Police Brutality against the Blacks in the US and the Social Effects Associated
Humans are in constant need of love and a sense of belonging, love comforts like sunshine after heavy rains, states William Shakespeare in his poem “Venus and Adonis” (goodnet, 2016). A minority group is a category of persons distinct from the majority socially, for instance, from those who have the majority of positions with social power in a given society. These differences might range from race, religious affiliation, and gender. Africans were brought to America as slaves around the 17th century, most were forced to change their names and convert to be Christians. There were laws against discrimination of these people then, but same as today, this discrimination from the majority whites persists.
Around 258 black Americans were killed by the police in the year 2016 alone, 39 of these people being unarmed (Craven, 2017). There has been increasing demonstrations against the police throughout America due to the killings of the Blacks across the nation. The United States of America is a nation of racial diversities having six races identified by the Census Bureau of the U.S. The whites are the racial majority while the blacks are largest among the racial minorities, however, there are other races but not as dominant as these two. The media has been filled with outcries from the citizens concerning police brutality towards the blacks. This has resulted in having a poor percentage of blacks having the confidence of justice from the local police (Morris, 2014).
These events have led a huge number of blacks who have experienced such brutality to be victims of racial trauma. As some of these incidences are being projected and circulated in the social media, perceptions towards law enforcement are turning negative and more so stereotyping the African American race negatively. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, among the 85% of blacks stopped by the police once in their lifetime, 78% of them had no history of criminal records.
While these people suffer racial trauma they result in becoming vigilant and suspicious of other races and this makes them more socially handicapped. Victims of these police brutalities or even so families of the same have chronic stress and this reduces their immune system processes in the brain and causes ineffective social development and attachments. Most of these victims end up as drug and alcohol abusers as they try to manage stress and accept themselves this, in turn, leads to aggression and hence the formation of street gangs, violence even domestically and having defiant behaviours as they try to control their social environments.
It is hard to cope with racial trauma especially by police as people look up to them as the source of their justice. These effects often go unnoticed and people end up blaming the blacks as being rebellious and crime oriented, none sees the wounds inside these people as they witness their brothers and sisters being brutally treated by the same police they are to seek justice from. Black people killings by the police have caused hatred and dissension towards the white police and generally the white population. This is has been signalled by reckless shootings by blacks towards white officers and white citizens too (Henderson, 2016). This not only will it lead to increase in crime against the whites but also might result in general negative perception towards the blacks.
There are different cultural practices in the United States, however, people use the basis of their cultural orientation to judge other people’s practices. This leads to racial discrimination and dissension among different cultural diversities as with the case of white police officers against black civilians. Having brutal cases standing against the police such as the murder of Kendrec McDade (19 years), shot 7 times despite being unarmed and the killing of another 19-year-old teenager Ramarley Graham after being chased by the New York Police to his grandmother’s house and finally murdered in the bathroom (Newsone, 2016).
When one thinks of the solutions to this fearful warfare between police and the African-American citizens, it all goes down to the personal level, down to someone’s values. However, there can be regulations by the government on the police force that can put to a halt these mistreatments from the police. For instance, the government can see to it that policemen serve the areas they live near because it’s easier for someone to mishandle a stranger. Again the police should on regular basis be tested for racial biases, but more importantly enforcing the use of body cameras, for they can be easily used to police the police. Even so, there are good officers and these should be given the motivation of speaking out on the bad ones and appropriate action taken against such.
9 Famous William Shakespeare Quotes on Love. (2016, January 17). Retrieved March 29, 2017, from http://www.goodnet.org/articles/9-famous-quotes-on-love-by-william-shakespeare-list
Craven, J. (2017, January 01). More Than 250 Black People Were Killed By Police In 2016 [Updated]. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-people-killed-by-police-america_us_577da633e4b0c590f7e7fb17
Henderson, B. (2016, July 08). Killings of black men by US police officers lead to ‘revenge’ shootings across America. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/08/killings-of-black-men-by-us-police-officers-and-dallas-attack-le/
Killers Behind the Badge: NewsOne’s Investigative Series on Police Brutality in Black America. (2016, July 28). Retrieved March 29, 2017, from https://newsone.com/2023676/police-brutality-against-blacks/
Monique W. Morris / The New Press. (2014, February 25). 25 Things Everyone Needs to Know About the Lives of Black People in America. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from http://www.alternet.org/books/25-statistics-paint-picture-black-america