Final Blog Post

Overall Blog Summary:

black-history-colored-water-26761-700It’s a very common instance for Americans to state that racism is not prevalent, or a modern issue needed to be discussed. Many Americans are aware of the perpetual injustices against African Americans but are not adamant on the idea of participating in social change. Others are surrounded by cultural ignorance within a white supremacist landscape, choosing to believe that racism is something of the past. There’s no debate that our country was founded on racist principles and chattel slavery. The existence of social and institutional racism has continued throughout the Old Jim Crow century that followed emancipation. Many organizations throughout the United States are still aggressively discriminating against African Americans. Modern racism has become more subtle but continues to jeopardize black lives throughout America.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-benn/next-time-someone-asks-yo_b_12436340.html

https://www.units.miamioh.edu/psybersite/workplace/modernweb.shtml

 

Kali’s final thoughts:

My favorite section we did on this blog was about riots. The timing was ironic because Week 3 was the week following the presidential election, and due to the shocking results of the election  riots were occurring all throughout the country. This was also an interesting category for me because riots are something that is not new to me; when Donald Trump came to visit my hometown, riots ensued. I saw how it actually looked in real life rather than just on a news channel, so this was definitely a topic that affected me. The most interesting part about the concept of riots to me is that they typically stem from a group of people wanting to make a statement, usually peacefully, but they end up getting out of control. I think something I would be interested in further learning about after doing this project is the theory of how riots actually become riots.

 

Shelby’s Final Thoughts:

I think one of the most interesting points we came across while researching for our blog posts was the prevalence of systematic racism in our judicial system. American media projects images of uprisings in predominantly black neighborhoods, racial injustices and police brutality. What isn’t shown are the everyday obstacles of discrimination minorities face everyday of their lives. Racial bias is extremely common in the American justice system, professional work environments and academic settings. The amount of prejudice blacks face through social and institutionalized racism is appalling and should be acknowledged on a national level. I believe that until privileged individuals come to terms with the prevalence of modern racism and decide to stand up among minorities widespread discrimination in the States will continue to persist.

 

Kimberly’s Final Thoughts:

One of my favorite topics that we talked about was the Black Lives Matter Movement. I thought it was a good topic to start off our blog with and it allowed me to learn more about a movement that I was relatively unfamiliar with. I thought it was interesting to learn that to some the All Lives Matter movement can be seen as insulting because it is seen as a denial to the racism towards black people in America. Overall, I enjoyed being able to research the topic of racial injustices in America, and I think that I learned a lot through the research of our four categories; Black Lives Matter, police brutality, riots, and institutional racism.

 

Aliyah’s Final Thoughts

Overall I think our blog is informative, but still easy to read. The point of this blog was to give readers the tools to start conversations about the injustices in America. These things happen around us everyday, little injustices go unnoticed or undiscussed. As long as they are not discussed publicly, by different races other than just Blacks, more blacks and minorities in this country will suffer. So, if anything I hope readers take away at least one thing from this blog that they can bring up with friends and start a discussion. My favorite section that I think has a lot of takeaways is the Black Lives Matter Movement section. Between traditional and social media I feel like the true purpose and intent of the Movement has been skewed. It seems like people not in the Movement have the most to say about their goals and positions, which is quite unfair. With this in mind, we put together a section that aims to display the true purpose of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The other sections are just as compelling, they tell the stories of injustices. Tell a friend to tell a friend to check it out!

 

Zion’s Call To Action:

In many ways this blog is designed to educate our audience about racial tensions in America. We not only strived to educate, but to validate the concerns and the unfortunate realities of many Black Americans. Now we’ve told you why Black Lives Matter and how institutional racism has been used to mistreat and underserved Black Americans, but now it’s your turn to take what you learned and turn it into action. Be an ally, it’s a more important role than many people think. Allies to the movement for equality can create dialogue and conversations amongst people who wouldn’t traditionally feel comfortable around marginalized groups. Do your research and spread what you know in circles where you do not see Black Americans. But in all just do what you can to dismantle institutional racism and unlearn the prejudices that may have been instilled in you by voting for policies that reform our criminal justice system and better serve inner city communities. Use your privilage to create equality, for more tips on how to be a great ally to Black Americans please read The Huffington Post’s article: (http://www.salon.com/2016/07/08/how_to_be_a_white_ally_fighting_racism_is_your_responsibility_start_now/ )

Links:

Riots – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201108/how-does-protesting-cross-the-line-rioting

http://time.com/3951282/riot-violence-use-american-history/

Police Brutality – http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-brutality-of-police-culture-in-baltimore/391158/

https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=m_v_TE13t9cC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=police+brutality&ots=804lYlpxyn&sig=CfZD2gSAqZCQ2ljC0ZFCyjqa4pM#v=onepage&q=police%20brutality&f=false

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/07/11/arent-more-white-people-than-black-people-killed-by-police-yes-but-no/?utm_term=.658dd2213b3d

Black Lives Matter –

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/03/14/where-is-black-lives-matter-headed

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/black-lives-matter-movement

Institutional racism –

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/at-the-edge/2015/05/06/institutional-racism-is-our-way-of-life

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/is-america-repeating-the-mistakes-of-1968/490568/

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Police Brutality – Affirmation

policebrutality

Over the last few years, turmoil was erupted in the United States over the deaths of various unarmed African Americans who died at the hands of police. Ferguson, Tulsa, Baltimore and multiple other cities across the country has sparked a national debate over how much racial bias skews law enforcement behavior, even subconsciously. Although not all police encounters turn violent, it is sure to say that race has increasingly become a deciding factor in how officers will treat members of the community.

Routine traffic stops more frequently led to searches, arrests and the opening of a trapdoor into the criminal justice system that can have a lifelong impact, especially for those who lack economic or social resources in order to protect or defend themselves from racial discrimination and prejudice.

Empirical evidence confirms the existence of racial profiling on America’s roadways. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that for the year 2005, the most recent data available, “police actions taken during a traffic stop were not uniform across racial and ethnic categories.” “Black drivers (4.5%) were twice as likely as White drivers (2.1%) to be arrested during a traffic stop. By analyzing data from 4.5 million traffic stops in 100 North Carolina cities, Stanford researchers have found that police in that state are more likely to search black and Hispanic motorists, using a lower threshold of suspicion, than when they stop white or Asian drivers.

According to findings by a Guardian study that recorded a final tally of 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers this year, young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015.

brutalityfacts

Police brutality against blacks started being in the media more following the shooting of Michael Brown, by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9, 2014. This resulted in nationwide protests against the tendency of law enforcement to be overly aggressive when dealing with black men. This is how the Black Lives Matter movement gained traction. Through this movement, it has been shown that police are arresting and killing black men at a much higher rate than any other racial groups.

Overall in 2015, black people were killed at twice the rate of white, Hispanic and native Americans. About 25% of the African Americans killed were unarmed, compared with 17% of white people. This disparity has narrowed since the database was first published on 1 June, at which point black people killed were found to be twice as likely to not have a weapon.

Law enforcement was only charged with 18 crimes of 2015’s deadly incidents – 10 shootings, four deadly vehicle crashes and four deaths in custody.

Minority groups are much more likely to be arrested, shot and killed by police than other racial groups. Racial profiling is a large problem in law enforcement because there are biases and stereotypes towards black males. Police officers are often quicker to shoot an unarmed black man than an unarmed white man due to embedded cultural stereotypes. It is clear that African Americans are victimized by police in the United States more than any other ethnic group of citizens.

sources

 

Police Brutality – A Refutation

Due to the recent police killings and creation of Black Lives Matter, many people in this country believe Blue Lives Matter legislation should be introduced. Louisiana was the first state to pass the legislation, but many others have proposed similar bills. Both houses of Congress have introduced “Thin Blue Line” legislation.

According to Time, “Blue Lives Matter legislation has garnered interest this year among lawmakers who believe police are under siege around the country. It’s in part a response to the growing prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement.” The growing support is due to an increase in the number of officers fatally shot on duty. According to the National Officers Law Memorial Fund, last year 42 officers were killed on duty, and 52 officers have been killed on duty this year so far. By introducing this legislation lawmakers are implying that the BLM movement encourages violence against the police. To infer or state that the Black Lives Matter movement encourages violence, hatefulness or retaliation is simply erroneous. The police need to be protected, but to single officers out is inequitable, as citizens need to be protected as well. So far in 2016, 220 blacks were killed in police shootings. The legislation diminishes the importance of the need for change that the BLM movement promotes and creates an even bigger gap between police and blacks in America.

Another misconception about the BLM movement, specifically regarding police brutality, is that police brutality is not the fault of police officers. According to a 2015 video from Fox News, Bill O’Reilly has accredited the brutality to being the fault of “disrespectful youth”. O’Reilly claimed that “the besetting problem of our era, we are insistently told by police and their apologists, is not widespread abuse and other misconduct by law enforcement officers, but increasing ‘disrespect for authority’ that is being abetted by ‘liberals’ and those even more dreadful people called ‘libertarians.’” Although there is some truth to the idea that youths are increasingly disrespectful to authority, this acclamation is just a sad excuse for evidence.

In actuality, police brutality has significantly increased over the past few years, and is more likely to occur for African Americans. According to a study done by a professor at the University of California, Davis, there is “evidence of a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans relative to unarmed white Americans, in that the probability of being black, unarmed, and shot by police is about 3.49 times the probability of being white, unarmed, and shot by police on average.”

The Black Lives Matter movement is essential towards easing the tensions between the police and black communities. Black Lives Matter strives to reveal the truths about racial tensions in America and provide solutions to the problems.

Sources:

http://time.com/4413732/iowa-police-shooting-blue-lives-matter/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-map-us-police-killings

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0141854

Why All Lives Don’t Matter

all-lives-matter

Many people find fault with the Black Lives Matter movement, claiming that the organization is creating an isolationist sentiment that is counter-productive to the fight for unity amongst people from different backgrounds. By dividing the struggle in terms of race, the movement singles out the struggle of Black Americans and does not create an open space for the inclusion of other races. If the aim is to live in a colorblind society where people are not subject to discrimination and oppression based on race, it is counterproductive to try and use race as the focal point in the issue of police violence. The Washington Post did a study that proved that out of the 788 individuals that were killed by police in 2015, 365 of those individuals were white which is more than the combined number of black and Latinx individuals killed by police. This led many people to see that police brutality is not a race issue, but a people issue, and by categorizing this problem as something only Black Americans deal with belittles the issue of police brutality in the United States. For many people it is not that Black lives don’t matter, it’s that Black lives are not the only ones suffering from the side effects of police violence. Black lives matter because all lives matter, and it is only through the reiteration that all lives matter that society will be able to solve these problems.


The purpose of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is to highlight the fact that there is substantial evidence of  discrimination against African Americans in the criminal justice system in the United States. For victims of injustices committed against African Americans in non-white communities, the All Lives Matter (ALM) movement can be excruciatingly insulting. There is a misconception that the BLM group is isolating or racially dividing themselves further, but their principles display the complete opposite. The BLM group in fact has the same idea as their counterpart, that all lives matter equally. The All Lives Matter group brings  a sense of oppression and denial toward racism of Black Americans, diminishing any opportunity for positive change or advocation of equality. Jesse Damiani, who wrote a compelling article for the Huffington Post on the All Lives Matter movement states, “Every time you use the term ‘All Lives Matter’ you’re broadcasting to others that change isn’t necessary when it very much is.”
  All don’t matter until black lives matter, and until we face the racial issues in America we cannot eliminate race from that conversation.

Sources:

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2016/
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-damiani/every-time-you-say-all-li_1_b_11004780.html

Black Lives Matter – Affirmative Argument

Black Lives Matter is a national organization that works for the validity of Black lives. The movement was created in 2012 after George Zimmerman, the murderer of Trayvon Martin, was acquitted for the crime and Martin was placed on trial for his own murder, according to the Black Lives Matter website. The conversation for the movement focuses on the ways that Black people are left powerless by the state and are deprived of basic human rights.

Some of the positive aspects of the movement include bringing awareness to police brutalities, showing that racism is still present today, and bringing unity within Black communities. Because of the unity within the Black communities, there is no discrimination towards a person for religion, gender, sexuality, disability, or financial status. One of the misconceptions about this movement is that it is hate driven, however the driving force for the movement is actually the want for equality.

Another positive aspect of the Black Lives Matter movement is that it has really helped illuminate the necessity of protests. As we recently learned in this class, the uprising of social media and “clicktivism” has really made it hard for people to make a difference with their voices because it has become so easy to just say what you think in 150 characters on a tweet. Protests are a form of activism that can benefit causes because it provides tangible experiences for people to express their views. Protests are important to the Black Lives Matter movement because it combines unity within the black community and these advocacy experiences.

According to The Washington Times, “the White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the Black Lives Matter protests— as long as they are peaceful — could help bring reforms in police departments.” Seeing as the Black Lives Matter movement gets much of it’s presence due to the current events circulating police brutality, it’s logical that protests by Black Lives Matter followers would help bring such reform.

Sources:

  1. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/14/white-house-more-black-lives-matter-protests-good/
  2. http://blacklivesmatter.com/about/