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The movie ‘American Violet’ directed by Tim Disney is based on a real life lawsuit that was filed by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) representing 15 African Americans in Hearne having being indicted on drug charges following an unlawful drug sweep by under cover drug burst. The sweep led to arrest of many African American men in Hearne aged between18 and 34. The men had been undertaken on the basis of uncorroborated confession of one confidentially unreliable informant under coercion by the cops to table a case.
The film focuses on Dee (Nicole Beharie) who is arrested during a extensive drug sweep on a black Arlington Spring neighborhood by heavy military tactics led by a the local district attorney who is very powerful. Dee is dragged in handcuffs from her local diner joint and dumped in the squalid women’s country prison. Dee is implicated as a drug dealer on the basis of a falsified confession from an unreliable informant also facing drug charges and under police coercion. No drugs records are found after investigation on her case and neither was she found in possession of drugs during the raid or even after subsequent searches carried out after her arrest. In spite of all this she is presented with a hell of a choice.
She is either to plead guilty and earn her freedom under felony conviction or deny these charges jeopardizing her states and federal rights, loosing custody over her children and risk being sent to prison. Despite all these threats, all what is at stake and urges from her mother to stay down and accept the charges she chooses to fight the district attorney and unjust system of justice. With the help of the local narcotics agent and an ACLU attorney Dee fights a fierce case that moves the people stand to fight this unjust system fighting for their rights. Dee eventually not only wins the case but also her freedom which entirely changes her life and the unjust Texas justice system.
Watching the movie triggers a lot of disgust especially watching how the Arlington Spring residents are physically manhandled by the police. Much disgusting is the way that Dee is treated especially after being found with any drugs that incriminate her leave alone that she is a woman, a single mother. One almost looses hope on Dee’s life seeing the choices that she is presented with which puts her freedom and separation from her children no matter what stand she takes. Her life seems on the bleak of doom when she chooses to fight the powerful district attorney and the justice system but one is relieved when ACLU attorney and local narcotics agents come to her rescue helping her win the case. The black people also gaining freedom on Dee’s account also brings relief.
Do the Right Thing – Movie
This is an American drama film that was written, produced, directed by Spike Lee in 1989. In this film we have Mookie, a man in his youths of African American descent who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant – Brooklyn, a neighborhood that is dominated by the residents of both African American and Puerto Rican descent. As a pizza delivery man at a local Italian restaurant, Mookie feeds his sister, Jade, whom they live with. Salvatore, the American Italian owner of the restaurant detest the area because of the black community that populate it, is elder son Pino harbor more hatred for the community around than anybody else in the family, something that makes him extend this hatred even to his younger brother, Vito for his closeness with a black age mate by the name Mookie.
In one of the scenes we see a black man going by the name “Buggin’ Out” entering the restaurant from where he gets into a heated argument with the owner upon being asked why he has not hanged photos of black celebrities in the wall of his restaurant despite being situated in a predominately black community. It is from that argument that another black guy by the name radio Raheem get involved. A scuffle ensure after Radio Raheem’s boombox get destroyed by Sal when he is trying to get lid of the two guys. It is in course of this scuffle that police officers arrive attempting to apprehend the two black. However the arrest result in the death of Radio Raheem after succumbing to a choke hold that one of the officer places him in while apprehending him. The crowd of black onlooker that gather is so enraged with this turn of event that it turns its ire on Sal and his sons, at which point Mookie successfully deflect their attention to the restaurant which they destroys completely before setting it on fire. From there they turn their collective ire on anybody and anything that belong to non-blacks among them.
Boyz n the Hood - Movie
This film explores ghetto life and how black kids are absorbed in the life of drugs and violence which destroy their life ultimately. Through this film one can see the inability of the criminal justice system to protect black kids from slipping into a life of drug and violence, inability that can be blamed on the prejudice of the justice system. This film begins with the description of growth experience of three kids and the challenges that are associated the life in the ghettos. Tre is generally a spoilt kid as can be found with his initial problem with his teacher, something that first led to his suspension and later to transfer, a decision that his mother makes hopping that the boy father will manage to transform the kids. It is after this transfer that Tre is united with three other kids namely Ricky, Doughboy, and Chris, whom he strikes a rapport that see him learn so many things from them. His father, Furious strives to teach him a number of important lessons that he hope will be of help to the kid as he grew in a society whose moral are already corrupt. Some of the incidents that shows a breakdown of society in this film include the arrest of Tre’s friend, Doughboy and Chris, for stealing while still in their prime, the dropping out of school of Doughboy, and drug trafficking that seems fashionable among youths of Tre’s age.
It is in one of Tre encounter with the police that he realizes that the criminal justice system is biased against the black. In one of the numerous scuffles with the rival gangs Ricky faces a guy named Ferris in the presence of Tre and his brother Doughboy, from where Doughboy draws a gun thereby making the whole scuffle degenerated into a full blown gun fight. Unfortunately for Tre, together with Ricky finds himself in the hands of the cruel LAPD policemen. That is when Tre realizes that the police department, and in extension the criminal justice system, are biased against the African Americans when one of the policemen draws a gun despite his innocence and threatens to kill him. The policeman even boast how he is unlikely to account for killing a black person as is normally the case.
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New Jack City
In this film we see one of the most organized black drug rings in the New York City. The way they conduct themselves depicts a case of total breakdown in the rule of law which can only mean one thing- failure on the part of the criminal justice system. Racism in the film is manifested in portray of the drug syndicate as a preserve of the people of color not just in the New York City but in the entire United States. The failure of the undercover cops to apprehend the pusher of crack is another manifestation of dereliction on the part of the criminal justice system. The treatment of Scotty and other cops toward members of this ring is not professional, if anything they border on the inhumane treatment of people of color. It is interesting to see the way Scotty unprofessionally handles the members of this gang, remember Scotty telling Nino that “this ain’t business, bitch, this is personal!”. This is not only unprofessional but also a blatant demostrattion of racial/ethnic discrimination.
Straight out of Brooklyn
This film features Denis, a black kid who get used to seeing his alcoholic father batter his mother now and then. This alcoholism that his father exhibits stems from the frustration of working for a white for years without anything to show for that. It is in such circumstances that he together with two other black kids decides to rob a drug dealer from the locality. From the film is right to assume that there are untouchable within the society as can be seen in Dennis girlfriend reaction to the idea of robbing a drug dealer. The total absence of the police officer in the entire criminal enterprise is something that demonstrates the racial/ethnic discrimination involved in the delivery of justice by the entire criminal justice system. It is unfortunate to witness the most archaic delivery of justice in a country that fashion itself as a citadel of law and justice. The rule of the jungle that the film feature helps to put across a point however it is so exaggerated that it is almost had to imagine the existence of such a thing in the united states.
Federal Appeals Court Strikes a Blow For Racial Equality, even if no one wants to use the ‘R’ Word - Newsweek
At the center of this article is an appeal court decision that declared unconstitutional a Washington laws that barred felon serving prison sentences from voting, something that the presiding judges were quick to condemn for allowing so many people from exercising their voting right. One peculiar thing about the criminal justice system in the state of Washington is that it discriminates against the black population residing there, a situation which has seen a significant increase in black population in its prisons. In such circumstances, the learned judges reasoned, denying prisoners, who are predominantly from a one racial/ethnic group, dilutes their voting power and their power to effect decisions that affect them.
There is no doubt that this decision open new ground in jurisprudence which is consistent with the idea of law being a dynamic discipline. It also exposes the racial/ethnic discrimination that has been in the criminal justice system not only in Washington but in entire United States.
Congressional Hearing Puts Muslim Civil Rights Group in the Hot Seat Again - New York Times
This article looks at the congressional hearing concerning the supposed radicalization of Muslim in an American Islamic community. In this congressional hearing one of the Muslim advocacy groups operating in the United States got the ire of the congressional members. These congressional hearings which are the subject of this article were supposed to look at the radicalization in the United States of the Islamic community living there. Islamic organizations operating in United States have since 9/11 been looked as conspirator of terrorism and therefore treated with a lot of caution.
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This article exposes the prejudice that has come to characterize any debate or any action of the any of the arms of the United States criminal justice system since 9/11. These accusations against CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) were being perpetuated despite Sherriff Baca, the only official on the ground who had been invited to testify, testimony to the contrary. He was very clear that in course of his long career as a law enforcement officer in a predominantly Muslim community he had never witnessed or suspected anything to suggest CAIR has been supporting terrorism. Something that further reinforces the bias in the proceeding is the failure of the congressional committee to invite a member of CAIR. I strongly believe that the 30 page testimony, that includes the advocacy groups earlier stand against terrorism against American or even Israel, that was submitted by the right organization might as well have never been perused. Otherwise it seem the committee members had a set mind in their deliberation.
Theologians and white supremacy – America: The National Catholic Weekly
This article explore at the contribution of the American theologian in creating equality and equity in the United States. In this regard it explores the implication of the conspicuous silence that was observed from the American theologians in castigating racism in the criminal justice system. The author is concerned that both protestant and catholic theologians have been doing theology in away that seem to suggest the absence of white supremacy and racism, two ills whose existence cannot be denied. He goes on to assess the implications of the absence of the two groups (catholic and protestant theologians) in the civil right movement which though spearheaded by black clergy like Martin Luther never received any material or moral support from the white clergymen, something that literary partitioned the church into two.
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The author wonder why the white theologian assume that the racial question is settled when they themselves continues to turn a blind eye on the vestiges of today racial discrimination in our criminal justice system. According to the author the silence of the white theologian in castigating racial discrimination that pervades not just out criminal justice system but the entire social fabric stems from a warped understanding of the gospel’s meaning in a racially divided world like that one of the United States. According to the author there will never come a time when white theologians will write passionately against racial discrimination as long as they are not directly affected by this vice. The author is quiet offended by that hypocrisy that the church has been allowed over the years to get away with.
There is no doubt that the author has done an exhaustive research on the role of the church in combating racial discrimination since the times of civil right movement. His assessment of the hypocrisy involved in Christianity silence over an intractable evil like racial discrimination together with the criminal justice system conspiracy is a thing that I also think is unacceptable.
Introduction: Crime, Justice, and Powerless racial group – a journal of crime, conflicts & world Order
This article looks at the commonalties of the greatest clients of the United States of the criminal justice system. In this regard I am referring to those common faces in our corridor of justice, and prisons, who are accused and incarcerated daily for all sort of crime ranging from murder, robbing, narcotic peddling, street walking, and drug addiction to name but a few. Other than being from one youthful they are also jobless, desperate, unintelligent, and most noticeably from two of the most disadvantaged racial groups in America namely Latino American and African American. It is no doubt that just like those they are accused of murdering, selling dope to, robbing, or mugging, the accused are casualties of a biased society. The result of that bias against them can be seen from the perspective of the powerless that they appear to wield in the almost all aspect of life. It is unfortunate that a society that fashions itself as the bastion of such virtue as equality, equity, freedom and liberty can have such rot in its system.
This article assessment of the situation of minority group in the United States is superb. The assessment of the criminal justice system in his analysis of possible prejudice is particularly welcomed, especially due to the way it goes further in exposing the rot in the criminal justice system which has conspired with other systems of government in condemning whole racial/ethnic groups in the life of penury and desperation.
However as much as the author assessment might be hailed for its completeness there is the small matter of pessimism and exaggeration on hi part as far as the rot in the criminal justice system is concerned. For instance, he has deliberately failed to acknowledge the various safeguard that have been put in place to ensure that justice is served without favor or discrimination to any group. He seem to assume that simply because the criminal justice system and especially the courts are packed with white judges, the delivery of justice is not likely to be fair or seen to be saw. It is important to realize that the absence of African American and Latino American in any level of the criminal justice system does not in itself translate to their discrimination.
U.S. Puts a Halt to Talks Tying Genes to Crime – The New York Times
There are a certain people who have strived to link Crime in the United States to certain races. This has resulted to the mistreatment of members of those races by the police and the entire criminal justice system. This has not been made any good by the health professionals who instead of acting in a professional manner have gone out of their way to imply a genetic relationship between crime and certain races. In this case the “Genetic Factors in Crime” conference which was to evaluate this relation was canceled by the government ostensibly because just like other before it, it was supposed to confirm the existence of the link between race and crime.
The debate on the probably genetic disposition to crime and violence is not a new thing. Having been informed by the increasing number of criminal and violent cases involving blacks any further debate has almost always endeavored to show the existence of such a relationship which will then open the floodgates of biased criminal actions against members of certain races, which is unconstitutional. You will wonder why further research in that direction should be permitted when all other previous researches have not found any such link. It is highly probably that such research are a futile attempt at portraying black as genetically predisposed to crime and violence.