Police Brutality and Racial Bias in the U.S.

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“Achievement has no color” – here is a deep and thoughtful quote from Abraham Lincoln about his ideas on equality. This intelligent and caring president helped the United States come a long way from the racism seen many years ago. He made a great impact on the lives of African Americans as well as the history of our country. Although Lincoln improved the conditions of racism, Race in America has still been a serious issue for decades and continues to be. Since slavery, African Americans have been viewed as immensely less important than white people. Although the time of slavery was much worse than now, racism still exists in the country. The most inhumane current issue is the brutality by police towards African Americans. There are countless cases today in which police accuse African Americans of things they didn’t do, or make them out to be worse than they really are. In today’s society, racism still exists with the brutality by police toward African Americans.

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This unacceptable treatment is seen in one way through the Ferguson shooting. In this situation, an unarmed African American teen, Michael Brown was shot multiple times and killed in St. Louis just this past year. The boy and his friend were asked to get off the street, and when they argued with the officer telling him they were close to their destination, shots were fired. This case became such a huge dispute in the country because there was no legitimate reason to use violence on Brown. He made no threats to the officer and showed no sign of getting physical, while the police took things to another level. The country has established that if it had been a white man walking on the street, the situation would not have involved weapons or murder. This case was proof to our country just how extreme and present racism still is. Our president, Barack Obama, also knew this was a horrific thing to happen, and wrote a letter to the family sending his apologies. The way the police officer treated this boy with such little respect and empathy because of his race was hideous and not right. Another case where brutal racism is seen is when a police officer pepper sprayed an African American teen inside his home mistaking him for an intruder. It was just this past October, and he was seen entering the house after school. A neighbor called the police because he was black and it looked suspicious.

The police entered the house and tased the young man because he was an African American boy in a white household and it looked out of place. The police in this situation had no right to hurt this person. The boy did nothing wrong and the police had no proof of an invasion in the first place. It is situations like these that show how police don’t follow laws and regulations properly. More than just police make inappropriate and unprofessional decisions. As Ta-Nehisi Coates states in his essay, Case for Reparations, landowners from the 40’s would scare people off their property by saying African Americans we’re moving in. By doing this, they would make a greater profit by selling the houses for a lot more money. This just shows how years ago up until present day, police and people of other occupations treated African Americans extremely unfairly. There are several ways to take action about this issue in the country. One solution to how situations like these would improve is if the government wasn’t so disciplinary about it’s rules. When it comes to legal cases involving African Americans, some police officials become so much more strict and rigid about the laws so that black people endure more struggles and hardships when they have done nothing wrong. Henry David Thoreau states, “Government is best when governs least”. Thoreau explains in his essay, Civil Disobedience, how a strong government causes more complicated issues for everyone. If the government and police would realize that we live in a completely different time than slavery and segregation and it’s not fair to treat them different, African Americans would finally be seen equal to us. Racism could also be minimized if people of all races in our country took action. It takes dark and light skinned people to fix the serious issue of racism in the United States.

Every citizen of America should help and protect one another because we live in such an excellent and advanced nation. The United States has experienced discrimination against African Americans for many years including to this day. It is unfortunate and sad that we haven’t been able to eliminate it completely. It is not a good representation of our country to see these countless cases of police brutality against black people. My own school, Seaholm High School, has also struggled with its own issues on racism, including a situation with racial slurs written on the bathroom wall. Since we live in a country known for its importance on standing together as a union, we should know by now that treating people of a different race with less value just holds us back from our full potential. After observing the specific cases where harsh police brutality occurs, it is clear to see that it is truly unfair and cruel that racism still exists in our country against African Americans.

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