Racism And Police Brutality In All American Boys

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All American Boys is a young adult novel that focuses on police brutality from the viewpoints of two teenage boys: Rashad Butler, an African American male that has been beaten mercilessly by a policeman, Paul Galluzzo, and Quinn Collins, a witness to the beating. Although it is a fictitious scenario, it depicts real-life encounters between blacks and police, racial profiling, and the corrupt justice system of America. The book illustrates the impact of systematic racism and police brutality, which may affect the lives of all citizens of America. According to Kelly Welch of Villanova University, “In American society, a prevalent representation of crime is that it is overwhelmingly committed by young Black men.” (Welch, 2007) The novel illustrates …show more content…
He was not a kid who usually would get into trouble. However, after an accident occurred where a white woman tripped over him, the officer in the store believed he was stealing and the senseless beating began. Quinn observed the crime and pretended to have not seen it at first, but realizes that his testimony would be important for justice against police brutality and prejudice. Rashad also initially does not want to take a stand, but eventually sees it as a persistent issue of social justice and police brutality.
Rashad’s character was to be the “All American Boy”. He wanted to please his father by joining the JROTC and didn’t put too much thought on every day issues up until he stepped inside Jerry’s. As he is healing he develops much fear of the man behind the blue uniform, Paul Galluzzo, as he watches the news on his story. As the plot progresses, Rashad was bothered by the fact that he might have to go to court but soon realizes this case was much bigger than him. On the other side, Quinn Collins is a member of the varsity basketball team and has to decide whether he will walk away or stand-up for
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His best friend Guzzo, whom is related to the cop that beat Rashad, tries to convince Quinn that Paul was doing his job. They all believed that it was not a big deal and Quinn has to make a choice to go along it. His coach, his family and everybody around him are displaying signs of power through their whiteness. This is typical to his development because he hasn’t endured what Rashad has endured. He first shows his concern for Paul, the cop, who was actually in the wrong, instead of Rashad, the victim. In the book The Possessive Investment in Whiteness, George Lipsitz explains the psychological brainwash of superiority of the white man using the term whiteness. According to Lipsitz, “The power of whiteness depended not only on white hegemony over separated racialized groups, but also on manipulating racial outsiders to fight against each other, to compete with each other for white approval, and to seek the rewards and privileges of whiteness for themselves at the expense of other racialized populations.” (Lipsitz,

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