By Bernensky Pierre
Issues of social injustice are still prevalent in the African American community. The purpose of this paper is to inform the audience of the study that will take place to bring a new revelation of the severity of problems an African American has to go through on a daily basis, and to convince the audience that race consciousness in America is playing a major role in the success of African Americans. The method of the study is a face-to-face interview with several people, trying to gain insight from other points of view on several racial issues. Questions like “Is there excessive race consciousness?” and “Do you believe that African Americans are being targeted?” will be used to poke the brain of the participants. This study will give the audience a variety of information from different backgrounds. So let’s begin.
The Trials of the African Americans
My brother and I are searching for my aunt’s car while we walk through the parking lot of Skylake Mall in Miami Gardens. Suddenly, a security guard pulls up next to us, informing us about complaints of two “black” guys looking into cars, meaning us. Are these people really concerned about their cars? Or are these people prejudice? There are many trials we humans, have to face. It doesn’t matter if one is black, white, or Hispanic; he or she is going to have to face some sort of adversity growing up. However, there are trials that human beings should not undergo, especially African Americans. When one talks about social injustice, it is difficult not to mention the words “black” or “African American”. America has allowed social injustice towards African Americans to remain prevalent. Social injustice gives people the right to judge African Americans based on negative stereotypes and racial profiling. Social injustice is something that should and can change. The government should eliminate negative stereotypes, prejudice, and racial profiling towards African Americans due to social injustice because the legislation branch has the power to do so.
According to Michael O. Church’s blog, “The Difference between Unfairness and Injustice, and Why It Matters”, “social injustice is an injustice due to humans increasing unfairness; an execrable subclass of unfairness” (Church, 2013). Humans are behind the word injustice; it has created and resulted to racial profiling and/or negative stereotypes that distort people’s perception of African Americans. More often than not, stereotypes and prejudices are attached to the African American image. As a result, “the impacts are loss of education and educational opportunities; negative psychological impact; increased criminalization of children often for conduct that does not threaten the safety of others; and promotion of anti-social behaviours” (OHRC).The notion that everyone is equally treated is wrong.
Black children are 18 times more likely to be sentenced as adults than white children, and make up nearly 60 percent of children in prisons, according to the APA. Black juvenile offenders are much more likely to be viewed as adults in juvenile detention proceedings than their white counterparts (Nesbit, 2015)
The belief that black children are 18 times more likely to be sentenced as adults than whites negates the opportunities an African American has, and more importantly, this belief gives off a negative psychological perception of African Americans. According to the Report, “New Story Looks at Media Bias Towards Black America”, “approximately 88 percent of white Americans have implicit racial bias against black people, with a racially homogeneous media industry, and the toxic environment that leads to media injustice is thrown into stark relief” (EURweb, 2015).These assumptions, accusations, and sometimes built-in racism, victimize the African Americans, and it has gone a bit too far. According to Nesbit’s article, “Institutional Racism Is Our Way of Life”, “blacks aren’t pulled over more frequently because they’re more prone to criminal behavior. They’re pulled over much more frequently because there is an ‘implicit racial association of black Americans with dangerous or aggressive behavior’ ” (Nesbit, 2015). As a result, names like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Monroe Bird, Eric Garner, Jonathan Farrell, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and many more were all deaths that were associated with black Americans with dangerous aggressive behavior. This leads to one of my questions that I will be asking the participants in my face to face interview. “Do you believe that African Americans are being targeted?”
Now that we know that social injustice is a problem towards the African American community, we can assess the situation and create a solution. The legislation branch is known for creating laws and passing laws. The legislation branch has the power to stop social injustice from negating opportunities for the African Americans. In the past, the legislative branch has shown its power by abolishing inequality and unfairness against the African Americans.
On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, using 72 ceremonial pens. Many dignitaries, including Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and several other national civil rights figures, attended the ceremony. This law banned racial discrimination in several areas, including hotels, restaurants, education, and other public accommodations. This landmark act also guaranteed equal job opportunities, fulfilling one major objective of the historic 1963 March on Washington. Many larger Southern businesses had already desegregated in response to sit-ins and other civil rights protests. But the Civil Rights Act of 1964 added important legal protections to these political and social developments (CRF).
The Civil Rights movement gives us a clear understanding of what the government, legislative branch, is capable of. But somehow African Americans are still being shortchanged; African Americans are still not getting equal opportunities due to stereotypes, prejudice, racial profiling and racism. So one must think: What can the government really do? I would like to enforce a rule to decrease the percentage of African American juveniles being sentenced as adults. The government has done a horrible job in that particular area, not even giving the young African Americans a chance at succeeding. How is it that “African-Americans comprise only 13% of the U.S. population and 14% of the monthly drug users, but they make up for 37% of the people arrested for drug-related offenses in America” (DoSomething.Org)? The legislative branch needs to do something to bring justice back into America.
In my personal research, a face-to-face interview, there were interesting answers being said. It was a great experience. I gathered an abundance of opinions that actually made sense. I asked a total of five questions, but the two questions I focused on were: “Is there excessive race consciousness?” and “Do you believe that African Americans are being targeted?” Eric Garner and Monroe Bird were names used to explain those two questions. 85.7% of the seven participants I interviewed said “Yes” to both questions, but 14.2% said “No”. I wanted to be diverse in my research, only choosing two African Americans. In Appendix A, participant number seven, Loran, had one of the most unique responses in answering the third question in Appendix B, “Do you believe that African Americans are being targeted?” She said, “Yes. For Monroe Bird to die like he did, that opened my eyes. It showed me that the system is rigged and the police officers can get away with anything because they know that the system got their back.”Overall, the research was a success, it help me prove my points of how social injustice has negatively affected African Americans.
Conclusion & Future Study
All in all, the trials of the African Americans are due to social injustice, but the government has the power to change the injustice system. America should continue to look into social injustice towards the African Americans and abolish the negative stereotypes that continue to plague the African American community. Further studies, such as, “The Effects of Racial Profiling”, can be made to bring new insight to the public, so we can abolish social injustice forever. One focus should be the studies of types of jobs African Americans get denied of because of racial profiling.
“11 Facts About Racial Discrimination.”11 Facts About Racial Discrimination. DoSomething.org, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2015.
Church, Micheal O. “The Difference between Unfairness and Injustice, and Why It Matters.” Michael O Church. N.p., 05 Nov. 2013.
Nesbit, Jeff. “Institutional Racism Is Our Way of Life.”US News. U.S.News & World Report, 6 May 2015. Web.
“New Story Looks at Media Bias Towards Black America.”EURweb. Electronic Urban Report, 5 June 2015. Web.
“The Civil Rights Act of 1964.”Constitutional Rights Foundation. (CRF), n.d. Web.
“The Effects of Racial Profiling.”Ontario Human Rights Commission. (OHRC), n.d. Web.
Appendix A (Some names are made up because of confidential purposes)
Demographics of Participants
|1 Sarah Richard(White)||21||Student||Associate’s Degree (FAU)|
|2 Mr. Yxama (Black)||22||Student||Working on Associate’s Degree (MDC)|
|3 Betty (Black)||22||Student||Associate’s Degree|
|4 Ashlee Martinez (Hispanic)||29||Front Desk Receptionist||Associate’s Degree (USF)|
|5 Tammie (White)||20||Student||Associate’s Degree (FIU)|
|6 Darson Smith (White)||30||Social Worker||Bachelor’s Degree (UARK)|
|7 Loran (White)||20||Student||Working on Associate’s Degree (BCC)|
Breakdown of Data from Interview Participants/Respondents
|Question Number||Item Description||% Agree||% Disagree|
|1||Do you believe there are issues of victimology in America towards the African Americans?||85.7%||14.2%|
|2||Is there excessive race consciousness in America?||85.7%||14.2%|
|3||Do you believe that African Americans are being targeted?||85.7%||14.2%|
|4||Do you think America is making a good enough effort to stop racism?||14.2%||85.7%|
|5||Do you believe there is social injustice towards the African Americans in America?||100%||0%|
Face-to-Face Interview (Bernensky’s Research)
Do you believe there are issues of victimology in America towards the African Americans?
Sarah Richard: Yes, I feel like sometimes we do not know what really happens to the victim because there is lack of proof or evidence.
*Mr. Xyama: Yes, Speculation is always attached to blacks dying all of sudden.
Betty: Yes, we never get the true story.
Ashlee: Yes, there is a lot of speculation going on towards blacks being victimized for nothing.
Tammie: Yes that’s how it has always been.
Darson Smith: No. (Didn’t want to speak any further)
Loran: Yes, we never know what goes on during investigation of a black man being accused of something or dying.
Is there excessive race consciousness in America?
Sarah Richard: Yes, I believe that there are racial factors that play a role in congress, jobs, and everything that involves people.
*Mr. Xyama: Yes… Why can’t more superheroes be black? There is this persona that goes on in America that says the lighter the better. Studies prove that the lighter one is, the more he or she will be accepted.
Betty: Yes, they care more about the tone than the attributes of a person.
Ashlee: Yes, they do not want blacks or Hispanics at certain levels, so that’s why we still face social injustice.
Tammie: Yes, Me being white I see it every day. My parents are very race conscious.
Darson Smith: No. In general, people have gotten over the color of skin. Some of the most well known people are African Americans.
*Loran: Yes, the new Fantastic Four movie proves it. Everybody was mad because one of the main characters was black.
Do you believe that African Americans are being targeted?
Sarah Richard: Yes, I believe minorities are being targeted period. Use Donald Trump as an example on his sayings about the Mexican race.
Mr. Xyama: Yes, minorities are being targeted, but specifically black people. Sandra Bland was targeted, Monroe Bird was targeted, and many more were targeted. The system targets young black males to go to jail or to die.
Betty: Yes, the cops are killing black people for petty things.
*Ashlee: Yes. What was the reason Eric Garner got choked to death for? (Sarcasm)
Tammie: Yes, it’s all over the news and the media always says it’s the black victim’s fault.
Darson Smith: No, there are a lot of African Americans being killed, but there are far more white people being murdered.
*Loran: Yes. For Monroe Bird to die like he did, that opened my eyes. It showed me that the system is rigged and the police officers can get away with anything because they know that the system got their back.
Do you think America is making a good enough effort to stop racism?
Sarah Richard: No, Eric Garner was killed for no apparent reason by white officers and they didn’t get penalized for it.
*Mr. Xyama: NO, I’m going to tell you a story. There was a black guy that was beaten into a coma. The white police tried to frame him, and say he tried to commit suicide, but when he woke up the black individual said, “The police beat me up.” The end.
Betty: No. (Didn’t want to speak any further)
Ashlee: No, I don’t believe America cares about the effects of racism. Look at the carnage racism has done in our community.
Tammie: No. (Didn’t want to speak any further)
Darson Smith: Yes, I believe America is doing all they can to stop racism. Look how far African Americans have come and they are still overcoming obstacles and no one is stopping them.
Loran: No. (Didn’t want to speak any further)
Do you believe there are social injustices towards the African Americans in America?
*Sarah Richard: Yes. Even though black people have beaten the odds on many occasions, there is still a lot of injustice towards them because of the worldly view of blacks.
Mr. Xyama: Yes, there is this false propaganda that black people are always on welfare. These stereotypes are real. We still have Uncle Toms, and Jim Crow is still flying.
Betty: Yes. (Didn’t want to speak any further)
Ashlee: Yes, they do not get the same opportunities the white people consistently get rewarded with.
Tammie: Yes, stereotypes and prejudice ruins African Americans.
Darson Smith: Yes, there are stereotypes about minorities. (Didn’t want to speak any further)
*Loran: Yes, there a lot of things said about the black communities that are completely negative. This gives them a bad rep. As a result, they face the consequences with going to jail or getting killed for no reason.