Examples Of Racism And Bias In Modern Times

Improved Essays
Racism and Bias in Modern Times
On February 26th, 2012, neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17 year old African- American, in Miami Gardens, Florida. Zimmerman identified Trayvon as suspicious because he was a black male wearing a hood, and called 911 to report him. The police told him to not approach Trayvon or even leave his vehicle, but Zimmerman disregarded this, resulting in Trayvon’s death. Zimmerman was later acquitted for his crime. He claimed that he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense, even though Trayvon was unarmed. Racism and bias as shown in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is still present in modern day America as evidenced by multiple cases of police brutality and bias towards African-Americans.
…show more content…
This type of behavior also includes verbal attacks and psychological intimidation by a police officer.” Police brutality can often be directed towards African-Americans because of racism or bias - statistics shows that 79% of the people shot by Chicago Police in 2009 through 2013 were black. For example, in 2015, at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina, and African-American girl was slammed backwards into the ground and dragged to the front of the room by Officer Ben Fields for refusing to put away her phone and not leaving the classroom. This is an example of police brutality because the police officer used excessive force to carry out law enforcement. Another example would be the case of Robert Davis, a retired African-American elementary school teacher from New Orleans, who was arrested and beaten by police under the suspicion of public intoxication in 2005. In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, John Henry Berry, an African-American, is burned alive. Although the perpetrators are known, the local police do not acknowledge the incident, leaving the killers unpunished. “‘He’s low sick all right - ‘cause he got burnt near to death.’” (9). Even back in 1933 when people had much stronger opinions on race when making decisions, there are similar examples to today of how police will excuse wrongdoings towards blacks. …show more content…
In 1964, Malcolm X said “The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make the criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. This is the press; an irresponsible press. It will make the criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” In this quote Malcolm X talks about media bias, and how the media can shape the image of how something is perceived by the general public. This is very important in modern-times because media bias extends to how African-Americans are identified by society at large. In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, an African-American named Henrietta Toggins goes to the sheriff to report something and gets shut out and called a liar because she is black. “When Henrietta went to the sheriff and told him what she’d see, he called her a liar and sent her home.” (40). This is an example of bias because the sheriff automatically assumes Henrietta is not telling the truth because she is black. This relates to today because African-Americans still have unfair dealings with the police. A poll from November 2015 shows that one in five African-Americans that had taken the poll had unfair dealings with the police in the last 30 days. Implicit bias is a “hidden” bias, not

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Police intentions are motivated by race. They tend to target areas where blacks are more commonly found than whites. When police officers spot a minority driving around in a white neighborhood will be pulled over and convicted of looking suspicious. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Aunt Alexandra claims Calpurnia isn’t a good influence on Scout, but she doesn’t get to know Calpurnia. Aunt Alexandra is an example of how common mistrust against blacks were.…

    • 731 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Cincinnati, 2001, Timothy Thomas a 19 year old unarmed black kid was shot and killed after being pulled over for a traffic violation. Oakland, 2009, Oscar Grant was shot and killed in the BART subway station. After the officer repeatedly stated he was going to tase Grant, he instead shot him. Instead of being charged with murder he was only given a charge of involuntary manslaughter, lessening his,in my opinion, deserved sentence. Black people, black males especially, have had to deal with…

    • 1027 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    With four out of the 53 commissioned officers black. This event clearly shows the theme whites vs. blacks. As for Officer Wilson was engaged in a suspect that was black and shot him in self-defense, And after the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, the predominately black community protested the decision of the grand jury. Like Mark Twain satirically wrote about. The people who protested either didn’t read all the information about the case.…

    • 1386 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Why do black citizens start riots? The rioting that occurred after the death of Michael Brown was connected to the intense actions of where systematic racism is undoubtedly at work. The media tends to make black folks in this situation look like wild savages perpetrating fear in the community. There is never justice served when police kill blacks but with black on black crime justice is always served and the murderer gets time in prison versus a police who gets let off after taking a life. That is why the riots are taking place.…

    • 1664 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Black men in particular were and still are portrayed as overly aggressive and hypersexual. In Native Son, the main character, Bigger, was described in the newspapers as a “negro rapist and killer” (Wright 256). Although Bigger did kill Mary Dalton, he did not rape her. Law enforcement and the media had no evidence what so ever that Bigger had raped Mary, they pinned that crime of him because of the stereotypes of black men in that society. An officer with these negative perceptions of people of color instilled in their mind, they feel the need to abuse their power to remind themselves that they are the ones that should be feared.…

    • 1613 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The general argument made by Christine Pelisek in her work, Family of Black Teen Killed by Pasadena Cops Alleges Racial Profiling, is that there has got to be justice for African-Americans who get frisked by cops. More specifically, the author argues that cops should not put as an excuse that they shot because of “self-defense”. The author asserts, “The shooting of McDade has opened long-festering wounds in northwest Pasadena, where a majority of African-Americans say they have a bad relationship with police .”(Pelisek). The quote is suggesting that the cops had the reason to shoot because the authorities did not get along with African-Americans, and there was no type of connection or relationship for cops to think back at before they shot. African-Americans were not treated with equality.…

    • 1437 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    According to Washington’s Post, so far this year 24 unarmed black men have been shot and killed by a police officer. Their only excuse was “he was black and looks suspicious”. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than stupidity and ignorance and that statement was beyond both. The very most common racial profiling you will ever hear about and see is when a police officer quickly stops someone, questions them and searches them. During this search and seizure they have this mentality that even though they can’t find anything suspicious you are still guilty and should be dealt with.…

    • 760 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In 2016 a white, female police officer shot and killed “Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man whose death led to criminal charges against an officer. Last month, that officer was acquitted of a charge of first-degree manslaughter.”(washington post). That officer claimed she feared for her life as she shot him from across the street. Even kids are being shot as “Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old high school freshman who was shot in April by a police officer in a Dallas suburb”(washington post). The officer also claims that he feared for his life as he “opened fire with an AR-15 rifle on Edwards and his friends as they drove away from a party”(washington post).…

    • 1150 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Tri Nguyen Binney American Lit 30 September, 2015 The lynching Hysteria Between the 1882-1940, mass lynchings killed many people of all different colors but mostly blacks. Lynching is to hang someone by mob action without legal authority("Lynch"). The problem stemmed from whites not wanting slaves as equals. This was particularly big in the south as they were last people to abolish slavery in the US by force. Lynchings started off by Southerners blaming the newly freed slaves for their problems like disease, money, hunger, drought...etc.…

    • 1041 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    African Americans were not allowed in the same restrooms, schools, and even had to sit on the back of buses. It would be extremely hard for a black person to get acquitted with an all white jury since racism was basically legal during that time. The Jury may have thought that it was their legal duty to convict a black man just because of his race. Atticus discussed a term that was used by whites to belittle African Americans. The term was used many times in, “ To Kill A Mockingbird”, The term was used mainly to degrade black people.…

    • 1301 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays