huge problem with profiling and racism. Per Ghandnoosh and Higginbotham, “African Americans and Latinos constitute only 30% of the general population, yet comprise 58% of the prison population and African Americans comprise 42% of the death row population” (pg.
92). This is not because minorities commit more crimes than Caucasians but because people feel threated by people of color more than people with pale skin.
It is even worse when it comes to people of color in poor neighborhoods whom lack the proper resources to better themselves, some tend to turn to illegal activities such as drug dealing to make ends meets or due to the stress of everything.
When this is done by people of color they are labeled thugs, gangsters, dangerous, etc. but when Caucasians do it people are more likely to try to help them find the proper resources and start rehab if need be. Police officers (many of whom are white) are more likely to patrol urban areas (where Latinx and African American tend to live) versus suburban areas (where most Caucasians live), therefore they catch more people of color doing bad things and we end up incarcerated.
According to an analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth by economist Robert Fairlie “whites were about 45 percent more likely than blacks to sell drugs in 1980 but Blacks were more likely to go to jail for it”.
This showing supporting the fact that even without Jim crow laws we still are not equally judged by the criminal justice system. Fast forward to a more current event where in class we discussed a white officer telling a scared white woman that they only kill black people a way to “comfort her”. This was done a year ago, but the footage wasn’t released until now so nothing was done until recently. Even after something trying to be done he retired early and got all his benefits so it was still as if he got away with it.
Minority student’s bodies are seeming to always be the butt of a joke and this is not okay, a body should be appreciated and respected as such. A body should not be used as a punchline and then looked over as if we aren’t even worth the time to get justice for. In the past two years’ tons of black men and a few black women were killed because the cops felt “threatened” and “unsafe” but there have been literal cases were whites were blatantly aiming a gun at them and these people were talked down. Our skin tone seems to make us a danger to society and us as minorities are starting to become nothing more than a body count. White people are killed more than us but they also get the justice they deserve for the most part which is why they don’t make the news as much.
Even with Hispanics, Latinx, Mexicans, etc. they don’t get the news coverage they deserve nor the justice for their wrongful death. These people have families and friends and were not treated in a humane manner, and then when minorities are outraged and don’t trust the police there’s a problem.
I personally respect the police but I do not talk to them nor do I trust them, I do not want to hold conversations, play sports with, or do activities with the police because I am a target. It’s bad enough to have a target against you because you’re black but it’s even worse to have a target against you because you are a female.
African American woman deaths don’t even make the black lives matter campaign because we are still seen as inferior to men so we just vanish in the wind as if we don’t exist. If I was to be killed there would be not hashtag for me, there would be no just, there would be no riot/protest, there would be nothing to even suggest that I existed in the first place because of something I can’t change. I should not be ashamed to be black or a woman, I should not be afraid to wear a hoodie, laugh, walk toward police unarmed, walk away from them unarmed, or call for help because of a crime happening. I should not end up dead by doing everyday things but I am scared that one day I just might be another name not served justice.