The history of racial inequality in the United States has proven to be a major problem for many individuals throughout the world, but especially African Americans.
In what ways are rights and disciplinary actions taken against African Americans justified when the majority of prisons are disproportionately filled with them? In Ava DuVernay’s “13th Reframes American History” and NPR’s interview “Documentary 13th Argues Mass Incarceration Is an Extension of Slavery”, both articles are suggesting that African Americans in the United states have been discriminated against based on not only their race but their role in society as well. The 13th amendment abolished slavery but within the African American society being put in jail unjustly is like the extension of slavery. The Injustice of the System has been ignored until recently when Ava DuVernay made a documentary that reframed American History stating, “Identification, labels..
. how those very things worked against us” (DuVernay,2016). This film recognizes just how unjust the system is, stating “American criminal justice system really serves as a strategy to control black and brown people” (Martin,2016). The number of African Americans that are in jail have tremendously increased in the last century with many questioning why. Why are African American males put in the system more than any other race in America? Why are cops shooting African Americans down with no valid or clear reason? The 13th Amendment not only touches on how the system is working against African Americans, but also expresses an enabling to the majority to continue discriminatory actions against the minority, specifically African Americans, because of the impact the system has had on said individuals in the past and present. Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old African American boy was gunned down just by the color of his skin and the clothes (hoodie) that he was wearing.
The night of February 2012 Trayvon walked down a street from visiting his family and was shot and down by George Zimmerman, a mixed Hispanic man who had thought that Trayvon was a criminal. In the police reportings George Zimmerman had called about Trayvon Martin being suspicious in the neighborhood. Later on, there were calls about shots being fired and a body on the ground. Trayvon had died. This is a great example of how racial discrimination has impacted the lives of innocent individuals. Black people today have the fear of walking out of the house or even getting stopped by the police on the road, because they fear getting shot down or going to jail for invalid reasons. DuVernay is a prime example on how the African American thought process works when the police is near, stating “I’d see a cop and I didn’t think safety.
.I’d think, oh boy what are they coming for? Who are they coming after?” (DuVernay, 2016) . Drugs have played a large part in America today. African Americans are incarcerated more than 5 times the rate of whites.
In 2002 more than 80 percent of blacks were sentenced under the federal crack cocaine laws, yet two-thirds of crack cocaine users were either white or hispanic (Naacp,2017). The impact of this is major and the household of many African Americans are getting torn apart. Families are losing their sons and fathers.When finally released from jail, it is very difficult for African American males and females to find a job since no one wants to hire someone with a criminal record. For this reason, African American men have to find a different means to feed their family and make ends meet. Selling drugs is a way many have found to be able to provide the required needs to their family.
African Americans have been looked at among the vast majority of people as foolish for and idiotic for believing said things and that these accusations are just in ones head. However, how can you speak on things you have no experience with because of the color of your skin? You cannot fully understand the struggle of someone so ethnically different than you if you’ve not walked in their shoes? The 13th has been “built for two different kinds of audiences folks out there that know about this and folks out there that have never heard of it” (DuVernay,2016). This documentary is enabling all different types of races to get an idea where we as African Americans are coming from. We as the minorities make up the majority of being incarcerated in the jail system. Generations of African Americans have been going through this since the end of slavery and protesting is just beginning of representing the struggle of African Americans and voicing what has been a major issue throughout the world for decades. The history of racial inequality in the United States has proven to be a major problem for many individuals throughout the world, but especially African Americans. Ava DuVernay’s “13th Reframes American History” and NPR’s interview “Documentary 13th Argues Mass Incarceration Is an Extension of Slavery”, touch on the sensitive topic of unjust racial profiling against said individuals.
The World should work to change the System and better balance the equality of all people.