Pages:5 (1742 words)
Racial injustice is a part of American history. In spite of legislation like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, racial injustice remains rampant in the United States. Police brutality is one of the most visible areas in which racial injustice manifests itself. The murder of George Floyd was only one of many similar instances, the majority of which go unreported due to the “blue wall of silence” in police culture. Even if poor leadership in policing is more to blame than racism itself, the fact that black males experience a disproportionate number of such instances and are also stopped and arrested more often than their white counterparts, shows that racial bias is endemic in American society.
This sample essay provides an example of how to write about racial equality and justice in America. Several topics will be discussed in this essay, including George Floyd and the riots in Minneapolis. A discussion of Black Lives Matter and Antifa will also show how the society is responding to racism in America. Additionally, this essay will show how the George Floyd incident led to a public discussion about defunding police. Racial equality and justice in America require a total overhaul of institutions like law enforcement.
Racism in the Age of Covid
2020 brought about massive changes in American and global societies due to the covid-19 pandemic. Along the surreal backdrop of the pandemic, with social distancing and lockdowns impacting everyday life, police officers killed two innocent individuals. On March 13, 2020, police officers barged into the home of Breonna Taylor using a battering ram. The police had a warrant, but instead of arresting Taylor, they ended up killing her in a barrage of bullets. “None of the officers has been charged with a crime,” as is typical of cases like these in which the victim was a low status individual like an African American female (Glover, Richards, Devine, et al., 2020, p. 1). Cases like these had become so commonplace in America that the Taylor incident went largely unreported except in local news until a few months later. On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was stopped for allegedly using counterfeit notes. Several officers were present and stood by watching passively as Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd long enough to kill him. In Floyd’s case, which gained heavy traction in the news media, the officer was charged with murder.
The deaths of innocent African Americans in the United States at the hands of police officers represents a deeply entrenched racist society. A disproportionate number of people of color are arrested and imprisoned, calling attention to the practices and principles of American law enforcement. The type of racism involved in cases like those of Floyd and Taylor is not overt. Institutional policies prohibit discriminatory behaviors on paper, and legislation prevents discriminatory practices throughout the criminal justice system. In practice, though, racial bias emerges in cases like these and in the response of law enforcement to the communities they serve. Racial bias in criminal justice is a complex issue, but one that must be resolved in order to create a more just society. In fact, creating racial equality and justice is essential for upholding the values of the American Constitution.
Protests erupted in response to the murder of Floyd. The protests first started in Minneapolis, where Floyd lived and died, but soon spread across the nation and even around the world. The majority of the protests were peaceful, but many became violent. In Minneapolis, conflicts between police and protesters led to riots costing the city hundreds of millions of dollars (Cole, 2020). The riots and the protests also happened to occur during the peak of the covid-19 pandemic, which disproportionately affects communities of color. Communities of color have fewer hospitals, and are served more poorly by social services including law enforcement. Therefore, the pandemic coupled with the murder of George Floyd released pent-up race-related tension.
The racism embedded in American society and its institutions can be traced to the legacy…
…phrase “defund the police” helps raise awareness, and in some cases might actually prove to be the most effective and efficient response to a flawed organization.
Law enforcement is managed at the municipal level in the United States. With no national set of standards, there is no reliable oversight for police training. There are no standards for police training, and such training varies widely from precinct to precinct. There is also no formal oversight of law enforcement leaders or the cultures they create in their departments. Police culture has become notoriously closed and ethically questionable. Law enforcement officials claim that the methods they use promote public safety, but in light of how unabashedly violent America has become, the claims fall flat. Mass incarceration, degraded relations with the public, and an upswing in preventable incidents of race-related violence demonstrate the need to radically restructure and reform law enforcement. Police departments need to carefully rebuild relationships with members of the community and forge strategic alliances with community leaders. Defunding the police would force law enforcement leaders to take action immediately. Without a radical move like defunding, it is highly likely the problems will continue to haunt America. Law enforcement needs an impetus to change and a clear mandate to do so. Defunding the police provides a prime opportunity for law enforcement leaders to change their approach to public safety. Likewise, defunding the police would encourage law enforcement leaders to pay closer attention to how their organizations are managed and how their officers are trained.
Racism is not inevitable. Racial equality and justice are possible through public awareness and education. Socially sanctioning racist biases and beliefs is one way to start reducing racial disparities in the United States. Organizations like Antifa and Black Lives Matter help to raise awareness and educate the public, creating opportunities for the future generations to enjoy a more peaceful and equitable society. If you need help writing an essay similar to this one, please avail yourself of the online writing resources available…
Black Lives Matter (2020). Retrieved from: https://blacklivesmatter.com/about/
Cole, B. (2020). Minnesota asks Trump to declare ‘major disaster’ over riots damage. Newsweek. 3 July, 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.newsweek.com/minnesota-riots-tim-walz-clean-george-floyd-1515335
Glover, S., Richards, C., Devine, C., et al. (2020). A key miscalculation by officers contributed to the tragic death of Breonna Taylor. CNN. 23 July, 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/23/us/breonna-taylor-police-shooting-invs/index.html
“History of Juneteenth,” (2020). juneteenth.com. Retrieved from: https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm
Ray, R. (2020). What does ‘defund the police’ mean and does it have merit? Brookings. Retrieved from: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2020/06/19/what-does-defund-the-police-mean-and-does-it-have-merit/
“Seven Things You Need to Know About Antifa,” (2020). BBC. Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/X56rQkDgd0qqB7R68t6t7C/seven-things-you-need-to-know-about-antifa
“Who Are Antifa?” (2020). ADL. Retrieved from : https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/who-are-antifa