Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13TH reveals shocking pattern of criminalization that surrounds black communities. The horrors of slavery are common knowledge, but what Americans need to understand is that the systems put in place in that era still effect black Americans, and racial issues were not solved with ending slavery. Police brutality, the prison industrial complex, and the portrayal of people of color in the media are issues that continue to plague our country. The title, 13TH, refers to the 13th amendment of the constitution, which abolished slavery and guaranteed freedom for all Americans. However, a loophole in the law strips convicted criminals of their freedom.
The themes that are addressed in the novel, including the psychological effects of racism on Black people and the denial of white people to address the issue of race reinforce the idea that psychological inferiority, just like the white and Black identity, are creations that perpetuate a society that will benefit one group and work to the destroy the other. Without the moral consciousness and accountability of the rulers of America’s society, the relationship of African Americans to the United States will continue to be spiritually, psychologically, and physically
Some scholars dispute this argument claiming that today it would be more difficult to create a system in which could fully define the entire race (Forman 58). The Jim Crow laws defined what it meant to be African American, but the War on Drugs cannot. In any system there exist outliers, Alexander’s argument focuses primarily on impoverished African Americans living in ghettos. The ‘segregation’ Alexander argues for exists primarily in a metaphorical sense due to the discretion of the legal
How far have we really come sinse the Jim Crow laws? During the Jim Crow Era African-Americans in some states were treated as second-class citizens in every aspect of life from how they interact with White Americans to not having the right to vote. Many people would say we as a nation are far passed those times but many African-Americans convicted of nonviolent drug crimes lose their right to vote, lose their chances for jobs and lose any social welfare programs that may have otherwise been given to them for their economic situation. The easy argument here is that a white man convicted of the same crime would lose these rights as well however, why is it that African-Americans are locked up so much more than non-African-Americans. As a country we must ask ourselves has race played a role in the high incarceration of African Americans, and can we compare it to the era of the Jim Crow laws?
The whites believed that the Blacks were primitive, illiterate and criminals. However, this view was not true, a good example would be Paul Robeson who was the son of a former slave and passed his law exams with honours from Columbia University in 1923. White governments feared that the Blacks would take power, and so introduced many laws which took away their freedom (they were not given Civil rights). A good example here is the Jim Crow laws in the southern states which promised that Blacks should be 'separate but equal.' This actually meant that at railway stations, bus stops and even drinking fountains Blacks could not mix with Whites.
Furthermore, they would pay more than whites for worse housing (Present Tense). Evidently, with racism controlling St. Louis just like many other segregated parts of the world Pruitt-Igoe illustrated that discrimination towards African Americans were still alive in the hearts of many in power within government agencies and ordinary citizens. Ultimately, until all levels of government and society were cleared of racism, African Americans would never have a chance to thrive and public housing projects like Pruitt-Igoe would never stand.
“Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.”(Lyndon Johnson). For generations in the United Stated, ethnic minorities have been discriminated against and denied fair opportunity and equal rights. In the beginning there was slavery, and thereafter came an era of racism which directly impacted millions of minorities lives. This period called Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system up in till mid 1960s. Jim Crow was more than just a series of severe anti-Black laws, it became a way of life.
Granted rights are given to everyone but not being treated equal as everyone else in the criminal justice system shows the failure of future equality and nothing will be able to end these types of inequalities. The attraction that has made its way out causing a huge scandal are cases of African Americans, which are treated racist, and aren’t treated equal according to the law establishing to society that the system is having enormous problems with treating everyone equal. Every once in a while there is a new case of an African American taken to court without an actual justification for what the victim was doing, because whatever they were doing, they seemed like a threat to society and only for that reason the victim is put in jail and cannot have a better future because the victim 's record is not clean anymore. This has to stop because we live in a country where we are all granted liberty and justice for all and it would make no sense to say we live in the land of the
The race industry will proclaim that it is because of discrimination against blacks. Before Senator Barack Obama was nominated President, he spoke on Martin Luther King Day and made the following statement: “blacks and whites are arrested at very different rates, are convicted at very different rates, [and] receive very different sentences ... for the same crime” (Mac Donald, 2008, p. 15). However, statistics show that this is simply not the case. When public speakers make claims like this without any information to back it up, it only hurts the case for an equal criminal justice system. On surface level, one may start to believe that it is plausible that the criminal justice system is racist because blacks and whites are incarcerated at very different rates.
This punishment is emotionally and mentally far worse than the death penalty. There are many other reasons why death penalty is shown to not be a good solution to crime. One of the problems is racial disparity. Jason Kotowski’s article in The (CA) Bakersfield California reports that, “Some thought Brothers was getting what he deserved (death sentence), while others argued that the jury was racially biased and Brothers didn’t receive a fair trial.” Many people believe that the death penalty is handed out unfairly to minorities. Statistics claim that African Americans make up only 13% of the US population, but nearly 50% ofthe people currently on death row are African American.