The Social Problem Of Slavery And Mass Incarceration

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Our justice is blind to race…Our education is unaware of race matters in America. As a result, opportunities are limited because of the lack of concern due to the color of our skin. For generations in the United States, ethnic minorities have been discriminated against each other and denied fair rights and opportunity for equal rights especially toward African Americans Mass incarceration is one of the major problems we have here in America today. When do you look into the core of the situation, whose fault is it? Right away you think it is the criminal's fault for getting arrested in the first place, right? More people should be well-behaved and not end up in prison. What a lot of people fail to notice are the ones that have the power to decide the outcome. There was slavery in the beginning, then came an era of racism that had automatically directed a large impact on millions of African American people.

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Drugs and racial profiling are major problems here in America. When do you look into the core of the situation, whose fault is it? People that commit horrible crimes should automatically be put away in prison for life, so others can be protected from those types of people. In the documentary, 13th by Ava Duvernay she made it clear that the prison system is the nation’s greatest shame since slavery. More than that, she posits that it is a continuation of slavery. The systematic denial of freedom towards African Americans is tied up in both institutions no matter what color our skin tone is, we all deserve to be treated the same way because we are all equal. Just like race is a social construct and exists only in our minds, with no biological evidence, so is the assumption that most prisoners convicted of a drug offense are African Americans.

It is a myth that we as a nation have moved beyond race. Racial caste is alive and well in America. Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colors explained how our treatment of criminals has created a new racial caste system, and the only way to make change is through massive social change and the Civil Rights movement. The criminal laws often focus on psychoactive drugs used by minority populations. Minorities are disproportionately targeted, arrested, and punished for drug offenses. For instance, Black, Latino Native Americans, and many Asians were portrayed as violent, traffickers of drugs, and a danger to society. Surveillance was focused on communities of color, immigrants, the unemployed, the undereducated, and the homeless who continue to be the main targets of law enforcement efforts to fight the war on drugs. Although African Americans comprise only 12.2 percent of the population and 13 percent of drug users, they make up 38 percent of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% were convicted of drug convictions.

In the documentary, African Americans were also described as “super predators”. They would arrest innocent African Americans and try to pin them in jail for a defenseless crime that they didn't commit. Donald Trump tried to give African Americans life in prison with a 6 to 11 years sentence, but the DNA came back that they were innocent. Law says innocent until proven guilty. Whites got a slap on the wrist and got away with anything in the documentary. Logos were used when they were showing the prison statistics. Thousands of American men were murdered by mobs. For pathos, innocent African Americans were murdered, and mobs carved KKK in an African American’s chest and then hung him from an oak tree. The majority of whites thought of African Americans as rapists and murderers. Remember, our country abolished slavery in the 13th amendment.

The United States is home to 5% of the world's population and 25% were prisoners. In 1972, the prison population was 3,000. The KKK forced families to be broken and forced children to live without their parents. The war on mass incarceration and drugs in the United States is an issue that citizens and government officials have debated. Millions of African American adults will be behind bars and that will constitute almost one in every 14 black men being in jail. As of December 31, 1999, there were 1,366,721 African American men and women under federal and state jurisdiction. This implies that there has been a 3.4% increase since December 1, 1998. 'The face of crime to white America is now that of a black man” said David Bositis. Whites had the power and ability to do anything they wanted and got away with it; granted through the laws of the Constitution. By the 19th century, many social forms of discrimination existed to keep African Americans from being equal to White Americans. Laws like separate but equal were put into place to keep African Americans from being in the same places as White Americans. 

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