Abuse Of The African American Community MLA Sample | EssayIvy.com

Abuse of the African American Community MLA Sample

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Abuse of the African American Community
In the history of the United States, African Americans have found it difficult to
integrate cohesively into the larger American society. Evidently, many generations of African
Americans have been racially stereotyped, treated unequally, and even psychologically held
back from succeeding. Such behaviors and actions did not happen overnight but rather,
perpetuated by each successive generation, and throughout history, African Americans have
been considered as poorly educated, financially unstable, and violent. Coates talks about
these issues in his letter to his son, and this shows that the racial discrimination persists. Also,
the mentioning of his parents as having told him how African Americans have suffered for
years show that this problem has persisted from generation to generation. As a result, they
have been a target of polices’ excessive use of force which has led many African American
males dead. Coates laments on this in his memoir “Between the World and Me” and shows
that African American people are still being discriminated and that there are constant
injustices that can prove it.
In part 2 of “Between the World and Me,” Coates asserts that it is easy for police to
kill African Americans with no valid reason. Coates begins this section of his memoir by
mentioning how several African American males such as Elmer Clay Newton, Gary Hopkins,
And Freddie McCollum were brutalized by the Prince George’s County police (Coates 75).
However, it is the story of Prince Jones that startles him. He says that “Prince Jones had made
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it through and still they had taken him” (Coates 77). This statement by Coates shows that no
matter what heights an African American had achieved, some whites would still consider him
an inferior person and discriminate him on racial grounds. The case of police brutalization of
African Americans is not an isolated one as statistics prove that this occurs very often. In fact,
according to Swaine and Ciara, “young black men were again killed by police at a sharply
higher rate than other Americans in 2016.” The authors go further and assert that black males
of ages 15-34 are nine times more likely to be killed by the police as compared to other
Americans. It seems that nothing much has changed and Coates’s lamentations show the ugly
state that the country is in. It seems that the whites do not care about the lives of African
American people and see it as no big deal when they are killed.
Coates goes into great detail explaining why he thinks Prince Jones was killed. He
asserts that “Prince was not killed by a single officer so much he was murdered by his
country and all the fears that have marked it from birth” (Coates 78). His assertions lead to an
understanding that the United States justice system is not just at all and that the killings of
African Americans are blatantly ignored. This can be seen by continuing killings of African
Americans despite protests by the community. The article “Police Killed At Least 223 Black
Americans In The Year After Colin Kaepernick’s First Protest” proves this by statistics as it
asserts that as NFL players joined Kaepernick in his protests, more than 200 African
Americans were killed by police. The article goes further to mention that some of these
African American men were unarmed and that “Black Americans are twice as likely as white
Americans to be unarmed when police kill them.” This statement is supported by Howard’s
article which states that “the rate with which police use force on blacks is 3.6 times as high as
the rate on whites.” Additionally, the article “Trends in Killings of and by Police” paints a
clear picture of the racial disparity in police killings. The article mentions that “the
concentration of lethal events among Black victims is about three times the proportion of
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Blacks in the U.S. population” (Franklin and Brittany 15). Also, the fact that the percentage
of black people killed by police is 38% of the total police killings shows that the situation has
become no better (Franklin and Brittany 15). Such assertions and statistics show that the
country does not care much about the lives of African Americans and this is mostly due to
racial discrimination.
According to Coates, the reason why African Americans are killed by the police is so
that the whites can achieve the Dream. Coates asserts that:
And so to challenge the police is to challenge the American people who send them
into the ghettos armed with the same self-generated fears that compelled the people
who think they are white to flee the cities and into the Dream (Coates 79)
Coates views that the white Americans do whatever they can so as to live the life outlined in
the American Dream. According to him, the whites would do whatever they can to achieve
this dream, and this involves eliminating the minority who might be a threat to them. Coates
views can be analyzed using the conflict theory as outlined in the article “Black Shootings,
Conflict Theory, and Policy Implications” by Anderson et al. The article asserts that “the law
and the justice system are based in favor of powerful groups” (Anderson et al. 4). As such,
police brutality against African Americans may be a way to promote the interests of the
whites. Coates goes into great detail describing this as he asserts that racism is connected
with the Dream and that whites believe they are innocent when perpetuating racism in order
for them to achieve the Dream. Indeed, conflict theory and Coates assertion show that the law
favors the whites at the expense of minority groups so that they can achieve the Dream.
Coates ends his letter to his son by discussing on how the killing of one black person
affects the larger community. He says that “In the years after Prince Jones dies, I thought
often of those who were left to make their lives in the shadow of his death” (Coates 135). By
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this statement, Coates implies that the death of Prince Jones affected his immediate family
and since his fiancée was pregnant at the time of the killing, it is sad to know that his
daughter would live without knowing her father. Also, Prince was a well-educated man, and
all that effort seems to have gone to waste. But Coates goes further to imply that the unjust
killing of a black man also affects the entire African American community. Through the
words of Dr. Jones, Prince Jones’ wife, Coates asserts that killing of African Americans
shows that they are still slaves. In fact, when Dr. Jones alludes to 12 Years a Slave to show
how African Americans still cannot progress because of one racist act (Coates 145). Thus,
police killings of African Americans show that all African Americans are not sure if they can
be able to achieve their goals in life as their bodies are mistreated, and they can be killed at
any time. Witnessing the killing of other African Americans, in essence, makes other
members of the community to know that the whites do not want good for them and that they
do not want them to become prosperous in order for them to achieve the Dream.
With such actions, organizations such as the Movement for Black Lives have come
forward to fight for the rights and equality of African American people. According to
Anderson et al. the Movement for Black Lives has been very vocal in fighting against mass
incarceration and police brutality (4). The vision of the Movement for Black Lives is to
“support the development and implementation of visionary and uncompromising local,
national, and international policy objectives aimed at ending state-sanctioned violence against
Black communities” (M4BL). Such efforts are aimed to make everyone feel at home while in
their own country and have the freedom to participate in activities that would make them
prosperous as well as allow the nation to develop. Coates goes into great detail describing the
oppression of African American people and says that “black power births a kind of
understanding that illuminates all the galaxies in their truest colors” (149). As such, through
Coates’ words, it is evident that Movement for Black Lives reveals the true deeds of the
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society and by their actions, they can foster change and allow the society to be a better place
where everyone has equal opportunities.
Through the story of Prince, Coates memoir shows that police abuse African
Americans with no valid reason and that the justice system does not do anything to hold them
accountable for their actions. African American bodies are treated as garbage and police kill
them at their will. This is not only evidenced in Coates’s memoir, but also by other sources
that the rate of use of excessive force is more for African Americans than other Americans.
Also, they are killed more by police as compared to other Americans. These acts have led to
the formation of groups such as the Movement for Black Lives which have been instrumental
in fighting for the rights of the Blacks. Thus, the writings of people such as Coates show the
mistreatment of African Americans in their own country and inspire action from groups such
as the Movement for Black Lives so that the society can become a better place for all people.
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Works Cited
"About Us - The Movement For Black Lives." The Movement For Black Lives, 2018,
https://policy.m4bl.org/about/.
Anderson, James F., Kelley Reinsmith-Jones, and Willie M. Brooks Jr. "Black Shootings,
Conflict Theory, and Policy Implications." Int'l J. Soc. Sci. Stud. 4 (2016): 10.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the world and me. Text publishing, 2015.
Howard, Jacqueline. "Study: Black Men Nearly 3 Times As Likely To Die From Police Use
Of Force." CNN, 2016, https://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/20/health/black-men-killed-
by-police/index.html.
Swaine, Jon, and Ciara McCarthy. "Young Black Men Again Faced Highest Rate Of US
Police Killings In 2016." The Guardian, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-
news/2017/jan/08/the-counted-police-killings-2016-young-black-men.
Waldron, Travis. "Police Killed 223 Black Americans In Year After Colin Kaepernick's First
Protest." HuffPost UK, 2017, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/colin-kaepernick-
police-killings-black-americans_us_599c4099e4b04c532f447939.
Zimring, Franklin E., and Brittany Arsiniega. "Trends in the killing of and by police: a
preliminary analysis." Ohio St. J. Crim. L.13 (2015): 247.

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