Racism in Just Mercy by Stevenson

Category: Culture
Date added
2021/05/27
Pages:  4
Words:  1241
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“In the three texts we learn about how poor minority groups are affected by racism. In Just Mercy, Stevenson recounts his life working with prisoners on death row that were wrongfully convicted. He also gives examples of his own experiences being a victim of racism. In the recording, The Runaways we learn about police indifference towards poor immigrant latino families. Even though many latino teens were going missing and getting killed the police ignored the families demand for immediate action. Besides ignoring them the officers of Suffolk county also failed to offer bilingual services for spanish speaking families, violating their rights. In the video Operation Ceasefire by the New Yorker we witness the mistreatment of innocent African Americans. Many of whom where intrusively being searched and stripped for being suspected murderers. Although all three texts show similarities in the way colored and poor communities are mistreated, one significant difference among the three sources is the proposed solution to the problem of racism. Stevenson makes a more convincing argument because he establishes the base for the start of a solution we can work towards.

Our understanding is flawed when he have misconceptions. In operation ceasefire the officers of Boston believed African Americans had a negative influence in the community and where the perpetrators of violence. These ideologies held by officers led to racial profiling. After a pregnant woman and her husband were attacked officers initiated an intense manhunt for the

suspects. Officers intrusively searched anyone that looked like a gangster or a drug dealer. How can you tell just by looking at someone that their either one? You most likely can’t which shows how officers resorted to using their own misconceptions to target the African American community. Many innocent kids were implicated as suspects which created a sense of insecurity around the neighborhood and weakened their relationship with the police. When the community worked together to build trustworthy relationships officers were able to see the community they were working with from a different perspective. The officers noticed that even thought the people on probation were on the streets, at home they provided food and care for their children. Upon building a relationship officers figured out that the policing they were doing prior to coming together was ineffective and did not put an end to violence. Unity was key for officers to realize that their misconceptions were false and only created a divide between them and the community they were working with.

In Just Mercy, Stevenson offers a more personal experience of him being a victim of racial profiling. Stevenson recounts an experience when he was pulled over by the police outside of his house in Atlanta. During the altercations with the police Stevenson describes the fear he felt during the encounter. After the incident Stevenson says, “I’m sure I sounded afraid because I was terrified”(Stevenson, pg 40). Stevensons initial feelings were of anger and vulnerability. He knew he was being searched illegally and stopped without any evidence, he was not the person responsible for the burglaries happening around the neighborhood but he was powerless to the menacing guns of the police officers. Stevenson does a better job evoking how it feels to be racially profiled than its counterparts because his story is more personal and goes more in depth about how he felt during his experience. His first instinct was to run someone younger who did not know better would have done that and gotten killed in the hands of the police. Luckily Stevenson knew how to respond to the incident. After it occurred the fear and humiliation he felt turn into anger and as a result he filed a complaint. His experience influences Stevenson to teach the black community how to defend themselves against the police.

Although the runaways doesn’t focus much on racial profiling one example of it taking place was officers ideology of “misdemeanor murders” Rob Trada used this to describe the deaths of the latino boys who were killed. In making this comment the officer believed that the kids got themselves in a position to get killed. The officers of Suffolk county also listed Miguel Garcia as a runaway instead of missing which shows how officers implemented their ideologies and not evidence presented by the family to make his own assumptions of what happened to the missing boys. Because he was listed as a runaway the search for Miguel ended before it started because they assumed he was going to arrive at his home sooner or later. The Runaways does a good job portraying police indifference towards immigrant latino families but does not necessarily talk about racial profiling as much. Police indifference in the runaways makes it stand out from the other two texts because it is not talked about in the other texts. Learning about

Officers indifference towards spanish speaking immigrant families helps the reader open his mind to the many possible ways racism takes shape in our modern day world. Their is not a single way racism takes place. All three texts hint directly or indirectly to root cause of all injustices which is racism. Stevenson’s Just Mercy expands furtherly on the origins of why people are racist and offers the four institutions of history that changed many people perception of race….. Stevenson does a good job describing how our history influences many racist ideologies and inequities going on till this day. Operation Ceasefire hints at one of those injustices which is police indifference towards immigrant Spanish speaking families. The runaways also gives a contemporary example of how racism prevails till this day. The runaways describes racial profiling and police brutality towards the poor African American community. All three texts intertwine with each other and work together to emphasize the long lasting influence of history that drives racism in our modern day world.

A common emotion is fear. In stevenson he is scared by the polices guns. In operation ceasefire African Americans are scared. Preacher hammond describes, “ Being scared of who I was as a black person. The way he feels is the way many colored people felt. In the runaways fear comes up in the families who were genuinely scared of what happened to their children.

Although they work hand in hand to emphasize modern racism Stevenson’s Just Mercy offers the first step towards solving the problem of racism which is to acknowledge our history. His idea is a broad/good one but flawed in the way that even if we acknowledge history or try to teach it what will be the next step. Stevenson also leaves out the police perspective and what part they will play in minimizing their racist ideologies.The runaways offers a more concrete example of what can possibly be an option to do after we acknowledge our history which is to work together both sides the police and community unite and get to learn about each other. If it was possible for the cops to change their mind on the community they deemed to be lost souls then it can maybe work in other places as well. The solution is great but again it is very hard to maintain a program or system like this going making it unreliable. Now from the three texts The runaways offers the worst possible solution because they not only forget to offer one but they hint indirectly at those in power to deny and become defensive of any negative comments they recieve.”

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Racism in Just Mercy by Stevenson. (2021, May 27). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/racism-in-just-mercy-by-stevenson/

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