Racial Discrimination and African American Culture
African Americans have made tremendous leaps towards equality. Even though they have the same legal rights as whites they do not have the same opportunities due to a multiple number of factors. African Americans constantly have to combat discrimination from most aspects of society. For example, there are more accounts of police brutality involving African Americans than whites. Also they are often given longer prison sentences due to the lack of African American judges and law officials. However, there are many small steps that we can take to combat this problem.
In this article the author is trying to inform his readers on recent events of police brutality against african americans. The author gives two cases of police brutality. The first case involves an African American man named Alton Sterling. Sterling died from being shot in the back while he was laying on the ground with officers on top of him. This caused an uproar because the was already on the ground when the police shot and killed him. The second case also involved an african man named Philando Castile. Castile was stopped at a traffic stop and the officer asked if he had a gun.
Once he said yes the cop began to panic and then they began yelling back and forth. At this point the officer took out his weapon and fired four shots into Castile as his girlfriend and daughter watched. Since the police now wear body cameras the videos of these attacks went viral causing uproars and protests. The author appeals to the readers ethos and logos. The author appeals to ethos by using imagery and very descriptive words to describe the shootings. The author also uses logos because he provides facts and information. This topic relates to power because in this case the police are abusing their power. I found this article informative and helpful but not persuasive.
The article did not persuade me to believe any certain way, however, the article did inform me and help me to see the real issue of police brutality. I think the author failed to talk about how only a small fraction of police officers are racist to african americans and the rest do their jobs and do not discriminate. I agree with the author when he quotes Minnesota's governor Mark Dayton. Mark Dayton realized the racial injustice and said ""Would this have happened if those passengers would have been white?"" he asked. ""I don't think it would have."" Dayton brings up a good point and i agree with him. I also think if the passengers were white there would have been a different outcome.
What struck me as irritating was when i read that Alton Sterling was laying on the ground with the officers on top of him when he was shot. This just shows that the officer who did this did not think to use any other methods like a taser or pepper spray. Now that i have studied this issue more i have realized that police brutality is becoming a serious issue in our society that needs to be addressed by all law enforcement agencies. I would present the issue of police brutality by showing people the body camera videos of all these horrific shootings because it's one thing to read about it but when you watch it really understand how bad of an issue this really is.
In the video Blindsided: The exoneration of Brian Banks Brian Banks gets interviewed about how he was falsely charged with rape. Banks played linebacker for his high school in Long Beach California where he received a scholarship to play at the University of Southern California. Then later that same year he was accused of rape by his classmate Wanetta Gibson. Even though there was little evidence to prove that he raped her he was still convicted in 2003. After 5 years in prison and 5 years on parole his attorney got a confession from Wanetta Gibson who admitted that she had fabroacted the entire story. This relates to opportunity and cultural influence because even though there was little evidence to charge him the courts did anyway.
This is just another example of how african americans tend to be treated unfairly in court. This video was persuasive because it showed me how often african american men are falsely accused of rape. The video did not fail to consider anything about the issue. I agree with his defence attorney when she said that based off of his age, race, and size he would not be given a fair trial. It struck me as inspiring that 5 years later he was released from jail and his charges were dropped and he still achieved his dream of playing in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons. Now that i have studied the issue i have learned that some judges still may hold biases and stereotypes towards African Americans. I would present the argument of unequal treatment in the courts by giving people examples of innocent african americans who were wrongly accused.
Many african americans are often victim to racial profiling as well. In the article “injustice for all” written by the National Network for Immigrant and refugee rights it talks about how many african american men report being stopped for “driving while Black”. Most report that they were stopped for no reason or very weak reasons. African americans who work with corporations and have to commute a long way are most often to experience this. The author is trying to shed light on the issue of racial profiling. This relates to opportunity because it shows how african americans are often stopped and questioned by law enforcement and how they have less opportunities than their white counterparts.
The argument was persuasive to me because it made me realize some of the everyday struggles african americans go through. The author failed to consider that this does not happen to all african americans. For example african americans living in urban city areas do not experience this as much as african americans who live in the country. I agree with the authors when they talk about african american drivers being racially profiled because i have an african american friend who has had this happen to him. What irritates me about this article is that the author makes it seem like all police officers racially profile african americans. However, racial profiling is still an issue that needs to stop, but as long as stereotypes exist racial profiling will also exist. The best thing we can do to combat this is to teach our children to respect all races and the issue will gradually fizzle out over time.
Just because slavery is over and african americans have made major strides in combating discrimination they still face subtle forms of it today. These forms can range anywhere from police shootings and unequal prison sentences to something as simple as a police officer racially profiling and pulling over a black man. By researching this topic and educating myself about issues that i did not believe existed anymore. In my opinion the best thing we can do to stop things like this from happening is by eliminating false stereotypes of African American man. We can do this by educating the public about how many of the stereotypes against african men are not true.