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The law enforcement agencies have a critical role of maintaining order, fostering peace and implementing/ enforcing government laws. However, where the law enforcement agencies have a bias culture of discriminating citizens based on their identity, such agency miss its objectivity and ends up hurting the lives of citizens rather than protecting the as should be the case.
Recent statistics on the efficiencies of law enforcement agencies suggest the existence of partiality and discrimination among the police on the citizens, with minority groups such as the African American being the main victim of the bias-culture. Statistics from the 2018 report from the center for America progress indicates that by march2019, the American criminal justice system had about 2.3 million people incarcerated in 80 Indian country jails. The report further indicates that about 0.6 million people are sent into prisons every year. It is more concerning to note that more than a half of people in jails have not been convicted. Interestingly, the African American who make up only a 13% of the U.S total population makes up 40% of the total number of people incarcerated every year as compared to the 25% made up of the whites. This is an ironic data that prompts more interest in the topic to establish if African American criminals to that extent. A systematic data review show that the partial law enforcement measures have been a social-justice issue for a relatively longer period and still call the concern for justice to date. This paper is a systematic review of the issue of mass partial incarceration for the African American and people of color and how the issue was reflected in the work of Martin Luther King and Thoreau David Thoreau as a call for justice. The paper discusses the ways in which the two authors interpret the issue of police brutality and mass incarceration among the African American.
In addition, recent reports by Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that in the event a crime was committed in the presence of a white and a black juvenile or youth, the African American are twice more likely to be suspected and incarcerated that their white counterparts and that some African American are a times referred as foreigners or immigrants due to the longtime stereotype that overrepresented them as belonging to Africa. Some historians hold that the African American have for long been stereotyped as being criminals, capable of committing a crime, rapist, thieves and uncivilized, and even illiterate; argues that this is even overrepresented in the media.
Regardless of any argument by politicians, historians or academics, the comparison of statistical data on the ratios of incarceration, police brutality, and police partiality for the African American against that of the whites are certainly alarming and calls for relevant actions for justice. Below is a further discussion of how both martins Luther King and Thoreau David Thoreau would have interpreted the issue consecutively.
The issue of police brutality and partiality toward the African American has a long history and was a key theme of the fight for freedom by Martin Luther King. Luther is quoted severally fighting against the police brutality against the Negro and therefore is therefore an author who interpreted the issue with a firsthand experience, particularly since he was a victim of the brutality for various times. In one of his quotes, Luther said “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality…We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of African American”. Luther interprets the issue of the partial mass incarceration and police brutality as an issue of tribalism, racial discrimination and denial of personal liberty to the minority groups. Luther refers to the issue of police partiality as extension effects of historic injustices that formed the pillars of whiteness whereby the whites are seen as the perfect race, with the most appropriate norms, lifestyle standards, color and racial backgrounds thereby presenting them as able and important than others. From Luther’s perspective, police partiality in law enforcement is one of the hindrances to the liberties, rights, equality, and justice to the minority groups and people should fight against it through social-political movements restlessly until the liberties are achieved.
I believe that this challenge can easily be changed through policy making and policy changing. I believe Thoreau David Thoreau’s way of civil disobedience would bring more effective changes in relatively shorter time than the other movements would do. Although civil disobedience may be destructive; the cause-consequence approach in social-political issue is more effective in influencing policy changes. In this regard, civil disobedience approach can influence the justice system to be more objective toward the general population.
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