The American Criminal Justice System has failed the African American community and minorities for decades. Today, African Americans face similar injustice as their ancestors. These injustices pertain to the limitation placed on their ability to exercise their first amendment rights. Police brutality without prosecution is one of the most crucial aspects of racial injustices. The only way change will occur is if we are all willing to become informed and take a step towards open-mindedness. These positives steps start with the American Criminal Justice System accepting their faults and creating a solution equal to all races.
There is little to no discussion regarding racial injustice in America. A major problem we face in America is the unequal sentencing of African Americans versus Whites over the same crime with no previous offenses. For example, in a well-known case across America, a white male college athlete, Brock Turner was found guilty of raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Cory Batey is a black male college athlete who was found guilty of the same crime Turner was. Turner received 6 months in jail, while Batey received a mandatory minimum of 15-25 years for the exact same crime. The influence of race and white privilege in America is what causes the sentencing differences. Why should Turners’ punishment be less time for the exact crime? The Turner case is a prime example of double standards and racial injustices in the American Criminal Justice System. African Americans are held at a different standard under the same system and that is biased.
We as Americans stand by our First Amendment right to Assemble Peaceably, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Press. Over the past year, a former NFL football player, Colin Kaepernick lost his job for protesting police brutality and the injustice in the Criminal Justice System against black people. Kaepernick like many others is tired of the racial injustice and sees how the government pushes away the injustice issues African Americans face every day. Kaepernick used his national figure platform to make a stance against racial injustice by kneeling during the National Anthem before his NFL games. Till this day, this protest has been one of the most controversial topics that have occurred for African Americans. Many believe Kaepernick was being disrespectful when he was only trying to open everyone’s eyes to the injustice. Why should we pledge to a nation that deteriorates minorities and isn’t willing to fight for equality for African Americans? Why should we pledge for a nation that sees the issues African Americans face and rather hide it than help fix it? Many fail to realize the only way Kaepernick can inform and people will listen is with controversy. Controversy is what has made Donald Trump the President of the United States. Therefore, Kaepernick took an opportunity and made a stance for millions of people of color. Instead of attempting to understand the petition and the protest, President Trump uses social media such as Twitter to bash NFL ratings because the NFL coaches allow their players to express their first amendment rights. The President cares more about ratings than the actual issue. This occurrence shows the injustice African Americans face when attempting to express their first amendment rights and petition the government for a fair system. How can we expect change when even our own President can’t see past the surface into the bigger issue? By protesting African Americans are asking for help, we are asking to make a change that will treat all Americans equal regardless of race.
Police brutality has increased since the Civil Rights Movement. For more than 50 years, the Police has gotten away with the brutal beatings, deaths, and accusations against people of color. Eric Garner is a perfect example of police brutality not being taken as a serious matter. Eric Garner was an African American male who lived in New York. He was attempting to stop a fight between two pedestrians when NYPD approached him and attempted to arrest him for something Garner believed was a simple good deed. During the altercation, he was put into a chokehold and died from strangulation. Eric Garner is just one of the many deaths by police that occur daily in America as it did during the Civil Rights Movement. NYPD did not try to address the injustice by charging the police officer instead paid the Garner family money to settle their lawsuit against them. Giving the victims’ family money is not a solution, it continues to bring deaths to African American families across the nation. Money cannot solve innocent lives being taken away, we must indict officers who kill innocent African American man and women or innocent deaths will continue to occur.
A change starts with informing others of the most common issues African Americans face like racial injustice, police brutality against African Americans and the hindering of using our first amendment rights. Although it is not as clear as before, racism is still alive in America and is used to hinder the growth of minorities. Not only African Americans but everyone should acknowledge and speak up about the racial injustice when you live in a country where freedom is emphasized. The only way we can address an issue is by fighting together and using the higher power in America to make a change. The Criminal Justice System was created by those who did not want to see African Americans succeed, therefore everyone should acknowledge the racial injustice occurring in our government. By informing, protesting, and petitioning to create new laws to help minorities we should be able to bring change for people of color in America.
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