Racial Disparity/Mass Incarceration Of Minorities In The U.S. Prison System College English Research Paper

1341 words - 6 pages

ENG 105
The term race refers to groups of people who have differences and similarities in biological traits deemed by society to be socially significant. While the United States recognizes it progress with the 1st African American President, it still remains a racially segregated nation. It’s pretty obvious that people of color have been incarcerated disproportionately since the 1960’s. People of color are being charged more severely for offenses compared to white people.
Racial Disparity occurs in the criminal justice system when the proportion of a racial group within a control system is higher than the proportion of the group in general population. The causes of this racial disparity varies from levels of criminal activity, new legislative policies, law enforcement emphasis on particular communities. Racial disparity started with slavery in the south. When slavery became abolished, the Civil War left the southern economy in shambles. Slavery was a big part of the economic system in the South. How could they fix the economy?
The 13th Amendment states “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”. But there is a clause, slavery was not permitted “except as a punishment for crime”. Which basically means if you're in prison you're basically a slave to the government. This 13th Amendment loophole was exploited which lead to the first massive prison boom. African Americans were being arrested in mass for extremely minor crimes like loitering and vagrancy. In turn while being in jail/prison they provided labor which fixed the south’s economy.
Around the late 1860’s the movie Birth of a Nation came out. “Growing up as a slave in the antebellum South, Nathaniel Turner (Nate Parker) witnesses the consistent hardships and numerous atrocities inflicted upon his family. When his abilities as a preacher and public speaker find his master Samuel (Armie Hammer) loaning him out to other plantations in an effort to quell the rebellious spirits of unruly slaves, Nat steadily realizes his true calling. Gathering together his oppressed brethren, the preacher leads the slaves in a desperate bid for freedom”. This movie confirmed the white people’s depiction of the civil war and the aftermath. Every image of a black person in the movie was seen as demeaning, or animalistic. African American males were seen and criminals and raping white women. Birth of a Nation was seen as almost directly responsible for the rebirth of the KKK. The KKK were seen as super heroes, thus creating a new wave of terrorism on black people. Mobs were going around lynching and harassing innocent black men. For example the famous case of Emmett Till.
After the lynching was not seen as publicly acceptable, it was shifted to segregation and the Jim Crow Laws. Jim Crow Laws were a set of statues created in the south which...

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