by

May 20, 2022

 

Until Black Women are Free, None of Us Will Be Free

African-American women have been fighting for equal rights for forever now. They tend to be the leaders of these fights, but never recognized. It is time for Black women to be given the recognition they deserve. As you can see throughout history, Black people have been attacked unjustly and there haven’t been repercussions that have impacted America. As a counter to the treatment of Black people in America, we have decided to protest. It is our right to protest but they seem to be a place to incarcerate Black people who want equal rights. Black women should be credited as the leaders of these movements. As I stated before, they have been fighting for equal rights for some time now. Their efforts have been overshadowed by white women and Black men, while they are shoved behind the scenes. Even though they start the conversations and the race to equality they are silenced. They carry the burdens of the Black community on their back but never portrayed as heroes like the white men you always read about.


The Response to COVID-19

In the article, “COVID-19 Response ”, by McGraw Hill, I learned that the White House had planned to roll out the new phase of a coronavirus response but they couldn’t because of the crisis in Ukraine. Biden had addressed that people should just stay and go back to wearing their masks if people are not vaccinated. Biden announced that they should stop using the disease as a dividing line and instead come together to be fully living life with one another again. Also, Republicans and Democrats, and members of Congress all stood and applauded Biden when the U.S. was standing with Ukraine against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Republicans also applauded when the President pledged to provide the funding for law enforcement. 

I think that what is happening in Ukraine is a very urgent crisis because the U.S. is helping the Ukrainians against the Russians. With the Corona response, I think that Biden really stated what he wanted to state to America about masks and how people should get vaccinated. It really surprised me that Republicans actually agreed with Biden on the funding for more police enforcement. 

What do you think about Biden’s address?


Tokyo Fire

Mitsu Hamada. The name runs through my tongue like a lemon with hot sauce. Mitsu was a trained military-grade archer, most known for his work in Japan. A hitman you could say he was, as he almost took down the entire Japanese mafia singlehandedly with a bow and a load of technologically advanced arrows. A genius if you will. He should be considered a hero, though that’s not what I think one bit. Not one bit. You see,  Mitsu slaughtered my family, and his status as a “hero” has put a giant cloak that blocks the horrible things that he has done from the public eye. Mitsu is a villain, and I’ve vowed my life to stop him. 

I wake up to the loud honks of Mitsubishi’s and Hondas in the streets. The blaring noise of honking was a common thing for someone who lives in the heart of Tokyo. Busy streets also mean a lot of advertising. Having blinds that cover the window facing out into the street was a necessity, as the lights are so bright you could probably get your daily Vitamin D fill at night. I take a whiff of a shirt lying on the floor of my tiny apartment that I wore yesterday, and put it on. I’ve felt a bit of loneliness lately. Ever since the loss of the important people in life, I have no motivation for what seems like anything anymore. I am like a walking air breather. I work, sleep, and repeat the same thing over and over. The one thing that I can focus on is Mitsu. I need to find out as much information about him so I can frame him for good. The obvious question in mind is why was my wife and son slaughtered? The connections between the two make no sense. My wife worked as a cook at a local restaurant, everyone loved her. I loved her. My son was going to primary school in Shibuya. A child prodigy. He could read and write both in Japanese and English fluently while only 7 years old. My wife and I told each other everything too, from what we ate for breakfast to what we were going to spend our afternoon doing. Secrets were something we shared, not kept, no matter what it was. That is why it is unreal that something as awful as what happened, happened. It’s been about 2 months since the incident happened, and I still can’t seem to put the two pieces together. 

Riding up the elevator to the 77th floor of a Japanese high rise, the news was on the tiny TV sitting above the floor numbers. In Japanese it wrote, “5 SAVED IN FIRE, HAMADA DOES IT AGAIN”. I look away in disgust. There must have been a reason why he somehow is always in the right place at the right time.  Ever since he saved 2 children from a simple grocery store robbery last year in October, he has gotten public attention and enormous amounts of wealth. For some weird reason too, none of the people who did these crimes have been caught. It’s like he’s chasing a ghost’s messes and constantly cleaning them up.  He has a status as a local “superhero” in the likes of the fictional superhero “Hawkeye” or “Green Arrow”. Then it clicked. There’s no possible way that Mitsu is in the area every time something drastic happens around Japan. It’s not a common occurrence for terroristic attacks or evil things to happen around here, so he must be behind it somehow. I need to prove this. I exit the elevator and walk over to my desk. I worked as a senior programming manager for the hardware in Mitsubishi cars. I used a computer often, and pretty much knew what was going on around the city all the time. I took this opportunity in my small amount of free time before heaps of meetings to compile a list of things Mitsu has done in the city. He’s had about 7 “saves” since his first heroic act with the 2 kids in a store. They all are fire-related. They also have to do with schoolchildren for some reason. This information is perfect. Finally, I have a step in getting him busted. After my hours of meetings with different workers, it’s finally time to go home. I stop by the cemetery before I return home, kneeling down praying. I had adopted a lot of Japanese cultures ever since I moved here 3 years ago from New York, and this form of praying and respect was something I just caught on to. Finally, after grabbing some street takoyaki to fuel my brain and my stomach, I got home and went straight to my computer. Mitsu was going to be at a local high school, speaking out in his costume about whatever wisdom and inspiration BS that he wants to spin into the minds of the students. Something is going to happen there I can feel it. It was tomorrow, around lunchtime. After I call into my work for my absence, I rest up and prepare for tomorrow. 

I grab my phone, and dress up fit but still casual. Can’t have a rugged man in a high school, that looks suspicious as can be. Plus I’m not going for anything malicious, my objective here is to find Mitsu, and find whatever perpetrators that there may be in the area. These could be anyone, so any person who isn’t in a school uniform could be a threat. I arrive at the school, and the assembly is outside in a large courtyard. There’s a large audience of children of all ages, the whole school must have been there, and a stage, with a big poster with the words “Mitsu Hamada, HERO!” and a microphone. As the assembly begins, I walk around to the left side of the audience, trying to find Mitsu. “Hello sir, who are you?” Whispers a man behind me. A chill goes down my spine, anger fills my face, and my hands fist up into balls of steel. It must be Mitsu behind me. I turn around and to my dismay, it was just a local teacher. “Oh I’m just here to pick up my son he’s leaving early home.” 

“Oh alright, do you know where he is and what class?”
“Yes of course I talked to his teacher to grab him.”

“Alright, thank you. Also, avoid going in that back area, it is private for Mitsu and his crew to use.”

“Of course sir. Thank you.”

Private manners? What private manners would you need for an assembly like this? You’re just speaking to a bunch of kids about being a hero and having good Japanese manners so what’s the deal with that? Skeptical, I walk over and peep into the tent they’re in. There he was. My breathing starts to become uneven, wanting to tackle him and put every ounce of rage into his face at once. I can’t though, it would ruin my entire plan. I have to find out what he could be doing here and protect the kids from a “harm then save” act. Two bodyguards approach me from behind, guns in their belts. What could they need guns for? “Sir you aren’t permitted to be back here” Says one of the men. They’re giant dudes, no way I could oppose them in any way. I comply and walk back out into the sidewalk leading to the courtyard. There must be a bomb of some sort. I have to tell everyone. I need to save them. I sprint over to the right side of the stage, pushing away teachers and others away. My status didn’t matter anymore, after I saved them they would be grateful for me. They would finally see what Mitsu really was, and be grateful for my assistance. As I climb up to the stage, Mitsu is walking from the left side of the stage up the stairs, approaching the microphone. I grab it, and yell to the audience of students, teachers, and parents, “EVERYONE ATTENTION, Mitsu Hamada is evil! He has created bombs to occur at events so he can save people from these fake criminals! He must be sto-” 

I woke up in a hospital. The excruciating pain from my head disabled me from doing anything but think, and be trapped in my own thoughts. I don’t know what happened, all of the adrenaline I had running on to that stage and letting all of this information out sort of blinded me from what could have happened next. Did a bomb blow me up? No, I only had bruises and head trauma. Someone must have tackled me off the stage. It must have been Mitsu. I try to get up and get my anger back at Mitsu but I didn’t know where he was, and on top of that, my legs felt as if I just ran a marathon. As I lie there for another few minutes someone walks into the room. They have black hair, parted to the side like a businessman, and a beard to go with it. They looked Japanese, but not entirely, sort of resembled me in a way. Is my brain really that hurt that I can see myself? No, this person is real. The man approaches me, and leans down to my lying body. “Kevin. Are you awake?” How does he know me? “Kevin I apologize for the extremities that I had to do on that stage, you were really going crazy. Are you okay?” Of course I’m not okay, I’m laying in a hospital bed with 20% of my normal human function. As I lie there looking at him, I finally recognized him. It was him

“You, you did everything. All the things that have happened, it was all you.” 

“What are you saying?”

“The fires, the explosions, my wife, everything. It was you. Just so you could get your fame as a so-called hero. How could you do such a thing? If you didn’t bring your mafia business into my family they would still be alive! ”

I begin to spiral into a fit of rage. There’s no way I can be laying here like this. Not after everything he has done. He gives me a disappointing look, places some flowers on the counter, and walks to the door. Before he leaves, he turns back to me.

“I’m sorry brother, about everything that has happened. There are things in this life that we cannot change. The man you’ve been seeking, to avenge your pain is not me. I have been searching for him ever since your wife died. Please get well, it is not right to see you like this.” Mitsu leaves, and I lie there, defeated. Impossible. It had to have been him. I continue to lie there wondering, after all these years, could he still care about me?

October 30th, 2023

Two people were killed in a Tokyo apartment last night. The victims, mother Hina Hamada and son Tanjiro Hamada passed away in this incident. Reports show that the victim’s husband/father Kevin Hamada and his brother Mitsu Hamada were on the scene as well, fending off the perpetrators. Kevin Hamada sustained a few head injuries, while Mitsu Hamada was left with minor injuries. There are few leads, the only ones being there was a man in a hood that attacked the family whilst having a family gathering. If you find reports of potential information regarding this incident, please contact 432-562-2284.


State V. Chauvin

In the article, “Former Officer is Guilty in George Floyd’s Death” I learned that in Minneapolis a jury convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin of murder for the death of George Floyd, on April 20th 2021. This incident occurred on May 25th outside a Minneapolis convenience store around a crowd of bystanders. These bystanders filmed this incident making the video go viral on social media. In the video it shows George Floyd handcuffed and pinned to the ground under the knee of former officer Derek Chauvin for nine minutes and 29 seconds. George Floyd repeatedly tells Derek Chauvin that he can’t breathe. He also had even more trouble breathing because of his heart problems. Derek Chauvin was convicted for three counts of murder charges. These charges were second degree murder for causing death of a human being, third degree murder for unintentionally causing someones’s death by committing a dangerous act, and second degree manslaughter for cupable negligence.

What happened on May 25th was a horrible incident that should have never occurred. I believe it is ok to use force as a police officer when you feel endangered but, it should be to a certain extent. Derek Chauvin had backup police officers, so he should have not used that much force and for such a long time. There was no way George Floyd or anyone with a heart problem could survive nine minutes without air. George Floyd’s death had a huge impact nationwide and started a huge conversation about whether race is a factor in incounterments with police officers. Public officials have searched for new ways to address this problem of racial inequality. 

Do you believe this case had something to do with prejudice? 


“America Means” Blog Post

America’s influence around the world is notorious and undeniable. From clothing to culture to music, the word “America” buzzes in the mouths of people around the world. Consequently, people arrive here expecting a warm embrace from this haven. But, when face to face with America, it’s notably different than what one would expect it to be. Once the pretty layers are peeled back, a dark history bubbles to the surface. In Dr. Kendi’s incredibly written essay “Denial is the Heartbeat of America.”, he flawlessly explains one of America’s major problems. Its affinity for hiding the truth. This action of hiding is what subliminally advocates for the racial violence that is rampant across America. Dr. Kendi effectively peels back layers of America’s pretty exterior to get to its questionable interior.  “Has American denial blinded Americans from seeing what has happened in their country over the past year in states across the land, on social-media apps across the internet?” (Page 2) He makes strong points as to how we can begin to heal the wounds that lie underneath the surface. In my opinion, Dr.Kendi has shown America through a lens many people refuse to look through at all. He presents America without the sugar coating and presents a problem. I find this to be quite necessary, because as a colored person in America, as a child of immigrants, I am aware that the America I’m in will never quite be the same as the America where my white peers dwell. 

 Yet with so many people and so many perspectives, the idea of America is illustrated in books, stories, and experiences in a variety of shades. Take, for example, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s renowned novel “The Great Gatsby.” It includes an agglomeration of themes but one that is striking is the recurring theme of the “American Dream.” After reading both Denial is the Heartbeat of America and The Great Gatsby I can confidently say that Jay Gatsby resides in a different America than the one of Dr.Kendi. When not residing in his opulent home or throwing colossal parties that permeate into the night, Gatsby is out and around town in his canary yellow Rolls-Royce. Shortly after being caught in a tangle with a police officer due to speeding, Gatsby is let go after receiving an apology from the officer. This particular section of the book led to my comparison of Gatsby’s America and the America that Dr.Kendi describes in his essay. In 2020, police-related racially-motivated violence has been rife. While people are left to pay with their lives, Gatsby can evade the situation without a scratch. This example here is a clear representation of the “Two Americans.” Unfortunately, the harsh truth is that the way America treats an individual is highly dependent on factors such as race and wealth. 

 The America where one’s chances of success simmer down to their race and wealth is described in Langston Hughes’ riveting poem Let America Be America Again.  Like Fitzgerald, Hughes emphasizes the idea of the American Dream. However, instead of focusing on the manifestation of the American Dream in the lives of people like Jay Gatsby, he focuses on the people who were robbed of their opportunities. “Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme. That any man be crushed by one above. (It was never America to me.) (There’s never been equality for me, Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”) In this quote, Hughes explains that he never received America as it was advertised. That the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution paint a beautiful picture of America that Hughes is not able to enjoy. That these documents not only shut people out but also hide the truth. The truth that Dr.Kendi hopes Americans will acknowledge.

All the sources mentioned above are vivid in their explanations of America, and bring light to the topic of educating people about America, specifically, American literature. As I’ve explained in my writing, there is no singular way to describe an American experience to someone. It’s clear that to present America’s past, present, and future, we need a conglomeration of projects. We need pieces from individuals that have embarked on different walks of life. This here is the only way to catch a glimpse of the un-polished America. The true America.

 I can say without hesitation that my personal experience as a young POC has had an impact on the way I see these sources and the way I see America. While I am tremendously grateful for every opportunity I’ve been given in America I am aware that as a young woman of color there are constructs out there simply made to break me down. This is something that needs to change. As a people, it’s vital that we peel back the layers and see this country for what it truly is. We need to understand that America is not the same for every individual. It’s time we live up to the echoing words of the Constitution and Declaration that ring in every American’s ear. 

Works Cited

  1. Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby (Scribner Classics). Classic, Scribner, 1996.
  2. Hughes, Langston “Let America Be America Again” 1994. The Estate of Langston Hughes https://poets.org/poem/let-america-be-america-again
  3. Kendi, Ibram. “Denial Is the Heartbeat of America.” The Atlantic, 27 Jan. 2021, www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/denial-heartbeat-america/617631

Police Brutality and Body Cameras

One “solution” for Police Brutality was to have police officers wear body cameras, this was supposed to help us give evidence when brutality occurs, but also decrease brutality as a whole.

These cameras have failed to help end police brutality, not because they aren’t giving enough evidence, but because we have no access to it. Officers and police departments are allowed to withhold the information and footage on a body camera from the public.

While body cameras as a whole have decreased the use of violence during police encounters, there is still a monumental amount of brutality that occurs and the victims are not able to get justice without the evidence on the body cameras.

Increasing the money given to police departments to get body cameras will not end or change the police brutality that occurs. One solution for this problem would be to make body camera footage available to the public. Police departments should not be able to investigate their own officers for brutality, there should be a 3rd party to investigate and release footage to the public.

Also, police departments should not be able to receive any more money to buy body cameras, they should be able to use money from their existing budget. You could say that it is important that police departments should have the ability to fix the problems of their department on their own, but we have seen many times that leaving these situations to these departments never gives the victim the justice that they deserve.

Black and Latinx people have encountered brutality at higher rates than white people, we have seen innocent men and women killed and harassed by police officers on body cameras many times, and they still have no justice, the third party with no bias could get them the justice they deserve. This solution is reasonable, cost-effective, and better for the community as a whole.

https://nowcomment.com/documents/253932


Crises Facing Biden: Covid-19, Climate Change, Immigration, China…

Now that Bidens is the next president of the United States, he’s going to have to face some very major crises that have never been faced by any other president.

First of all, he’s going to have to confront the Covis-19 pandemic left as a mess by former President Trump. We need to fill the vacuum that our economy has left and other important stuff. Biden, though, needs to dedicate himself to ending the Covid-19 pandemic once and for all.

But that’s not if he needs to do with more issues like Climate Change/The Atmosphere. For example, experts warn that avoiding many of the more destructive consequences of climate change, including rising sea levels, more deadly floods, and more devastating heat waves, droughts, and more devastating heat waves, will now be even more challenging.

Immigration is another important issue that Biden is going to have to face. To give immigrants a fair chance at life, Biden aims to put Daca back. Biden, however, is still seeking to restore strained ties with China and other nations. Biden is in a little bit of trouble, but I hope he will come through and make America great again!

Trump left Biden in my view on a major problem, but it’s not difficult to fix it up. In order to get us back to equilibrium, there are some big choices he will have to make. I have hope, though, that he is going to come through. He will make some substantial adjustments to the laws so that there will be fewer Covid-19 incidents.

Will the Covid-19 Pandemic end soon or will it stay a while more?


A Dog’s Purpose

The protagonist is playing the story of a dog who goes through four reincarnations, and comes back every time as a different hound. He is seeking “a dog’s purpose in life” each time he has been resurrected and “given another chance”.

At the beginning of the book, he is the archetypal “pawn”. This can be seen in the earlier pages, towards the beginning, where the author writes:

“A few weeks later, after being nursed by their mother, a feral as well, the dog and his siblings Fast, Sister, and Hungry go outside of their den to explore the woods around them. Soon after, men come and capture them. 

Not long after, animal control agents arrive with orders to shut down the place, the men brought Toby too, due to poor sanitation and welfare conditions. Many dogs, including Toby, are subsequently euthanized.”

But by chapter 5, Toby has begun to transform into the archetypal “survivor/hustler”. When he is reincarnated as a new dog, and is set to live in a new environment. For example, “Toby is reincarnated as a Golden Retriever puppy. A few weeks after birth, when Toby and his new brothers and sisters have matured enough, he and the others are allowed to play outside the cage. Toby climbs up onto a table and bites the doorknob, opening the gate to the outside world and leaving him to explore. A truck driver picks up Toby on the road and drives to a bar. After the man has been gone for several hours, Toby begins suffering from heat exhaustion in the truck. 

However, a woman appears and breaks the car window. She revives Toby with water from a water bottle. The woman brings him to her car and returns home. The woman introduces Toby, renamed Bailey, to her eight-year-old son, Ethan, who is overjoyed to have a puppy of his own. 

Over the course of many years, Bailey lives a full life with Ethan. He accompanies Ethan through many difficulties, including arson, causing a permanently injured leg, ending Ethan’s athletic career. Ethan goes to live with his grandparents at their farm in Michigan so he can be with his girlfriend Hannah and finish his senior year in high school. Around that time, things are not going well in the family, with Ethan’s injury, an eventual breakup with Hannah, and a divorce between Ethan’s parents. 

Soon after moving, Ethan goes off to college, leaving Bailey with infrequent visits from him during the holidays. Bailey’s health starts to decline, with him taking naps very often and being weak. Soon, Ethan’s mother and grandparents take him to the vet, where he is once again put down.”

Toby, renamed Bailey, is no longer the dog he used to be. So far he’s lived 2 different lives. And continues to live more.  

A reader might predict that the turning point for Bailey comes when He is once again reincarnated. But what comes after? With only one adventure left. The middle/ending of this book encourages this prediction>: “Bailey wakes up once again as a German Shepherd. Bailey, who realizes that he is now a girl, is picked out and named Ellie by a police officer, named Jakob, and trained to be a search-and-rescue dog. But as years pass he dies of old age,

 He is reborn once more but this time as a Labrador Retriever with Wendi, his new owner, who is ecstatic with Bailey, whom she renames Bear. However, she is unable to keep him because of a no-pet rule in her apartment building. Instead, she gives him to her mother, who is dating an alcoholic. The mother’s boyfriend, fed up with the dog upon receiving a notice that he needs to provide better living conditions, ditches him on a country road. Bear recognizes his surroundings, having been there before with Ethan. Using the skills he learned as Ellie, Bear is able to trail the scent of one of the farm’s animals to the Farm, where Ethan lives. Ethan, now an elderly man, decides to keep Bear, who he renames Buddy, and marries Hannah.

 Years pass, and Ethan suffers from an apparent stroke, and as he is dying suddenly recognizes that Buddy is Bailey.”


Really shocked me because it really happened to me once and it really is very ugly

What I’ve been thinking about since I started reading ” The Hate You Give ” by Angie Thomas is that in truth everything he’s saying in the book is pretty much the same as what’s happening right now and they’re killing black people and I really think that some police officers are really kind of racist.

In the second chapter of the book “The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas I see that the author says “A handful of policemen talk on the phone, or write on computers or they stand still. Normal stuff, like Law & Order, but it takes my breath away. ” This sentence really shocked me because it really happened to me once and it really is very ugly to be surrounded by many policemen and some stare at you as if they know you.

I identified a lot with Star because in this sentence she says ” I want to do it today ” ” I want to finish it once ” this is not typical of how Star acts. She always acts quiet and calm her in what she is saying there is because she saw when her best friend was killed and she has to say everything she saw.

I think other people are not going to like the story very much because it is drama and in truth they are going to see people who in the first chapter are going to get bored but they made me want to continue reading the book. And also some of the things she talks about is what the police told her,  which is that the police killed her best friend and it is really bad.


Should more gun control laws be enacted?

According to the Los Angeles Times, “almost 146 out of 167 mass shootings could have been prevented in the past 5 years if more gun control laws would have been enacted”. Should more gun control laws be enacted? Should guns be totally banned? Should people have the freedom to carry guns? This is a really controversial topic, and I am going to discuss both sides of the story. On one hand, we have those who say that gun control laws shouldn’t be enacted because it interferes with the second amendment which supports individuals to have individual gun ownership. Also, more gun control laws mean less self-defense and less sense of safety for people. I feel like these are pretty good reasons and all of them make sense. Also, according to Poplisticle, guns should be allowed to preserve liberty, to make you more responsible, to make you more knowledgeable when it comes to guns, and to be able to help others when they are in trouble.

On the other hand, we have those who say that gun control laws should be enacted because it will reduce mass shootings and imminent accidents. Especially, people talk about the laws that regulate the use of high-capacity magazines which are usually the ones that are used during mass shootings. Also, people supporting more gun control laws say that guns often get lost, and when a lost gun lands in the wrong hands, that’s when problems arrive. According to knowswhy.com, another reason why guns should be banned is that “crime prevention is a police officer’s job”. We don’t need superheroes walking around the city protecting everyone because we have police officers. Also, some people say that guns are simply unnecessary. No guns equal no violence and no wars. Finally, another reason why people think that more regulations that restrict the use of guns should be enacted is that gun owners are often disrespectful to police officers and other authorities. They think that because they have a gun they should be treated with more respect and they feel like they are above the law and everyone else. While this might not be true for every gun owner, yet there are some people with crazy thoughts and lack of self-awareness.

In conclusion, there are different opinions regarding the use of guns and the laws that control the use of guns. Some say that guns are unnecessary, while others say that guns can save your life. What is true about guns, is that they are meant to kill people. Before you take any gun-related decisions you should remember that supporting the use of guns means that you are ok with killing someone, threatening someone, or even scaring them. You should take this in mind before deciding whether you approve or not the use of guns. 

Sources:


Riot- Walter Dean Myers plot

Recently, I read  Riot, by Walter Dean Myers.  I appreciated and enjoyed this play. I appreciated being able to see from a first person narrative how Claire felt and what her experience was like being black during this certain period of time. I enjoyed that Claire and her family were safe and she’s slowly becoming comfortable in her skin again.

The protagonist is Claire. Her story is set in America 1863, specifically New York, Manhattan. The significance of the location setting is that it shows how it was being a person or color during this specific time and how dangerous it was with the riots and protests. The significance of the setting shifting from Claire’s hotel to other shops and places is that it shows how rioting and racism affected different locations and how different places had to recover. For example, an orphanage for young black kids was looted and destroyed, many of the kids were relocated and had to stay at an island. Another store was destroyed and looted, the store sold items so no one who owned it was hurt but a fight went on outside and many people along with the shops were hurt and damaged.

Claire faces certain forces and pressures. She faces her former friends joining protesters and being unsafe outside. Claire alone can’t solve these problems, but she is brave and works through them. You can see this in the book “We see CLAIRE look around quickly, and then push her way through the crowd. We see her jump to the ladder, scrambling desperately not to fall into the water as the boat pulls away.” On page 185. Claire pulls through and chooses to stay in New York no matter the circumstances.

The tension rises when Claire chooses to stay in New York and travels with her best friend during a fight between rioters and soldiers. This might leave a reader feeling scared and nervous while Claire and her friend are in danger. Claire goes through many unsafe situations but always manages to come out with minimum injuries.

The play climaxes when Claire encounters an old friend, and soldiers. “Liam, this is the darky lover who said I wasn’t good enough to work in her place.” Liam is an old friend of Claire and Maeve is his fiancé, Claire encounters them while they are looting and is put in danger by Maeve.

The falling action ultimately resolves the conflict. The riots die down and more black people are coming into New York after being freed. It’s a person versus society type of conflict that’s driving this story. Society puts down people of color and influences others to believe they are less than them, but no matter the situation they get stronger and they push through. It’s a very sad and unfortunate situation that still continues to this day when the color of your skin defines you, Claire doesn’t let this bring her down and grows as a person because of this. This play shows the perspective of Claire and how it was like to be in her situation. It was a good book to read and I would recommend it to others.


Riot by Walter Dean Myers

The book I am reading is called “Riot” by Walter Dean Myers. The book is in the form of a play and illustrates what the characters go through in 1863 as teenagers, some of color and some being men, drafted for the Civil War. 

The beginning couple of scenes of Riot by Walter Dean Myers might leave a reader feeling hooked, shocked, and enraged because the main character Claire who is a black female struggles to have her other black friend receive a Job and faces racist people. An example of this is on page 46 a young Irish female says “That’s how the coloreds are. They’ll work for nothing until they chase us out and we’ll be the beggars and street sweepers. It’s in the bible!”

We learn something interesting about one of the characters, Claire on page 44 where Claire says “He knows that.” In response to her mother saying “We’d hate to see you hurt, Liam. Wouldn’t we, Claire?” This is not typical of how this character acts in this play, so far. Claire often seems to be very relaxed and chill, so far she hasn’t been interested in any boy drama. From the quotes I can observe that Claire has a crush on Liam who has a fiance, this may cause more drama later.

After this part of the play, most readers probably will be looking forward to reading the rest of this play because we will be able to get more information on Liam. We’ll also be able to see more of Claire’s relationships with Liam, her friends, and others. What’s probably going to happen next is an argument or fight will happen. Liam is married to a girl named Maeve who was being racist on page 46 towards Claire and others. This is very important with all the riots and fighting going on and Claire would most likely have to stand up against Maeve even if it hurts Liam.


Stop the Violence

Opening my eyes up every day once again
another one of my loved ones getting killed. 
Listening to the news, seeing these video clips of  
violence being a “cool image”
Seeing 
We shoot, and We kill
Wanting a name the name at the top of the hill  
Not only is it our own society, but those who are 
supposed to keep us safe.
There’s plenty of proof in archives 
Now it’s in my back don’t run  
When I shoot my gun
Don’t run 
What are you doing when the gun aims 
Just to be playing games 
All these dissidents 
Causing these deaths in an instant from a distant 
Innocent peopling living in hell  
Just to end up in a cell
Blaming it on a race  
Every day another race pleading  to another case 
What is the problem? What is the solution? 
What is the glorification?
Society is so dubiety 
Life taken away from society by authorities
What is this glory?
We’re living in the days where wrong is right 
We live in a society were white is bright 
So we can have a gunfight  
So don’t get hit with every bit 
But knowing is knowledge and knowledge is power, so get with it. 
Let’s resume 
These are not costumes 
They know how to shoot guns, rap, and using their words 
What is the glorification
“Black lives matter“
“But no one is impressed “
Let’s lay down in our sheets 
Failing each other on repeat
Desensitized people, glorification
This is not love, it’s evil 
I hope these visuals being used are not  
Let’s not let our lives loan into the gun, 
Not only for you but for everybody 
What is not in commonplace 
Coming together for the positives 
Let’s stop acting so transparent, and let’s see what the potential is 
Let’s not revoke 
But let’s provoke 
The type of influence is very commanding 
What’s being overlooked? what are we dominating?  
All the gruesome will now be in strife of cancelation. 
What is your role as a whole? 
We are in control of our goal  


Police-related deaths and neighborhoods

Many people assume that police-brutality or police-related deaths only occur to Black people, which is the case many times, but not all the time. In this article, the point was relating police-related deaths to, not only race but also neighborhoods and incomes. Many of the deaths recorded occured in neighborhoods of lower-income. the more privileged a neighborhood is, the least likely a resident from that neighborhood will experience any form of police brutality and/ or a police-related death.

The measuring tool used in this article is called ICE. ICE is a measure that is used to show privileged vs nonprivileged neighborhoods, as well as which races reside in these neighborhoods and what their incomes are. For this research, higher incomes were defined as those earning $125,000 or more a year, and lower incomes were defined as those earning $20,000 or less a year.

The researchers also recorded the number of deaths in 2016 by police officers.  Out of the 2238 deaths, only 119 had a good reason behind it or weren’t the police’s fault. For example, 15 deaths have been recorded that were due to domestic violence against the officer.


What’s The Deal With Police Brutality

Police brutality is a word that’s used for unjustified or unintentional harassment, verbal assault, physical or mental injury. It also includes property damage and death due to interactions with law enforcement. Police brutality is just as widespread globally and not just limited to the United States. In a 2007 report from Amnesty International, it was shown that police misconduct was most prevalent in countries with an authoritarian type of government. Reports from the U.K., Serbia, India, and Spain paint a picture of how police violence caused death during protests and demonstrations. However, out of all these countries, Brazil is well known for having the highest rate of police brutality in the world. 

In the United States in 2018, 1,147 people were killed by police with 25% of them being black men. A 2019  article in the Los Angeles Times stated that getting killed by police was the leading cause of death for young black men. A study showed that black men have a 1 in 1, 000 chances to be killed at the hands of police. That same study also showed that other individuals of color also had a higher rate of being killed by police. 

There are many solutions to help stop police violence and they vary from reducing unnecessary police contact, assisting young men from low income communities with finding jobs in the hopes that this will keep them off the streets and addressing mental health issues and utilizing mental health professionals to deal with psychiatric issues. However, the biggest thing that it comes down to is the lack of accountability by police departments to hold their personnel accountable and train them appropriately for the various different communities they work in.

Image: Against police brutality by Libertinus on 2013-06-18 17:41:06


A Young Black Man Was Choked By Police at a Waffle House After Prom — A Cell Phone Video Captured What Happened.

by Alix Langone

As strange as it may seem, there have been many incidents of police misconduct at Wafflehouses across the East Coast. This specific incident that happened in May of 2018 at a Wafflehouse located in Warsaw, North Carolina was met with shock once video footage of the encounter was brought to light. Sadly, and to no one’s surprise, it’s another case of police brutality toward a black man in America which has become a recurring issue in society. It’s tough for some people to recognize all people, despite skin color, as equals which is what this country was built on so that mentality will forever stray in the air and through the brains of many individuals.


Hands up, don’t shoot

I’m looking at an image that says a lot. It refers to cops shooting innocent African American people and people shooting each other. I agree with this image because there is too much violence in the street.

We have kids killing each other over gangs and cops killing people over nothing. Guns should not be sold to anyone because it’s too dangerous, people get guns and start killing everyone.

In a second image a young man is holding “Am I next?” People are protesting police brutality on African American people. They are trying to say are you going to kill me next because I’m a black person?

Police are killing African Americans for no reason. For example, Tamir Rice was young kid who was playing in the park with a fake gun and people called the cops. When the cops got to the location, the cop came out the car and shot Tamir Rice without even looking or asking questions. The cop shot Tamir Rice because he was a young black kid with a fake gun in the park playing with his friends.

  


Abuse of power

Police brutality is a real issue in America. Did you know In an article “Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black” by Alex Barreira and Arielle Swedback, it explains “The most alarming discovery: 74 percent of Oakland residents killed by law enforcement between 2000 and 2016 were Black men and women” (Barreira, Swedback). This event  is startling because the officers decide to pull over black men more often than white men. Based on the research, Police Brutality is an issue in Oakland because the police began to target the black men rather than the white men. This will then lead on to other black people not having any trust in police officers because of what they have seen people experience an encounter with a black man and a police officer.

Race is playing too large of a role in policing in the country. After reading the article “Police Brutality Against Black Kansas City Man Caught on Video” by Gillian Wilcox it showed that black people get pulled over more often than white people. The percent of black men getting pulled over is 85% higher than white men because the cops hide behind their badge. “hide behind their badge”,  means they feel like they have all the power in the world and the cops also think they can get a free pass with doing such terrible things to people just because of their badge.

The problem with current day police officers is abuse of power, which is why policing has become racist. Abuse of power is police officers thinking since they have a badge, they can get away with racism. But not always, have you ever heard about Oscar Grant? He was a victim of police brutality here in an Oakland bart station. It was after New Years, he was “involved” in a fight. The article “The Shooting Death of Oscar Grant”  stated “On New Year’s Day 2009, an Oakland police officer shot and killed an unarmed, pinned suspect.”(Head). The “suspect” was Oscar Grant he was shot by a police officer which left him dead but the officer was actually tried in court and charged with  manslaughter “The former California transit officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant on a train platform in 2009 said he disagreed with a jury’s verdict convicting him of involuntary manslaughter.”(Fernandez) This quote represents the proper way officers should be “handled”  with which is a proper court case and a removal of their badge.`

On the contrary, some feel police are getting led into using excessive force. For example a comment on an article titled “Police brutality or doing their job?” , A commenter had talked about how it was the girls fault for “resisting” arrest and how she didnt give the police officer her I.D so she got what she deserved. The comment by L. Kelly stated “She did not follow the policy/law that COD put in place. If she is that stupid to think she is above any “law” put in place, then refusing to give her ID to an officer, then she is the one resisting.” 

To conclude, police brutality is majorly associated with racism and something has to be done about it. What has to be done is the officer should be tried in court and punished for whatever acts they commited. Something I recommend to anyone who reads this is if you have a negative encounter with a police officer, take out your phone and begin to record the situation. By law, the police officers can not stop you from recording. So if you are a person of color reading this, please be careful whenever you have any type of encounter with a police officer.

Annotated Bibliography

Barreira, Alex, and Arielle Swedback. “Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black.” East Bay Express, East Bay Express, 19 Dec. 2019, www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/law-enforcement-killed-90-oakland-residents-since-2000-and-74-percent-were-black/Content?oid=4940357.

  .
“Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black.” is an article from the website “East Bay Express”, the article is about  how in the year 2000, police officers killed 90 Oakland residents and 74 percent of them were black.


Black Live’s Matter Fighting Injustice

When I first look at an image of a man holding up a sign which says “Hands UP DON’T SHOOT,” what comes to my mind is all these past years police have been shooting or targeting people of race, that’s why this famous movement went trending across the world which said “Black Lives Matter.” What is Black Lives Matter? Black Lives Matter is a movement which was started by race discrimination, which the movement still fights for injustice and freedom.

In the second picture I see a man holding up a sign which says “Am I Next?” My thoughts are still the same as the first picture, but this picture shows even more signs they are holding up. Regarding to the text in the sign saying “Am I next?” it explains what it really means: Is he next ? Is he the next guy that the police will racially profile and shoot him by mistake or on purpose? They don’t know that’s why they are making this movement so they can fight injustice.

Photo by BruceEmmerling (Pixabay)


China’s Big Secret

For a while now, I’ve always noticed that countries with totalitarian Governments like the Soviet Union and North Korea, have kept secrets.  We’ve all heard stories that in North Korea they do things like block out western culture, and starve their citizens. But something that very few people know about, are the well kept secrets of China.  What is their secret? Well, China has almost 30 concentration camps, where they keep millions of muslims in efforts to “re-educate them”.  Many people are calling this the largest mass incarceration of people in the world today, and the territories where these camps are in, span the size of Mexico.  

These internment camps are said to construct the detainees into “Prototypical Chinese Citizens.”  This may sound relatively harmless, but in fact it’s quite the contrary.  Some have said that “It echoes one of the worst human rights violations in history,” with an abundance of constant surveillance and brutal torture, it truly is sickening.  In the camps, the Islamic prisoners are subject to forcibly eat pork, drink alcohol, and the women are forced to marry Chinese men, without any consent. (Somethings that go against the Islamic faith)  Those who do not comply, are subject to whippings, solitary confinement, and are even starved.  

These prisoners are going to be subject to PTSD and psychological damage for years to come, and it’s up to us to stop these disgusting acts, and help these people live better, more fulfilling lives with the freedom of religion, and not be tortured or beaten due to what they believe in. 


Police Brutality In America

Everybody has an alternate meaning of being American, albeit a large number of us can concur that being American is around three principle thoughts: opportunity, uniformity, and a possibility at accomplishing your fantasies. The Abhor u Give being American is a significantly more convoluted thing. Here you have a network of individuals who are victimized, poor and live in a wrongdoing filled network as a result of an unending cycle of separation. Since the principal characters of the novel are African-American who live in probably the most unfortunate piece of their states, we get the chance to see that the words individuals partner with being American doesn’t have any significant bearing to everybody. 

One major thing individuals state when discussing being American is equity. However the novel bases on a youngster named Khalil who was slaughtered by a white cop basically in light of the fact that the official idea the hairbrush in Khalil’s grasp was a firearm. A statement that sticks out to me is “Yet I think it’ll change one day. How? I don’t have the foggiest idea. When? I certainly don’t have the foggiest idea. Why? Since there will consistently be somebody prepared to battle. Possibly it’s my turn.” (Thomas, 443). This statement alludes to completion police fierceness and how it’s Starr’s (the fundamental character of the novel) go to fix the messed up framework. The book the Despise u Give is about prejudice, police ruthlessness, equity, neediness, and different things that are essential to the world and its kin today. Police Mercilessness is a genuine issue, and it’s by all account not the only sort of separation such a large number of individuals face. As I referenced before, neediness is a cycle, and regularly racial gatherings take up the lion’s share in low-salary networks and get poor training. “Studies have discovered that graduation rates are commonly connected with positive open wellbeing results and lower wrongdoing rates for networks” (Instruction and Wrongdoing). The characters of this novel arrangement with destitution, poor training, and along these lines wrongdoing and higher firearm rates. 

This book is critical to the present world. African Americans and other minorities are slaughtered at a higher rate than their white partners. “As indicated by an examination distributed for the current week in the Procedures of the National Foundations of Sciences, through an incredible span, dark men face a one of every 1,000 danger of being murdered during an experience with police, a rate a lot higher than that of white men” (Santhanam). Along these lines, this book is significant for the present individuals from the country. So as to totally be a fair country, the individuals must have the option to comprehend the issues in this day and age and elevate the change to fix it. The Loathe u Give assists individuals with getting less unmindful about what’s going on today and enables those individuals to settle on their choice on whether to perceive this issue and help advance change. 

By and large, be that as it may, America is based on being a popular government, along these lines, we should at any rate endeavor to find out about what’s going on in this nation. “Law based qualities bolster the conviction that a precise society can exist in which opportunity is safeguarded. Be that as it may, request and opportunity must be adjusted.” (Popularity based Qualities – Freedom, Correspondence, Equity). For the world’s news being at the dash of the present populace, we don’t settle on well-educated decisions on what to request in this nation in the event that we don’t really have the foggiest idea. In the event that we need to utilize popular government to accomplish the standards of opportunity, correspondence, and accomplishing the American Dream, we should ensure everybody gets equivalent access to their fundamental rights and that we focus on what’s going on, and not permit such a huge gathering of individuals to be abused dependent on their race, sex, or sexuality.

Image credit: “end police brutality” by jbouie on 2014-08-14 19:10:04


Why are so many Police Brutality Cases?

 Police brutality goes way back to 1872, that’s when it all started. When the Chicago Tribune reported on the beating of a civilian under arrest at the Harrison Street Police Station. For the past years in where iI live  NYC, these cases has happened but to a certain race. The city has paid a tremendous amount of money to families who has suffered these consequences. For example, the City paid $5.9 million to the family of Eric Garber, who died after police placed him in an unlawful chokehold and $4.5 million to the family of Akai Gurley, who was accidentally shot and killed  by police in 2012. These cases keep happening and needs to stop but i believe they keep happening because racism is still going on to Hispanics happening with people of color. Now police officers have to wear body cameras to gather evidence of police brutality. , which Is way to control the situation but not really because it keeps happening. These cases have occurred as shooting and physical fighting and the government is not really not doing nothing about it, The ones who have the most power need to use it responsibly.


The Bullets you Shoot

Everyone has a different definition of being American, although many of us can agree that being American is about three main ideas: freedom, equality, and a chance at achieving your dreams. The Hate u Give being American is a much more complicated thing. Here you have a community of people who are discriminated against, poor and live in a crime-filled community because of an endless cycle of discrimination. Since the main characters of the novel are African-American who live in one of the poorest parts of their states, we get to see that the words people associate with being American do not apply to everyone. 

One big thing people say when talking about what it means to be American is equality. Yet the novel centers around a young man named Khalil who was killed by a white police officer simply because the officer thought the hairbrush in Khalil’s hand was a gun. A quote that sticks out to me is “Yet I think it’ll change one day. How? I don’t know. When? I definitely don’t know. Why? Because there will always be someone ready to fight. Maybe it’s my turn.” (Thomas, 443). This quote refers to ending police brutality and how it’s Starr’s (the main character of the novel) turn to fix the broken system. The book the Hate u Give is about racism, police brutality, equality, poverty, and other things that are very important to the world and its people today. Police Brutality is a real-life issue, and it’s not the only kind of discrimination so many people face. As I mentioned earlier, poverty is a cycle, and often racial groups take up the majority in low-income communities and receive poor education. “Studies have found that graduation rates are generally associated with positive public safety outcomes and lower crime rates for communities” (Education and Crime). The characters of this novel deal with poverty, poor education, and therefore crime and higher gun rates. 

This book is very important to today’s world. African Americans and other minorities are killed at a higher rate than their white counterparts. “According to a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, over the course of a lifetime, black men face a one in 1,000 risk of being killed during an encounter with police, a rate much higher than that of white men” (Santhanam). Therefore, this book is very important for today’s members of the nation. In order to completely be a democratic nation, the people must be able to understand the problems in today’s world and promote the change to fix it. The Hate u Give helps people become less ignorant about what’s happening today and allows those people to make their decision on whether or not to recognize this problem and help promote change. 

Overall, however, America is built on being a democracy, therefore, we must at least attempt to learn about what’s happening in this country. “Democratic values support the belief that an orderly society can exist in which freedom is preserved. But order and freedom must be balanced.” (Democratic Values – Liberty, Equality, Justice).  For the world’s news being at the touch of today’s population, we do not make well-informed choices on what to ask for in this country if we do not actually know. If we want to use democracy to achieve the ideals of freedom, equality, and achieving the American Dream, we must make sure everyone gets equal access to their basic rights and that we pay attention to what is happening, and not allow such a large group of people to be mistreated based on their race gender, or sexuality.

Works Cited

“Democratic Values – Liberty, Equality, Justice.” Ushistory.org, Independence Hall Association, www.ushistory.org/gov/1d.asp.

“Education and Crime – Criminal Justice – IResearchNet.” Criminal Justice, criminal-justice.iresearchnet.com/crime/education-and-crime/4/.

Santhanam, Laura. “After Ferguson, Black Men Still Face the Highest Risk of Being Killed by Police.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 9 Aug. 2019, www.pbs.org/newshour/health/after-ferguson-black-men-and-boys-still-face-the-highest-risk-of-being-killed-by-police.

Thomas, Angie. The Hate u Give. Balzer + Bray, an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2018.


Cops for Injustice

One concept that has been paved in American minds is the American Creed. The American Creed includes the ideas that lay the foundation for American culture, traditions, and beliefs. The main moniker we have been given is “the land of the free”, however, is that truly an epithet America deserves? After reading the novel The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, I can confidently say that America is not worthy of this title. Multiple statistics and personal anecdotes visibly reflect the absence of this belief.

A recurring problem that has plagued the country is police brutality, especially towards minorities like black people. In the story, Starr, the main character, suffers a loss of her friend, Khalil, due to police brutality. This scenario isn’t too far off from the real world. Justin Feldman, a social epidemiologist at New York University School of Medicine, claims that “the number one thing it comes down to is a lack of accountability by police departments, both legally and politically” (Khan, 2019). This is proven clear by the fact that about 1 in 1,000 black males are killed at the hands of police at a repeating rate, according to a recent analysis on death from police officers, along with many other minority groups, such as Native Americans or Latinos (Khan, 2019). This not only highlights a large number of Black people who are being oppressed, but also negligence of action on the government’s part to stop this oppression.

There are multiple other statistics that show an obvious amount of injustice towards black people. Data collected over 20 years in Missouri from the ACLU showed that black drivers were stopped 85% more than white drivers and had also been shown to have been given disproportionate force with these black drivers (Wilcox, 2018). The NAACP collected statistics that reflect a series of these kinds of injustices. For example, African Americans and whites use drugs at similar rates, but the imprisonment rate of African Americans for drug charges is almost 6 times that of whites. The website also said that African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of white people, and, in 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population (NAACP, 2019).

Mere numbers cannot make up for personal experience and trauma. Josh Bills was casually living life in Missouri until he was approached by five police officers due to a call about a “black man; black clothing”. Although cooperative, he was forcefully pinned to the ground having his head smashed to the concrete. He was held in jail for two weeks and had lost his job (Wilcox, 2018). In California, Stephon Clark was a Black Muslim who was shot and then killed by a police officer while in his grandmother’s backyard for having a cell phone. Weeks after, Saheed Vassell was shot dead by four New York Department police officers during the anniversary of MLK’s death. The officers had turned off their body cameras and he was shown to have been merely holding a metal pipe (Yasin, 2018). 

This is the reality for many minorities living in America. Many of the struggles they go through are focused on in The Hate U Give. Police brutality is an idea that completely discredits the American Creed and shames American beliefs. This wrongdoing can end up ruining many of these already oppressed people’s lives and is something that has been hiding in the shadows as dark as the skins of the people the police officers have been targeting. We must address these problems that have hindered the lives of black people for an undeniably long time. Even though the intent for cops was to be people who enforce the law and bring justice to those who break them, the reality seems to be that they actually oppress people of these rights–even when these people are the ones who need these rights and support of the law the most.

Works Cited

“Criminal Justice Fact Sheet.” NAACP, www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/.

Khan, Amina. “Getting Killed by Police Is a Leading Cause of Death for Young Black Men in America.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 16 Aug. 2019, www.latimes.com/science/story/2019-08-15/police-shootings-are-a-leading-cause-of-death-for-black-men.

Perry, Catherine D. “Judge Orders St. Louis Police to Immediately Change Tactics and Protect the Rights of People.” ACLU of Missouri, 29 Dec. 2017, www.aclu-mo.org/en/news/judge-orders-st-louis-police-immediately-change-tactics-and-protect-rights-people.

 Thomas, Angie, and Henriette Zeltner. The Hate u Give. Cbt, 2018. 

Wilcox, Gillian. “Police Brutality Against Black Kansas City Man Caught on Video.” American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union, 12 Oct. 2018, www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-law-reform/reforming-police-practices/police-brutality-against-black-kansas-city-man.

Yasin, Huma. “Racial Injustice in America Is Worse than You Thought.” Racial Injustice in America Is Worse than You Thought, TRT World, 11 Apr. 2018, www.trtworld.com/opinion/racial-injustice-in-america-is-worse-than-you-thought-16644.


Police Brutality exploded and Criminal Justice System needs to Change

In the United States of America the amount of police homicides has increased over the years and the criminal justice system has not gave the police a reasonable punishment. Our names are Dejuan Jones, Jessica Gonzalez and Jazmin and were Juniors at Back of the Yards College Prep High School. We are writing this blog to express a issue that we believe is the reason why our world tends to be so divided. For example, Laquan McCdonald got shot 17 times and Jasn Van Dyke only got charged for 1st degree murder, while a women had beat her kid to death and got charged with the death penalty. How is that fair? In order for this community to become better we need this issue to reduce because I thought the police was suppose to “Serve and Protect” , but instead they are killing our innocent youth. Reach out and lets put this issue to a end. Lets fight to make America great again. Write in the comments to express your ideas and knowledge to how we could put this issue to a end and make our society more connected.


Do The Police Deserve Our Trust

What is police brutality? Police brutality is abusive power using excessive force in situations where it’s not required and where police are assuming the worse for their  personal “protection.” Many Police Officers have sworn to protect and serve, but have abused their power and authority to cruelly and assault and manipulate people of color, even if they were innocent. People of color  have been attacked and been left with physical and emotional scars that will follow them as the days go by. In order for the Oakland community to trust the police and have a positive relationship, the police need to understand why the community distrusts them so much.

Firstly, people haven’t trusted the police in Oakland because of what has happened in history. In the article “Controversial History Sets Tone for City’s Discord” by Paul Harris from the news source The Guardian he reports “ A 17-year-old Black Panther party member was involved in a shootout with police, but surrendered and stripped down to his underwear to show he was unarmed. However, he died after being shot by police at least 12 times”(Harris). His name was Bobby Hutton. He was one of the youngest and first of the Black Panther Party and was dedicated to making a difference for his people and police relations. On April 6, 1968 Bobby Hutton was shot 12 times and died due to police “assuming” he was armed. Bobby Hutton had many years of life but was taken away so quickly. This clearly shows that police are forgetting history that has left people of color scarred and explains why the community does not trust the police.

Secondly, why should the community  trust the police if they kill innocent people still. In the article “The Shooting Death of Oscar Grant: What You Need to Know” by Tom Head from the news source ThoughCo he states On New Year’s Day, 2009, an Oakland police officer shot and killed an unarmed, pinned suspect.” Oscar Grant was a 22 year-old African American man who was shot by a white police officer that was sentenced to jail for 11 months.”(Head) Oscar Grant clearly said “don’t shoot don’t shoot” demanding that he wasn’t dangerous or armed. The police didn’t cared and killed him anyways. Why should the community  trust the police if they killed Oscar Grant who was innocent and others recently.

 

In addition to the violence that has happened, also when the community calls the police for an emergency they don’t answer which has broken the trust of people of color. A teacher at Life Academy, a high school in Oakland who teaches about police brutality in his government class, named Yuji Okamura stated “when something does happen the police don’t show up and so people don’t trust them” (Okamura). As a teacher from Oakland he sees how people don’t trust the police because they don’t show up. This affects Oakland because more and more crime will happen. But how can we prevent crimes from happening if polices don’t care to help out. This is supported by the article “Oakland police dispatchers slow to answer emergency calls” by East Bay Times which states “37 percent of 911 emergency calls were not answered within industry standards of 10 and 20 seconds” (Tadayon) This confirms that polices don’t answer the phone right away. Due to this the community abandons their calls and don’t bother calling anymore.

 

Growing up, children are supposed to look up to and feel safe from the Police, but this is not the case showing again the lack of trust. Lastly in a conversation with  a 9 year old that goes to Global Family Elementary School in Oakland he said “ the police aren’t my hero because everytime a police passed by my parents they get scared”(Garcia). As young as a 9 year old is scared of police officer. Which shows how he doesn’t trust the police because he is scared that they might come up to them and do something horrible. As young as a 9 year old thinks that if he walks on the streets he might be killed or stopped by a police for looking suspicious. This affects the young community because they will always have that though in there mind that it could be there last day living if they see a police officer because they might be stopped.

Others might say that at the end of the day that the police officer still serve the community no matter what but our community want to be served with respect and hoping we won’t be harmed. The Oakland police need to look at back into history and repair the roots for things to improve today.

In conclusion the police don’t deserve our trust yet, because they keep using abusive force. The Oakland policy #100 clearly says  that their department does not tolerate abuse of law enforcement authority but the community is not seeing that which cause them to not be able to trust the police.

 

Work Cited

 

Garcia Rafita. “Interview with Rafita Garcia” 10 Dec. 2018.

I interviewed this young 9 year old boy because at least once a week he see a police go by his street. He is a credible source because  since we get lots of adults perspective we don’t we give the young community a chance to express how they feel.

 

Harris Paul.  Controversial History Sets Tone for City’s Discord” 26 Oct. 2011.

This is from the website The Guardian which is a source is credible because the blogger talked about cases that has happened in Oakland that related to police brutality like the story of Oscar Grant.

 

Head Tom. “The Shooting Death of Oscar Grant: What You Need to Know” 28 Dec 2017. This is from the website ThoughtCo who has education world wide.  This is a credible source because Tom Head has been a writer for over than 25 years and has won awards for his very unique writing.

 

Tadayon Ali. “Oakland Police dispatchers slow to answer emergency calls” 16 Feb. 2018.

This is from the website called East Bay Times which is a newspaper that talks about what happens in the Bay Area. This is a credible source because it was recent and it’s evidence from Oakland which is where we live in.

 

Okamura, Yuji. “Interview with Yuji Okamura.” 10 Dec. 2018.

I interviewed Yuji Okamura who teaches in his government class at Life Academy in Oakland. They are credible source because Yuji Okamura has been teaching in Oakland for years.

 

Photo by Artondra Hall


Bias, Racism, and Death in U.S. Communities

Bias, Racism, and Death in U.S. Communities

Why is Police Brutality causing death? “It could have a lot to do with racism and just their bias about African-Americans”, says Kareem Marshal, Life Academy Middle School PE and Basketball coach and resident of Oakland, California. But, why bias and racism? There is still discrimination on colored people ever since slavery was abolished. Police have been using excessive force or police misconduct on African-Americans mostly! But, after the death of Trayvon Martin in February 26, 2012, something sparked the African-American community, saying enough is enough, and the #BlackLivesMatter Campaign began, but the #BLM protests, from 2012 to 2018, weren’t the first anti-police brutality protests, in 1992 in Los Angeles, there were the Rodney King Riots which started April 29 to May 4, 1992, protesting for justice for those killed by white police officers. And in Oakland, in 2009, there were the Oscar Grant Protests, which protested justice for Oscar Grant from 2009 to 2011 (1 year before the #BLM Campaign)! But as years past, as Kareem admitted, “There’s always protests, there’s always rallies, but, nothing seems to change”(Marshal). So, based on my evidence, Police Brutality impacts the communities of EVERY U.S. city and state because of excessive police misconduct and violence on COLORED people, which causes bias and racism and many deaths of innocent, unarmed African-Americans.

 

The reason why Police Brutality/Police Misconduct is impactful to communities is that the police are arresting community members based on their racial bias. Many years, colored communities have faced a lot of discrimination and racism from the police and not only the adults, but kids and students are also facing police misconduct, like Marshall when he was 12 years old and Ricardo Cruz, a Latino male from Oakland, when he was in 10th Grade. Adding to this, some major cities like San Francisco are facing an early plague of police brutality, which is worse for communities of color. To begin, a Vox article called “Why Having Police in Schools is a Problem, in 3 Charts” By Dara Lind, who published this on October 28, 2015, talked about how daily police enforcement in schools have impacted the students, school districts, and the school itself in 3 very surprising facts. One fact that looks important was when Lind acknowledged, “Interestingly, for schools where fewer than 75 percent of students qualify for reduced-price lunch, there isn’t a correlation between students’ class and the presence of security. But there is a correlation among all public schools between students’ race and the presence of an SRO or security guard. The more nonwhite students a school has, the more likely it is to have a full-time SRO or private security guard on campus”(Lind). These words stated by the senior reporter proves that police brutality/police misconduct impacts communities by putting more police enforcement in nonwhite schools and poor students’ schools. This shows that there are less police in the white/rich schools than in colored/mid/low schools! Addition to this, an article titled, “Police Brutality and misconduct plague San Francisco Bay Area” by Margaret Faust and Caroline Peacore, published in July 7, 2018, it stated that an early police misconduct situation appeared out of nowhere in the Bay Area, which shows antipathy for the colored communities, especially Latinos because Faust and Peacore stated, “A Latina woman sits with her boyfriend outside his parents’ house in San Jose, California. Two police officers approach the car and explain that there had been multiple car thefts in the neighborhood and the couple were suspects. While the boyfriend shows one officer his ID, the other comes to the woman and asks her to step out of the car. He then unlocks the door from the inside and handcuffs her. He pulls her out of the car, unzips her jacket and touches her breasts claiming he is looking for weapons. When more officers arrive on the scene, the original officer bashes her head into the hood of the car when she does not fully cooperate”(Faust And Peacore). This proves that police enforcement in colored schools and police misconduct in major cities like SF is very impacting to every colored citizen and every colored child in their life because they are most targeted by the bias and rumors of their race like saying ‘the police should target the colored people because they are violent’. These reporters chose these words to shows how bias on race has impacted the African-American and Latino communities between the U.S. police and it’s very absurd because of the more bias, the more violence the police use. The two sources are credible because Dara Lind is a senior Vox reporter who has covered stories based on immigration, justice, and police shootings, Margaret Faust is a rising senior in Piedmont High School and journalist who covers reports around social justice, and Caroline Peacore is an 11th Grade student and a journalist who also covers social justice. Some may argue that police violence is not based on bias, they would prove that the police are just doing their work and arresting violent people, but all of the above evidence and occurrences in our community show this is not true! In conclusion, the causes of police brutality in communities are the bias, discrimination, and disrespectful treatment of the police to innocent colored adults and children.

 

The last reason why Police Brutality/Police Misconduct impacts Oakland communities is that Police Brutality affects the families and neighbors with death and violence. This is true because police officers have been very biased to colored people and have killed many generations of adults and children and they are still killing innocent people right now, in 2018! First, the article titled, “POLICE KILLING OF BLACKS: Data for 2015, 2016, 2017, and the first half of 2018” by Todd Beer, published on March 1, 2018, updated on August 24, 2018, talked about how police brutality has impacted the U.S. by using data and graphs that support the evidence they collected from the Washington Post. One fact that heartbreaking was when Beer cited, “Data collected by the Washington Post on the use of lethal force by police officers since 2015 indicate that, relative to the portion of the population, Blacks are overrepresented among all those killed by police under all circumstances”(Beer). 

The key words of this quote was “Blacks are overrepresented” and this proves the point that police brutality is affecting the community with death and violence because when checking the website of the Washington Post, it states in a graph that 2015: 995 deaths, 2016: 963 deaths, 2017: 987 deaths, and 2018: 996 deaths!? The total would be 3,941 deaths in the U.S. based on police-involved incidents! This is very important to tell and Beer used this quote and evidence to show the world and the U.S. that many innocent colored people and children are dying and Oakland need to solve this heartbreaking topic. Additionally, the website called, “Mapping Police Violence” by Samuel Sinyangwe, published on May 13, 2018, updated on December 4, 2018, showed evidence based on the police brutality in the first and second halves of 2018 and where was it targeted/located. One shocking fact was when Sinyangwe explained, “13 of the 100 largest U.S. city police departments kill black men at HIGHER RATES than the U.S. Murder Rate”(Sinyangwe). The key words “kill black men at higher rates” shows those 13 U.S. city police departments (Reno, Santa Ana, Scottsdale, Oklahoma City, Hialeah, St. Louis, Spokane, Riverside, Albuquerque, Glendale, and Fremont) have killed more innocent colored people than other U.S. cities. The world and the U.S. must know about this fact and have to punish those police departments for killing unarmed, non-violent, colored citizens and the city have to be more hands on their departments. These sources are credible because Todd Beer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College in Chicago and Samuel Sinyangwe is a data scientist and policy analyst who works with communities of color to fight systemic racism through cutting-edge policies and strategies. Some may argue that these facts are fake and that our police departments are protecting our communities the way it should be, which they are protecting it from “violent” or “bloodthirsty” colored people. In conclusion, the effects of police brutality/police misconduct is that it brings a heartbreaking event and it takes away the life of a colored adult and child from a colored family.

 

The solutions for solving this topic would be to punish those who use force and violence in the communities OR have city officials, mayors, senators, governors, and the community itself to be very focused on their police departments and police officers. The community should not always protest, but also protect their families and residents by reporting any police misconduct/violence and have the city to be more stricter to the chiefs of every police department. To start with, in an interview, Life Academy College and Career Awareness Middle School Advisor Ricardo Cruz talked about the impact of police brutality and Cruz stated, “I think that there needs to be a push to either punish those people that use excessive force against African-Americans and anybody else.” and “I think that city officials need to do more in being hands on the training of the police departments, to make sure that those people are at least culturally competent enough to work in neighborhoods that are predominantly communities of color or African-Americans”(Cruz). The key word that Cruz used in his interview is amazing and clearly understandable that our cities must protect our people more by punishment and for the next years, to be more hands on the training that police departments are giving to their next group of police officers to be protectors, not violent and oppressive officers. This quote is fantastic because Rickey uses these words to show a procedure, a plan, a way that can lead to less bias and racism from our police, have fewer deaths and lives taken in the colored community/population, have less violence, and have peace. This source is credible because Ricardo Cruz is the school advisor that checks on middle school students, knows members of the community who are in gangs and is a friend to the class of 2022 and everyone in the school. But also the communities should be part of this, too because in another interview, Life Academy School Counselor, Rodrigo Sandoval-Perez was also interviewed about this topic and  he said that ”If you educate folks around bigotry, racism, prejudice…all of these, like social construct, to make sure that everyone knows that, ‘we’re actually the same and we’re not that different’, that would definitely lead to decreasing violence”(Sandoval-Perez). A reason Sandoval-Perez used these words is that he wanted to show how communities can fix this problem and how they have a voice to directly speak to the police and the city about the violence of police brutality. Also, this is important to tell the reader that they have a voice and they can always use that voice to impact a problem. Speaking about the city and the community, governors, and senators are also making some change to prevent this topic! In the article titled, Gov. Jerry Brown signs landmark laws that unwind decades of secrecy surrounding police misconduct, use of force” by Liam Dillon and Maya Lau, published in September 30, 2018, talked about how Governor Jerry Brown of California is signing two laws that let the public to have or view the incidents of police misconduct/police brutality to press the departments or known as “police the police” and to make body cams stricter by making the departments to use audio recording and body cams. One fact that was astonishing was when Dillon and Lau acknowledged that, “Lara Bazelon, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, said the measure could expose officer misconduct that was long withheld from defendants and could lead to numerous convictions being dismissed. “We are going to see a lot of skeletons falling out of the closets dating back years, if not decades. That means people who were convicted unjustly and unfairly will finally get a chance to be heard”(Dillon and Lau). This quote is very powerful because of the keywords that Lara Bazelon used are words that are true and show that other governors from other states should do the same to give the public a voice to stand up and step down. This is very clear of what the 2 laws are stating and how it can help the state in the next years and 2019 and to the next generations of citizens and Californians. This source is credible because Liam Dillon is an LA Times journalist who covers California state politics and policy that is based in Sacramento, CA and local politics in San Diego and Southwest Florida and Maya Lau is a reporter on the Metro desk covering the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Some may argue that there is still no change and that not all states are protecting their cities because of police brutality being unnoticed and unreported. In conclusion, the solutions for this topic is that the U.S. states with the Governors, Senators, city representatives, mayors, and citizens can work together to shape a better future to the next generation and for 2019.

 

In conclusion, Police Brutality impacts the communities of EVERY U.S. city and state by using Police misconduct, violence, and racism. It’s pointed out in the three paragraphs by showing bias on race, the deaths and life-taking events, and how states have to change with everyone to shape a better future, and it is shown with interviews, timelines, facts, and articles that prove one of the three claims. But now…it is 2019, police brutality impacted the U.S. from 1992 to 2018 with death and protests beginning, do you think this topic will happen again? Well, we will just have to wait….

 

Cites:

 

  • Cruz, Ricardo. “Interview with Ricardo Cruz.” 12 Dec. 2018. I interviewed with a Case Manager and resident and community member in the community of Oakland, CA. We talked about experience, police brutality, and politics. This source is credible because Ricardo Cruz is Life Academy Case Manager and College and Career Awareness Middle School Advisor.
  • Dillon, Liam, et al. “Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Landmark Laws That Unwind Decades of Secrecy Surrounding Police Misconduct, Use of Force.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sept. 2018, www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-police-misconduct-rules-changed-20180930-story.html. Liam and Mary reported that Governor Jerry Brown of California sign 2 laws that stated the public can record footage of police misconduct and police brutality to report it. This is credible because LA Times is a daily newspaper that reports out news and been publishing in LA since 1881.

 

  • Faust, Margaret. “Police Brutality and Misconduct Plague San Francisco Bay Area.” Lookout, 7 July 2018, lookout.newsroombythebaysites.com/708/features/police-brutality-and-misconduct-plagues-san-francisco-bay-area/. This article talks how police misconduct/police brutality is plaguing the San Francisco Bay Area which is a threat for colored folks and citizens of the Bay Area. This source is credible because Lookout is a student website of news and reports from the communities of the bay area.
  • Georgetown University Institutional Repository in Georgetown University Library. “Black Lives Matter Timeline.” Georgetown University Institutional Repository in Georgetown University Library, 2016. Georgetown University shows the timeline of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, from the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, all the way to 2015, when BLM members disrupted a cyber activist convention. This source is credible because Georgetown University is a private research university in Washington D.C. which has a library of many reliable resources.
  • Greenlaw, Marshall. “The Oscar Grant (Oakland) Protests, 2009-2011.” Boley, Oklahoma (1903- ) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed, BlackPast.Org, blackpast.org/aaw/oscar-grant-oakland-protests-2009-2011. This article shows the timeline of the Oscar Grant Protests, protests that argue to punish the BART officer for killing Oscar Grant in an incident at Fruitvale BART Station in New Year’s Day 2009. This source is credible because Blackpast is a website that gives you stories and events based on the African American Past and history.
  • Lind, Dara. “Why Having Police in Schools Is a Problem, in 3 Charts.” Vox.com, Vox Media, 28 Oct. 2015, www.vox.com/2015/10/28/9626820/police-school-resource-officers. Dara reports that police are put in schools more and its a problem because of the assault, racism, bias, and police misconduct. This source is credible because Vox is a website of full explanatory journalism and reports American news.
  • Marshal, Kareem. “Interview with Kareem Marshal.” 12 Dec. 2018. I interviewed a resident of Oakland and a Middle School PE Coach and Basketball Coach from an OUSD school. We talked about politics, police brutality, and the deaths of African-Americans. this is credible because Kareem Marshal is Life Academy MS PE and Basketball coach and is a current resident in Oakland, CA.
  • Pages, The Society. “POLICE KILLING OF BLACKS: Data for 2015, 2016, 2017, and First Half of 2018 – Sociology Toolbox.” Sociological Images Racializing the Abortion Debate Comments, 1 Mar. 2018, thesocietypages.org/toolbox/police-killing-of-blacks/. The Society Pages and Associate Professor Todd Beer collected Police involved deaths based on race of 2015, 2016, and 2017. The rates show that there are more deaths on unarmed black citizens. This source is credible because The Society Pages is an open-access social science project headquartered in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. They do podcast and arguments based on topics of today.
  • Sinyangwe, Samuel. “Mapping Police Violence.” Mapping Police Violence, mappingpoliceviolence.org/. Mapping Police Violence is a website created by Samuel Sinyangwe that reports the FIRST HALF OF 2018’s Police Violence in the U.S. This source is credible because this website reports any report based on Police-involved violence.
  • Sandoval-Perez, Rodrigo. “Interview with Rodrigo Sandoval-Perez.” 11 Dec. 2018. I interviewed a Latino School Advisor and resident of Oakland, California about the topic of Police Brutality. Also, the topic of making change. This source is credible because Rodrigo Sandoval-Perez is Life Academy School Advisor and Part of the administration team and main office team.

Police Brutality Cause and Effect in Oakland

What is the cause of police brutality and how does it affect Oakland residents? Hillary Walker, a teacher at Life academy and an Oakland resident believes that police brutality is based on the way that people of privilege judge others by their image and value (Walker). Police cause brutality because they put communities, youth, and institutions in danger.

Effect In Oakland

What type of effect does police brutality have on Oakland residents? Especially those seen as non valuable? Luz Orozco an Oakland Resident and mother of 3 kids has a very strong opinion about police brutality and believes that the more brutality that is created by police against lower class people in Oakland could and will lead to communities losing trust in the people who are supposed to protect us. Oakland is supposed to be a highly diverse city but, when it comes to violence caused by police the people who are seen as non valuable are the ones targeted which is unfair because it’s rare when police use violence against people of higher class. The way that police oppress lower class humans makes police seem as non valuable themselves because instead of protecting us against violence, police cause extremely violent brutality when violence is a impediment that is meant to be broken. But, as long as police don’t see it as an impediment to a more peaceful world than the brutality will just continue to get worse and worse (Orozco).

 

Effect on Oakland youth

There is a lot of ways that police brutality is spread and it affects many people. But, are youth of lower class also the targeted by police brutality? Darwin BondGraham is a writer who specializes on news and social justice. In an article written By Darwin BondGraham he described the moment when a 14 year old-girl who lived with her parents and her infant brother became a victim of police brutality here in Oakland, California. The victim’s dad was in the middle of a discussion with and officer due to the fact that her father had an arrest warrant filed against him. The girl’s mother pulled up to her home in Oakland and left her 14 year-old daughter in the car watching over her infant son. A few minutes later Shaun Williams the father of the victim was arrested. A police officer ordered the 14 year old girl to exit the car but, the girl refused. “Due to plaintiff’s questions and in violation of the First Amendment, defendant Martinelli brutally punched Plaintiff in the face” (Bondgraham). Oppression has grown stronger throughout the years but the police as our protectors should influence people to create change instead of making the oppression we face grow stronger.  Not only are people of lower class being affected by Police brutality but our youth are also being lured into the unhealthy space that police create due to the fact that they believe that they have the power to hurt others. If police have the audacity to hurt youth in what other ways could police target people in Oakland.

Public Institutions Targeted by Police

Public institutions in Oakland have been used as battlegrounds for police and victims of police violence. Tom Head is a very credible historian that specializes in ethics and religion he has also written more than 25 books based on civil liberties. Tom Head created an article based on the story related to Oscar Grant’s death The Fruitvale Bart station was treated as a battle ground in the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant. Oscar Grant was an African American male who was shot and killed by police. As shown in a widely disseminated cell phone video of the shooting, Grant was restrained by two officers. A third, 27-year-old Johannes Mehserle, then drew his service revolver and shot Grant fatally in the back(Head). Public institutions like Fruitvale BART  have been places where people of color have been targeted and unfortunately killed. Oakland has been affected by this factor because police officers who protect the city and keep Americas laws intact end up breaking the laws and creating a serious reputation that makes police and Oakland seem as an unsafe place.

In Conclusion, police brutality is caused by the ignorance and disrespect by police officers.The effect in Oakland is negative because people don’t feel safe and can’t trust their ¨protectors¨ that are supposed to keep communities safe. How do police really want to be seen? As heros? Or Monsters?

Work Cited

Bondgraham, Darwin. Oakland to Pay $60,000 After Police Officer Slapped 14-Year-Old Girl. 4 Dec. 2018,    

 

Head, Tony. The Shooting Death of Oscar Grant: What You Need to Know. 28 Dec. 2017, www.thoughtco.com/shooting-death-of-oscar-grant-721526.

 

Orozco, Luz. “People of Lower Class and Police Brutality.” 16 Dec. 2018, pp. 1–2.

Walker, Hillary. “Hillary Walker and Police Brutality.” None, none, no. none, 16 Dec. 2018, pp. 1–2.

 


Few Social Justice Issues in America


Cops Versus Society

Walking out the door
Cops siren and loud screams
Fill the air with the smell of weed
Blunts, and rice and beans

People in uniform scream
At civilians
Pushing people aside
People faces blush red with anger
Building up inside

A child defends her mother
With one swing of an arm
A fight breaks out
14 year old hispanic girl
And an unprofessional brown
Female Officer

Phones taken out
Scene being recorded
Officer calls for backup
Block fills with several cop cars

No later than
Two minutes
Mother and daughter gripped up
Arrested.

Chatter and cries
From babies
Is all you hear
Fear
Confusion
In the crowds eyes.


You, Born In America

My name is Kara Holt and I am 16 years old. I was born on January 14, 2002 in St.Joseph’s hospital, in Jamaica Queens. I live in Brooklyn NY and lived in three different houses in my life, my grandma’s house, and two other houses rented by my mom. I am a sophomore and while I’m in school I want to get all my credits so when I get out of school I can go to college and become a professional artist (traditional and digital) or an engineer. I am good at reading people’s body language and drawing in my opinion, I learned to be good at these things by constant observation, patience, and practice. In the future, I want to be a professional artist or engineer and my dream is to become very wealthy, and when I do get wealthy I want to give back to my community.

I was born in America so I didn’t migrate but I have a friend who migrated into America and it has impacted my life because I got to learn some of her background and get to understand her more as a person. I consider my friend as family because I’ve known her for five years and I think my family structure has changed by become much more stronger in terms of understanding and communication. These change was good because it made me get to spend time with her and get to understand her pain of feeling alone. I don’t like the language I speak because it’s so dull I like other unique languages like Spanish, French, Arabic, or Japanese.

An experience I had that was injustice was when my old school called 911 on me and said I can go home and as I’m going home they pointed me to the cops and I got grabbed from behind and refrain from moving. I was in public and I got humiliated; I got recorded by bystanders and nothing was done. This was unfair because they accused me of saying I would shoot up the school, according to students. This is unfair because since freshman year I’ve been telling them people been picking on me and nothing was done but every time when someone says something about me action is taken, right then and there.


First Generation Born In America

I am Alejandro Rose. What’s important to know about me is that I was the first generation in my family to be born in the U.S. I was born in Brooklyn, NY, August 11, 2002. I have been living in the area in Brooklyn. I like to play basketball both in and out of school. This is a physical activity I enjoy doing. I’m pretty good at writing and speaking about topics, but if I’m new to a group or class, it’ll take time for me to adjust. I got this way because my grandmother and mom both wanted me to be intelligent in the English language because I was the first of my family to be born here. My plans for the future is to get a masters degree in engineering and getting a job for this major that pays well because I like to repair and build things.

Immigration impacted me in both a positive and negative way. I always wanted to know how the Panamanian lifestyle was, but at the same time I’m glad to be born in an urban society and can inhale all ethnic culture all in one state. I didn’t immigrate, but my family did. My family structure changed both in a positive and negative way. It was easy to get an apartment because we had money, but all things come to an end and most of my grandmother’s children had to get a job. It took time to get a job for the older kids, but at the end, they were all able to earn an income and help pay their mother’s rent. I feel happy that I’m bilingual but at the same time embarrassed because I don’t speak Spanish fluently, even though I grew up in a Spanish speaking household and understand it well.

Justice is fair treatment and injustice is the opposite. One injustice I experienced was when my mom got beat up by the police while pregnant and that resulted in my younger brother having speech problems. That has made me anxious about speaking to police and other authorities. I don’t remember what actually happened because I was young but my mother told me that she was beaten with my younger brother in her stomach. I do remember seeing the cops and my mother on the ground though and I am sure that has contributed to why I am anxious when I see police.

Photo by dee_dee_creamer


What does it mean to be American?

The reconstruction period was the rebuilding of the south but historical edividence and contemporary events show that being an American means that you have to meet certain requirements. According to Thirteenth Amendment which was established during the Reconstruction period, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States…are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” This amendment demonstrates that you had to be born in the states in order to be an American. Therefore if you have no identification or proof that states you were born inside the United states then you aren’t an American nor a U.S. citizen. Not being born in the United States means you don’t deserve other rights that citizens are provided such as the right to vote which is stated in the Fifteenth Amendment.another reconstruction article called Black Codes  in Opelousas, Louisiana states in SECTION 7. “No freedman who is not in the military service shall be allowed to carry firearms, or any kind of weapons, within the limits of the town of Opelousas without the special permission of his employer, in writing,and approved by the mayor or president of the board of police.”By this quote I know that negros or African Americans had limited rights. The Americans whites wanted us to be was to be fearful of them and let them. To be American we had to follow their demands and sit there and let them disrespect us every single day. Blacks were limited Americans and they had no way of protecting themselves if their lives are in danger. Being an American for them was still being held in bondage just without the chains.Some of the same issues that were occurring during the Reconstruction period and still occurring this present day. An article called police Brutality and African Americans states that “Racial minorities made up about 37.4 percent of the general population in the US and 46.6 percent of armed and unarmed victims, but they made up 62.7 percent of unarmed people killed by police.” This is a recap of the reconstruction period almost because this proves along with the Black codes in Opelousas, Louisiana article is that we’ve always been unarmed. Blacks didn’t have the right to have possession of a firearm and the world still doesn’t want us to have firearms because they feel like we misuse them. Obviously the police, an enforcement created by the government that’s supposed to protect us is killing us. Do they really feel threatened or are they really just racist murderers disguised in a uniform ? To be American is to think To be American is to be aware of the enforcement set to protect you.

 

 


Police Brutality Situation

Dear Chief of the Oakland Police Department:

We think it’s best to let everyone in the police department know that it isn’t okay for the police to think their supercilious towards people. The people of color are the most targeted because over the years people of color have been killed by police officers. That shows there are problems between police and people of color.

The issue is police brutality and innocent people are being abused and killed by the police. Some of these situations can be caused racism and biases made towards certain races such as the Latino, and African American communities. The people harmed by this issue are the victims and their families because they’re directly affected. Also, all people of color are being harmed because they are starting to fear the police because they see it in the news, social media and even in some neighborhoods, people are being harassed and killed by the police. The effects on the community is that it makes them afraid to live their lives because they are always on alert and wondering if they could be a victim of the next police attack. Fatal Encounters addresses,“On average, in the United States, a police officer takes the life of a citizen every 7 hours” (Fatal Encounters). The people who benefit from this inequity is the police departments because when there are more people incarcerated, it gives them more money for the number of people in prison. Police also benefit from this because they are not likely to be incarcerated if they attack an innocent person. An article states,”Police officers are indicted in fewer than 1% of killings, but the indictment rate for civilians involved in a killing is 90%” (FiveThirtyEight). This quote proves that most police who commit an act of police brutality are not likely to get charged for their actions. Police brutality is institutionalized oppression because police are using their power to harm others. The allies are people who support and are involved in movements for those who have experienced police brutality such as the movement for Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Philando Castile etc. The opponents are the police that misuse their power to cause harm instead of using them to protect and make sure people are safe.

In the past, tactics of social change have been used for police brutality. In the article that Katie Nodjimbadem wrote it talked about how people were protesting for police brutality. They were all unhappy about the situation. She explains,“last month, hours after a jury acquitted former police officer Jeronimo Yanez of manslaughter in the shooting death of 32-year-old Philando Castile, protesters in St. Paul, Minnesota, shut down Interstate 94. With signs that read: “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace,” the chant of “Philando, Philando” rang out as they marched down the highway in the dark of night”(Nodjimbadem). This was successful because they are getting information that it’s not okay for the police, they are also letting them know too especially how their specifically targeting the people of color. When their targeting the people of color people start involving their strikes or rights for their own to show what specifically matters because of the police defect.

In order to become an upstander, our plan is to make posters and put them up in the school so this will show people can see what’s going on to the community by the police officers. By putting up our posters it demonstrates that people need to know this information about police brutality and what they’ve become like nonconformists.  

In conclusion, Police brutality harms the community by abusing them and killing them. This lead to protesting and strikes made for the community especially for the black folks because they are the most targeted. By putting up posters we can send information to everyone in the school so they can know what’s going on to the community and what OPD is doing about it.  

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Reuben Fb. “Allegations Of Police Misconduct Rarely Result In Charges.” FiveThirtyEight, FiveThirtyEight, 25 Nov. 2014, fivethirtyeight.com/features/allegations-of-police-misconduct-rarely-result-in-charges/.                 This source is reliable because Nielsen uses its proprietary digital measurement products to measure and analyze how consumers engage with media across online, mobile and emerging technologies, and Nielsen offers insights into consumer behavior.

Noriega, Angel, et al. “Police Brutality .” 3 May 2018. This is credible because these slides briefly explained and talks about the topic police brutality. This helps us use the information so we can know what it’s for and it definitely helps. These 9th graders passed this presentation with B and were highly professional with their work and everything else they were talking about.

Nodjimbadem, Katie. “The Long, Painful History of Police Brutality in the U.S.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 27 July 2017, www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/long-painful-history-police-brutality-in-the-us-180964098/. This source is credible because Smithsonian is the official journal published by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The first issue was published in 1970. It gives us information about police brutality and what specific tactics of social change they used.

Sincerely,

Briceida, Gildardo, Angel


Oakland Police Department Bond with the Oakland Community

Dear Mayor Schaaf:

We are choosing to write to you, the mayor because you have the most power in the city of Oakland and can help us with our issue. You have helped the citizens of Oakland unite when you told Oakland residents that ICE was in Oakland (The Washington Post), that shows that you care for the people and try to help as much as you can. We believe that if we send this letter to you, you will do the best that you can your power to make the OPD less likely of police brutality by connecting with the community.

The issue that my team and I are doing a proposal on is police brutality. Police brutality was created by racism and the people who were affected the most are people of color. Police brutality affects the community because then there is no trust between the Oakland police and Oakland community. An example of that is, “Barnett said the police took awhile to arrive, and when they finally showed up, “witnesses” dispersed back into their homes. “No one had anything to say to those cops. I mean I don’t blame them, because you are pretty much a target if you’re seen talking to the cops,” said Barnett.”(Nailah Morgan). In Oakland, there is no protection from the suspects or others because the trust between both Oakland police and the Oakland community has not been built. By the Oakland police building a bond with the community that they are serving and protecting they need to connect with the community, by doing so crime rates may decrease over the years. Mayor in the past, Oakland has lost money because the community has been suing the OPD because they have experienced police brutality. POLITICO magazines have stated in one of their articles, “The city ultimately paid more than a million dollars to settle lawsuits over aggressive police tactics”(POLITICO). If the Oakland police were taught less violent tactics, then the city would stop losing money. Crime rates would decrease because the community would have a bond with the OPD to tell them what had happened as witnesses. Oakland student dropout rates would decrease because Oakland schools can be supplied with better school material with the tax money that would not be used to pay police brutality cases. The people who benefit from this inequity are corrupted racist cops and the level of oppression that police brutality is impacting is institutional and interpersonal. Our allies are people of color, politicians against police brutality, you, and Caucasians who want police brutality to never exist. Our opponents are people that think and act like Trump, racist corrupted cops, and society.

In the past, tactics of social have been used to address this issue. People would protest and use propaganda to make the community aware that they will not sit around and let the Oakland police break the oath that they took, “to protect and serve”. An example was when “Sharhanda Thomas took his protest to the turnstiles at the Fruitvale BART station after a funeral for Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old man killed at the station” (The New York Times). Oscar Grant III was killed on New Year’s Day by Officer Johannes Mehserle and when the video of the incident went public people were outraged. Plenty of people protested exactly like Sharhanda Thomas, he is an example of the courage that people now need in order to stop this issue, this inequity. With our proposal, we are using community organizing to be able to come together as a community and connect with one another so that there is no hate between the Oakland community and Oakland police.

Our plan has many steps. The first step we will take is to send a letter to the Mayor to try to convince her to have an event so that the Oakland police can connect with the Oakland community so that the rates of police brutality go down. We need the support of the Mayor so that we can have the event so that the police and the community can bond.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and we hope you could get back to us so that we can be able to connect the Oakland community with OPD so that crime rates can decrease.

Sincerely,

Alex, Aaron, Alberto

Annotated Bibliography

“Cops and Community Search for Trust in Oakland’s Most Violent Neighborhoods.” Oakland North, 19 Oct. 2015, 12:43pm, oaklandnorth.net/2015/10/19/cops-and-community-search-for-trust-in-oaklands-most-violent-neighborhoods/.

Oakland North is made of Berkeley students who want to pursue their career as journalists and for that to happen they need to practice on their information is as accurate as they can. Their articles cannot be inaccurate because the journalists that are posting the articles are pursuing their careers, they are doing something that they love, so they have no reason to just do a horrible job and have inaccurate information. The future journalists are doing the opposite, they are having the most accurate information and doing the best they can to write the best article they can about their issue.

Flynn, Meagan. “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Tipped off Immigrants about ICE Raid and Isn’t Sorry She Did.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 28 Feb. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/02/28/oakland-mayor-libby-schaaf-tipped-off-immigrants-about-ice-raid-and-isnt-sorry-she-did/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.715ce8c382ec.

The Washington Post is a credible source because all of their articles are about issues that are sensitive and big. For them to make a huge mistake on one of their articles or make it seem like they are making fun of the issue will destroy their brand and they will lose money. So for them to do that would be unreasonable because they have to much at stake.

JOHNSON, SCOTT C., et al. “How a Dirty Police Force Gets Clean.” About Us, www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/oakland-police-reform-115552.

POLITICO has always had 100% accurate information about the issues they publish and have never been inaccurate. Their brand depends on the accuracy of their information without it they would just be a brand that is posting articles that may have accurate information but no one will trust them because their information was inaccurate once.

McKinley, Jesse. “In California, Protests After Man Dies at Hands of Transit Police.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 Jan. 2009, www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/us/09oakland.html.

The New York Times is one of the most trustworthy newspapers because all the issues that they publish about are serious issues and they are always accurate with their information. For them to publish information that is inaccurate in any way possible would be a huge downfall for the company, they would lose not only money but respect also.

 


Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!

Police Brutality has been a widespread issue around the world. Reviewing trends, we are able to see that minorities are highly targeted in the United States, and are more likely to be assaulted by a member of the police department. Living in a big city and being a minority makes me passionate about this issue. It is something that is seen in the news everyday, and it is unfair. This leads to an unequal society in which people are afraid and consumed by the thought that the victims of police brutality seen on the news, in the papers, etc. could have been them.

Prior to this project, I knew much about the issue of police brutality. I have seen many cases on the news and on social media and it was clear to see that there was a correlation between most situations- the targets have been minorities. I however did not know the extent to which minorities are being targeted. I now know that African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer. Though there are more caucasians within the United States, minorities are still being targeted and assaulted at a higher rate. I also knew about two groups regarding police brutality- Black Lives Matter, who are against police violence, and Blue Lives Matter- who do not believe police brutality is a problem because cops are also being killed everyday.

Police Brutality is a problem that needs to be stopped as soon as possible. Many things can be done to stop this, which is making the police department more diverse. There are more caucasian cops than any other race, and this makes it easy for police officers to assault who they do not know and who they cannot relate to. With this and many more, society would be taking a step closer to justice.


Stephon Clark Response

Stephon Clark is now being added to a long list of wrongful deaths in the black community. Clark was minding his own business in his backyard when cops let 20 shots at him. They tried to justify it by saying that Clark was armed, but they couldn’t find a weapon on him. Only a cell phone. Racial profiling like this needs to stop. This man had children who will never have their father in their life again. And I find it very hard to believe that both of the officers thought that Clark was armed. Police need to be more careful when addressing situations that they don’t know all the details to. In this day and age, police are too trigger happy. Things like this make me worry about my life as a young black male living in America. Also the lives of my loved ones. We need to find alternative ways for police to de-escalate situations without violence and murder. Life is too precious for it to just taken from you because an officer feels “threatened” by your very existence. The overall point I’m trying to make is, I should feel safe and comfortable with police officers since they are here to protect us. Yet, when stories like Clark’s always appear in the news, it makes it a little bit hard.


Not being noticed

 

A lot of people may notice but not stand up and speak out about what is taking place today.Something that has been very harmful and very sad that many lives have been taking in school shootings.Far as many students being taken.From teachers to students and other staff.People are getting more and more guns into school buildings.It’s not fair to the students nor too the parents who lose their child just by them going to school..Aren’t students supposed to be safe in a school environments.Students go to school to learn and get an education.How is this fair to the ones who lose a friend,daughter,role model.School shootings are becoming more and more of a affect on today’s society.Why is it far that the people who are shooting schools up are allowed to walk free.I honestly feel that it is all not FAIR.How can these people who are shootings schools up be able to walk free,or not be killed for taking away so many lives of students who did no harm to anyone at all.


Why does one movement get more support than another?

Black Lives Matter will never receive the recognition nor support that other modern protest have gotten. The movement is against violence and systematic racism towards African- Americans. When the movement first came to surface, as a child, I believed it was doing something and actually getting the publicity it deserved. I was wrong.

After the 2018 Parkland school shooting, I realized that lives that are lost matter, but not if they are black. Seeing the ‘Times’ magazine cover, celebrities marching with #MarchForOurLives and all other supporters that are behind this rally, it really broke my heart. I am not here to bring light to the situation. However, Black Lives Matter has been a movement for over 5 years, and hasn’t had nearly as much support nor change than a situation that didn’t even happen 5 months ago did. In the year 2017, police had already killed 500 unarmed African-Americans in the first 7 months. Some celebrities that have even stood up for this movement have been shamed and are even unemployed!

Teachers/Administrators, imagine being in a meeting and making a valid point, then being ignored or maybe even disgraced or even called a thug. To later realize that a colleague of yours, rather a privileged one, stole that idea of yours but changed the name. Maybe they even guided the light of your point on to an entirely different discussion, which is okay. But then they receive more recognition than you. Their idea blows everyone away and next thing you know their idea is being viewed by the country. It’s being publicized and praised. When yours was barely heard. Even though you spoke loud and clear, you held rallies, you held a protest, you brought issues to the surface.

“I am here to acknowledge and represent the African- American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead in the evening news. I represent the African American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential.”
-Naomi Walder, age 11

Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old black man with 2 sons. Sitting in his OWN backyard with a cellphone in his hand that was mistaken for a gun, and was shot 20 times. You read that correctly. There was no communication whatsoever. Which means Stephon was unable to explain himself. The students at parkland were unable to explain themselves. Both caused by ruthless acts of gun violence. Both victims are innocent. Both the #MarchForOurLives and #BlackLivesMatter movements are necessary. They both narrow down to the same problem. Gun violence.

So why is it that one movement gains more support than the other? No one should pick one to be behind. I am not saying that the March for our lives shouldn’t be getting as much praise as they are. But I am saying there is no way that Black Lives Matter shouldn’t be getting the same.


How Would You Feel?

This is my poem based on the novel “The Hate U Give” for McGeehan’s class. Khalil’s spirit is talking to the white community that doesn’t understand a lot that has happened to him, so he (Khalil) is telling the white society his story. 

Hi. My name is Khalil.
I’ma tell you a story, my only story
So please sit back and relax
This might take up your time
But hopefully you don’t hesitate and try

I’ma say it. I died from a white cop from his assumption
People that don’t understand will say, “What assumption?”
The fact that I died from a hairbrush and the color of my skin is that assumption
And that should never get anyone killed
Let me go deeper into this since you might be confused
What do you call a nigga like me living in the projects?
Your answer – a thug and a gang member
The reason? Because society makes stereotypes and puts the people that are different into boxes
These boxes are homes to my Black folks, my Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans, Mexicans, anyone who is a minority
And the only reason why you’d say such a thing, which is false, is due to the fact that society makes these assumptions for others to use against us

This is how I died.

Hold up, yall thought I was finished? Nah I ain’t even scratched the bottom of the pot yet. But for you to understand my death I need to backstack.

Listen here, my moms a druggie
And she had a problem
She had to pay off debt
Or she woulda got killed
So me being her knight I helped my mama out
It wasn’t a big deal to me
So the only thing i thought of was buying and selling them drugs
Why drugs?
Because it’s the easiest way to make money. Nah it’s always around me
But it ain’t my fault that I grew up like this
Seeing crack babies on the street
Got nothing to eat ‘cause they homeless
Well i guess it’s their fault that they homeless, right?
Of course not!
Is it their wrongdoing for living in a low-income community, which is also called the ghetto, but is it their fault?

Your answer – yes it is.
Well to you that’s reading this I got a trick question for you

HOW WOULD YOU FEEL
if you could barely get a job at a good place that pays enough money
But your race predicts everything nowadays?

HOW WOULD YOU FEEL
if you had to choose between food and lights when both are important?

HOW WOULD YOU FEEL
if somebody wanted you dead and never know when your last day is?

HOW WOULD YOU FEEL i
f you got pulled over by a white cop and went…
POW!
POW!
POW!
And did the number 3 on your back because of a hairbrush?

This was how I died. This is how my mama could’ve died.

You that’s reading this, I want to give you my final thoughts

HOW WOULD FEEL being a target everyday?
WHY WOULD YOU FEEL that type of way?
WHO WOULD YOU TURN TO in a situation like this because you don’t understand enough?

No matter how much I ask you, you still won’t understand enough.

This was my story, my only story.


It’s Not Just Getting Beaten Up

It’s Not Just Getting Beaten Up

Effects of Police Brutality

By: Kamyiah Oliver

In Oakland, California, why do our protectors abuse us for no reason? Police brutality is a controversial topic. Everyone here, and I bet even everyone outside of here, knows about at least one Oakland police brutality case. For example, we can bring up the shooting of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale Bart Station or the Tupac situation in the 1990’s. Police brutality has always been around and I want to shine some intel on how it affects Oakland. Based on many articles and 3 interviews, Police brutality affects the Oakland community members largely because they receive physical and emotional harm.

How does police brutality affect Oakland? The pain the Oakland Police Department (OPD) inflicts on Oakland residents can go from getting harmed from a police officer, all the way to losing a loved one. As stated by one of my interviewees about if police brutality affects Oakland she said, “Absolutely, there is a disproportionate amount of police brutality taken out on Black and Brown people. Especially Black men and women in Oakland, and you know there’s tons of corruption in the OPD  that has yet to be dealt with effectively. Also, it just causes more distrust and it’s actually supporting the gentrification process by continually pushing out Native Oakland folks or Black and Brown people…” (Delucchi). Delucchi has been a resident of Oakland for more than 40 years, is a community speaker, and an OUSD Teacher. This evidence illustrates that the Oakland community knows what’s going on around the police brutality and how it affects them. Police brutality helps kick Oakland natives out, helps create targets on certain races who can’t change their assigned identity, and causes distrust between our community and the people whose role is to protect us. Another interviewee stated, “ I don’t like my tax money going to people who beat up on people for no reason, it makes me feel like crap, to be honest with you, I don’t like to see people get hurt because of somebody’s ignorance” (Smith). Smith feels that police brutality does affect Oakland and the money he pays for taxes aren’t helping like they should. It makes him personally feel like crap because of this issue. Smith has been a resident of Oakland for more than 45 years and is a retired worker.

 

In Oakland, Police officers hurt Oakland residents physically and emotionally. Of course, when dealing with police brutality one is bound to have some scars, whether it be on your body or your heart. From a prisoner activist center website, it explains, “A Catholic priest who said an officer put him in a chokehold and slammed his head into a glass door. A father who claimed officers beat him in the hallway outside of his child’s hospital room until his head was bloody. A bank robber who was shot by officers after a high-speed chase. A man whose head was slammed into something so hard that the bones in his face broke” (Hyatt). These violent actions show the pain it creates here in our home. Each one of these cases were sued, which show that the people who were hurt needed to get back at the people who did do the opposite of their job, by hurting them. Coming from the same website, apparently, “$74 million dollars were spent on these cases to settle lawsuits” (Hyatt). Money that can be used to help our Oakland community is being used because of officers who decided to get violent. Another example of when police officers inflicted pain, was the Tupac Shakur case. According to KQED Arts, it states, “What’s not likely to be forgotten is the Oakland Police Department’s jaywalking stop of Tupac Shakur in October 1991, which resulted in Shakur allegedly slammed to the ground and arrested. That’s because in a rare early case of a rap artist suing the police, Shakur subsequently brought a $10 million civil suit against the OPD for their actions— and in an even rarer conclusion, the suit was settled for a reported $42,000.” (Meline). Money for Oakland is wasted on cases that shouldn’t come up at all between the citizens and the police department, and some of our Oakland Police leave marks some can be satisfactory but as of late they have been hurtful.

 

Police Brutality is an issue of corruption in the department or just the police themselves. When people think of police brutality they might think of how much they just hurt African Americans because how big that topic is on the news. Police brutality may largely affect that race, but Police brutality is more than just a cop beating a person up, or abusing their power. Coming from my interviewee, she said, “ (Do you think police brutality is based on Race? – interviewer)  I used to think that, all the time because I grew up in a segregated society. And I only witnessed it happening to one race, and that was African Americans. But now I see that it happens to any minority…. I think it’s just something in their head that they’re supposed to correct everybody, be in charge.” (Owen-Delucchi). Police brutality affects more groups rather than just one. Police officers in general, who are apart of police brutality, have a mindset that they have to be on top. Police attack community members majorly, for no reason. The hurtful police are very corrupted and that stems from the departments in which they work,  in my case the OPD is where the corruption is rooted. There are many others who believe this too, like kids in the #TakeAKnee stand, which was going against many topics including police brutality (Fernandez) and there are so many articles that will discuss Police Brutality in Oakland or anywhere else.

 

People might say that only the “bad” cops need to be punished, but that’s not it. It’s not just the “bad” cops that need to get in order, yet the whole system. The whole system affecting us in Oakland and citizens in the U.S, is institutional oppression. The Oakland Police Department system is really messed up. There are many problems within each Police system. Yet, obviously the cops who are apart of police brutality didn’t get trained in the best way to be our protectors or they were just violent people who shouldn’t have been let in the group in the first place, and that’s not just the system at fault but everyone contributing to police brutality. Not only the individual cop that abuses a person should get the entire blame but as I said before, everyone who is a contributor.

 

In conclusion, Police Brutality affects the Oakland community members largely because they cause physical and emotional harm. Some of the pain that impacts Oakland people with police brutality isn’t looked upon enough, so there are still so many problems. Also the corruption of the system causes the problems with police brutality. Police brutality should be looked into more by students as a way to educate themselves for future encounters with police and to help them decrease their fear of trust or being harmed by police.

 

Annotated Bibliography

 

Delucchi, Simone. “Police Brutality Interview.” 4 Jan. 2018.

 

Simone Delucchi talked about her own experiences with police brutality. She talked about how it affected Oakland and her. She also said some opinions of the police system in Oakland. Simone is a credible source because she is a OUSD teacher and an Oakland community speaker.

 

Delucchi, Alma Owen. “Police Brutality Interview .” 6 Jan. 2018.

 

Alma talked about her experiences with police brutality. She is an senior in the Oakland community and had lots to share. She talked about the Oakland police system and her opinions about that. She also shared some stories about times with the police. She’s a credible source because she’s a retired teacher of OUSD and she’s a living resident in Oakland.

 

Fernandez, Lisa. “Oakland students #TakeAKnee at A’s game to protest police brutality, the president.” Oakland students #TakeAKnee at A’s game to protest police brutality, the president, KTVU, 26 Sept. 2017, PDT, www.ktvu.com/news/oakland-students-takeaknee-at-as-game-to-protest-police-brutality-the-president.

Students from OUSD took a knee at the A’s game while playing the national anthem as a way to protest for many reasons, including police brutality. It refers back to the Colin Kaepernick situation and they wanted to support them, along with A’s catcher, Bruce Maxwell. This source is credible because students from the OUSD community did this and at an Oakland baseball game.

 

Hyatt, Abraham. “Oakland, CA Spent $74 Million Settling 417 Police Brutality Lawsuits.” Oakland, CA Spent $74 Million Settling 417 Police Brutality Lawsuits | Prison Activist Resource Center, Prison Activist Resource Center , 14 Apr. 2014, www.prisonactivist.org/alerts/oakland-ca-spent-74-million-settling-417-police-brutality-lawsuits.

 

This website has many people’s cases and the details of their times with police brutality (not the exact full details of each case just minor ones). It explains about how Oakland had to spend so much money because of these cases victims of Police brutality take to court. It also puts in about how Oakland usually settles with cases, and Oakland’s police system being compared to other data of cities in California. This source is credible because the website is a prisoner activist site and therefore they have a lot of information on these topics for their use and others.

 

Meline, Gabe. “Remembering the Time Tupac Shakur Sued the Oakland Police for $10 Million.” Remembering the Time Tupac Shakur Sued the Oakland Police for $10 Million, KQED Arts, KQED POP, 16 June 2016, ww2.kqed.org/arts/2016/06/16/its-tupac-day-in-oakland-where-he-once-sued-the-police-for-10-million/.

 

The website discusses Tupac’s opinion of the Oakland Police department. Some things Tupac mentioned are in an interview section. Tupac’s relations to Oakland are also said. This source is credible because Tupac was a resident of Oakland, claimed Oakland, and had a physical problem and court problem with the Oakland police before.

 

Smith, John . “Police Brutality Interview .” 6 Jan. 2018.

 

John Smith discussed about the corruption of the police system in Oakland. He also told me about some stories of his time in San Francisco dealing with the racist and police brutality in the 60s. He also mentioned his opinion of the Oakland Police brutality. He is a credible source because he is a current Oakland senior living resident.

 

.


Oakland’s Police Department Untold Story

 

Oakland’s Police Department Untold Side

 

“Did you know that African-Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be shot and killed by a Police officer than a White American?”(Nodjimbadem). Over the years there have been some police officers that have used unnecessary force, Bobby Hutton as an example. Police officers in Oakland aren’t what people think of them, comparable to rude and racist because in a interview that was done by Alberto Martinez showed a side of humanity that is not seen by the community.

The community doesn’t see the officer’s side, and is usually because the people never hear their side. In a interview with Officer Millian he said, “..I mean we’re…we are Police officers we’re not robots or anything like that…we’re normal people we’re married, kids, grandparents…we have dogs, we love sports” (Millian). This quote shows that cops make mistakes and part of those mistakes are part of Police Brutality. When Millian states that they are not robots, he is trying to point out that they are human beings with lives that have jobs who are trying to live another day. In the quote when it addresses that they are similar to us, he is just trying to show that the OPD aren’t different than us.

Another side that the community does not see is that the Police officers are coming from another place and are trying to build a bond with the community but they are not able to do that because the community sees the negative instead of the positive. An article published by Paul Harris on “TheGuardian” talked about the connection between the OPD and African-American community, “But it is the major incidents that really stand out when examining how OPD polices its community,… In 1968 OPD officers shot and killed Bobby Hutton…involved in a shootout with police, but surrendered and stripped down to his underwear to show he was unarmed….he died after being shot…12 times. That incident…set a tone of discord between OPD and large segments of the city’s black community that has lasted until the present day. Community activists say too many OPD officers live outside the city…separating themselves from Oakland’s daily life.” (Harris) This quote points out that a reason why there is police brutality in Oakland is because the bond or connection isn’t as strong. The connection between the OPD and African-American community isn’t at its best because the Police are outsiders, and when the Police use force on some of the community members. In the perspective of the community it is an act of disrespectfulness.

Additionally the officers that were interviewed by Alberto they both said that they wanted police brutality gone and that just because an officer makes a mistake not all officers are the same. They want to be viewed differently as Officer Millian stated, “…I think me and my partner…what our job here to do is to…be approachable just like what you guys were doing today…and just kinda let the public know that were out here and were normal people and we’re here to help out… you know we represent what the community…and what people people hear.”(Officer Millian) The quote clarifies that there are Police officers who want to connect with the community, be part of the community and they are there to help out the community in any way they can. Just because one officer makes a mistake doesn’t mean they all will. In a example that Officer Millian gave was that if someone were to hire a painter to paint their house and they do a horrible job at it does that mean all painters are bad. So that is something you should really keep in mind. Something Officer Maley said that really stood out during the interview was, “I think a lot of the community doesn’t know exactly the calls were getting so a lot of the times were getting calls of people armed with a bat, people armed with a knife…and when you get there that’s not what it is so were going into a call thinking someone is armed with an item so you’re running all these scenarios through your head and if that person doesn’t doesn’t drop the item…there is a possible…that use force right”(Officer Maley) The interviewee is stating the side that people don’t know about at all. If people knew more about important details on the calls, then people might not even complain about Police Brutality because then the community can get an understanding of what happens/why. With more people knowing this and getting to understand and see the side of the officers, then more than likely will people actually have a change in perspective about Police Brutality.

Some may argue that even though not all Police officers have a part in Police Brutality, others may think that they are still racist or use racial stereotypes to profile someone when arresting or pulling over a person. The Oakland Police Department had been under research by Stanford and they found out that the officers from the department use plenty of racial bias, “1 in 4 African American men were arrested compared to 1 in 15 White people were arrested…certain more words were used more frequently… we found for black stops words that are associated with “probation”, “parole”, “arrest”, and “jail time” (Judd). In this quote from a video it just gives and provides people with not only a perspective that the Police officers aren’t connected with the community. But also allows people dislike Police officers. This states that Police officers still aren’t ready to connect with the community and the community won’t be ready to trust the OPD.

Overall, Police officers aren’t always what people think, they are human and they have lives parallel everyone does but most importantly their voices aren’t always heard and without their perspective people will always see the same old dominant narrative of racist, unnecessary use of force by Oakland Police officers.

 

Annotated Bibliography

 

Harris, Paul. “Oakland police: controversial history sets tone for city’s discord.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 26 Oct. 2011,

www.theguardian.com/world/blog/2011/oct/26/oakland-police-department-black-community.

 

The article talks about the discord between OPD and the African-American community because of Bobby Hutton’s death and how that has affected the trust and bond between the OPD and Oakland’s community. It also states how the Oakland Police officers would also set up the African-Americans to make them seem “guilty” and be able to use force on them for their enjoyment. The Guardian is a really reliable source because their quality of investigative journalism is really outstanding. I also know that none of the topics they wrote about or published was ever thought as bogus or fake. All of their information has been as precise as possible and they don’t publish an article without knowing if the information is false.

 

Judd, Jackie . “Study slams troubled Oakland police department for racial bias.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 15 June 2016, www.pbs.org/newshour/show/study-slams-troubled-oakland-police-department-for-racial-bias.

 

The article was about how the Oakland Police Department might not use excessive force but that the officers use racial bias when they pull over an African-American. Stanford did a 2 year study on the Oakland Police Department and they told Jacki Judd the results and what they saw.

Jackie Judd was a journalist for NPR and CBS Radio News, she was active in the non-profit health care sector. She graduated from American University of Washington, D.C. with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and government. Thanks to her she was able to put a face on health care policy by making small documentaries. At Kaiser Family Foundation she spent 10 years as a Vice President moderating health care events

 

Maley, Officer . “Police Brutality Interview.” 9 Jan. 2018.

 

The interview took place on 23rd street and 12 E street. Anabel approached the officer in order for Alberto to be able to interview the Oakland Police officers. Officer Maley is really trustworthy source because not only is she an Oakland Police officer but she also lives in Oakland. She has lived in Oakland for 2 years and I know that, that is enough time to not only get to become part of Oakland but also know the city. When I interviewed her I asked her what she thought about it and how she felt from a officers perspective. She said that she believed Police brutality is not right. Towards the end she said that we are not so different from you we are also human beings.

 

Millian, Officer . “Police Brutality Interview.” 9 Jan. 2018.

 

Interview took place in 23rd street and 12 E street. Anabel approached the officer in order for Alberto to be able to interview the Oakland Police officers.When I interviewed Officer Millian he was extremely calm. As the interview went on he was hugely thoughtful of his responses and I was also really amazed. I had asked him the similar questions as Officer Maley and they were about the same responses. But there was a question I asked him, how he felt when people see one officer use unneeded force on a civilian and then everyone painted all officers with the same brush. He said, “I mean think about it this way…you hire a painter to paint your house but he does a bad job, that doesn’t meant all painters are bad painters it just means that specific painter is a bad painter” (Officer Millian). That response really just exploded my mind because even though that really true I just had never thought of it that way. I believe that Officer Millian is a strong reliable source because as stated with Officer Maley they are officers of Oakland. Officer Millian does live in Oakland, he has lived in Oakland for 4 years and over those year he has seen a ton of diversity over the years especially in the community by the Cesar Chavez school.

 

Nodjimbadem, Katie. “The Long, Painful History of Police Brutality in the U.S.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 27 July 2017, www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/long-painful-history-police-brutality-in-the-us-180964098/.

 

Katie wrote about the history of Police Brutality in the U.S.. She also wrote about the history of Police Departments and how they were established; there was also some information about how there were laws to get around Police Brutality and oppression without letting the U.S. see what was really going on. Katie Nodjimbadem is a immensely strong suitable source. She has a Bachelor’s in Science of Journalism and Magazine Journalism. That a big piece of evidence that shows Katie is not playing around with her articles because she worked her tail off for her Bachelor’s and she wouldn’t just write about something fake or imprecise, then posting it. She wouldn’t do that because her career as a journalist means a mass to her is she got a Bachelor’s in journalism.

 


How Police Brutality Affects People of Color in Oakland    

Why is police brutality common in Oakland? In the article, Oakland police: controversial history sets tone for city’ discord. Harris states, “White people account for only 16% of OPD vehicle stops, and 6.7% of motorists searched. Black people in Oakland, by contrast, account for a whopping 48% of vehicle stops, and 65.8% of motorists searched” (Harris). Police brutality can lead to violence and death but is there any way for police to stop targeting People of Color the most?

To begin, police brutality is a problem in Oakland because many police officers target mostly all People of Color because of stereotypes and there is no process to discipline police officers who act wrong. In the article “Street Stories in Oakland”  by Stacy Johnson. Johnson points out, “Police brutality in Oakland, California is a reality that goes unaddressed far too often…Oakland’s process for disciplining police officers accused of wrongdoing is a broken and inadequate system that has evaded the public’s scrutiny for too long” (Johnson). This shows that police overuse their power by going too far and doing something wrong. Also, it points out that if police assumes a Person of Color is pulling out a gun they will pull the trigger and end up killing someone who could be innocent. But People of Color might be trying to show that they are unarmed. Lastly, police are stereotyping People of Color by assuming that they are dangerous. This article is trustworthy because it had a lot of statistics about how many People of Color police have killed. This shows that police brutality is a problem in Oakland because police underestimate people and just end up killing them. Furthermore I interviewed Angel Calmo who lived in Oakland for about 16 years he explains, “Police go way too far because they think their in control of society and we as People of Color and taxpayers we pay them to protect the community and serve the country with respect but police are not doing any of that instead killing people who didn’t do anything wrong”(Calmo). This clarifies that People of Color who live in Oakland pay their taxes to give police an opportunity to do their job and do what they are supposed to be doing correctly but they go too far. This statement is trustworthy because Calmo has experienced and seen things that police have been doing wrong generation by generations. Additionally in the article “Law Enforcement killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 percent were black” by Alex Barreira and Arielle Swedback they wrote, “These deadly encounters were just three of the 90 officer-involved killings of Oakland residents since 2000…The most alarming discovery: 74 percent of Oakland residents killed by law enforcement between 2000 and 2016 were Black men and women” (Barreira and Swedback). This explains that when police encounter People of Color, police  are more likely to hurt or kill People of Color. This shows that throughout the years there are more People of Color in Oakland being targeted by police and the number has been increasing. Lastly, this point out that police are stereotyping People of Color since it is 74 percent of black women and men that had been stopped by the color of their skin. This source is trustworthy because it had a lot of information about what was happening in Oakland and many statistics showing the rate of how many people of color have been killed. Moreover, I also interviewed Silvia Mendoza about why do do other people think People of Color are targeted by the police she states, “Police think that they are immigrants and take them away from this country and well this is  one of many problems in Oakland and police focus more on other things that don’t matter like sideshows than worrying about killing innocent People of Color” (Mendoza). This shows that when police have to deal with a certain job they focus mainly on something that isn’t that much of a “big” problem such as sideshowsy instead of worrying about who they just shot and if they were even unarmed. This also shows that police aren’t being taught what is wrong and right in situations when they have done something

Others may say that police are doing a great job for this city in the article “Stanford big data study finds racial disparities in Oakland, Calif., police behavior, offers solutions” by Stanford University they explained how they are finding more and more data from police and what they could improve they wrote, “Police agencies are guided by the commitment to serve communities with fairness, respect and honor” (Stanford University). In other words this quote means that some people think that police are doing what they are supposed to be doing and are following the rules they are supposed to follow. This source is trustworthy because it was posted in 2016 which was posted recently. Also because they weren’t being biased about they were talking about.

In conclusion, I believe police brutality is a problem in Oakland because most police don’t worry about what is important and target mostly People of Color in most situations they are in. Also police are not being trained to do what they are supposed to be doing correctly and are stereotyping People of Color by assuming they are armed.

                                                 Annotated Bibliography

 

Swedback, Alex Barreira and Arielle. “Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black.” East Bay Express, East Bay Express, 9 Jan. 2018, www.eastbayexpress.com/Oakland/law-enforcement-killed-90-Oakland-residents-since-2000-and-74-percent-were-black/Content?oid=4940357. This article talked about who were the people who got killed by the police and it talk about the most police have been killed are black men and woman. Also it was published recently so there probably are data from now.

 

Calmo, Angel. “Police brutality in oakland.” Jan. 2018.

I interviewed Angel Calmo about police brutality because he had a lot to say about the topic and had some experience with the police but not that much negative. Also because he has been living in Oakland almost his whole life and probably has seen or heard of someone who got killed by police and are innocent.

 

Johnson, Stacy. “Oakland Under Arrest: Policing the Police – A Brief History of the Oakland Police Department.” Street Stories: Oakland, www.streetstoriesOakland.com/items/show/40. This article talks about how there has been many arrests in Oakland and how its gone too far. This source is trustworthy because it had a lot of information about police brutality happening around Oakland.

 

Mendoza, Silvia. “Police brutality in Oakland.” Jan. 2018.

I interviewed SIlvia Mendoza because she is very against police brutality and hates that police only target people of color. Also because she wanted to address what the community does for the police to be in Oakland but are not doing their job. Silvia is trustworthy because she has been living here almost her whole life and had very explicit information about police brutality.

 

University, Stanford. “Stanford big data study finds racial disparities in Oakland, Calif., police behavior, offers solutions.” Stanford News, 11 Aug. 2016, news.stanford.edu/2016/06/15/stanford-big-data-study-finds-racial-disparities-oakland-calif-police-behavior-offers-solutions/.

This article talked about both sides how police brutality is bad for Oakland and are trying to find ways they can fix police brutality. Also it talks about what other think other than being against police brutality. This source is trustworthy because it is not being biased throughout the source also it was uploaded recently.


The Effects of Police Brutality in Oakland

The Effects of Police Brutality in Oakland

Black innocent people are getting killed every day by the Police in Oakland, California. What are we going to do to stand up to this oppression? This been happening for almost 50 years, as explained by the Guardian that, “In 1968 OPD officers shot and killed Bobby Hutton. The 17-year-old Black Panther party member was involved in a shootout with police, but surrendered and stripped down to his underwear to show he was unarmed. However, he died after being shot by police at least 12 times” (The Guardian). Shot 12 times… This problem isn’t a new issue that just began to happen.  Why do People of Color get targeted more than White people? Do humans really believe that People of Color are dangerous? How many more People of Color need to be murdered by the police for the community, government, and the president to do something about it? Let’s face it, police brutality has been going on for years, but now we can stand up and do something about it.

People of Color are getting stereotyped as dangerous people and this causes them to be more targeted by the police than white people. This is true because there are many People of Color that get killed, forced down, or/ end up in jail for something they didn’t do because of the stereotypes that society made on People of Color and it is important that people in Oakland keep standing up to this.

People of Color get targeted more by police because they are stereotyped as criminals and as a threat to others. This is true because there are more Black people than White people in Oakland who are being discriminated by their skin color. To begin, In an article “Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black” by Alex Barreira and Arielle Swedback, it explains “The most alarming discovery: 74 percent of Oakland residents killed by law enforcement between 2000 and 2016 were Black men and women” (Barreira and Swedback). This is showing how People of Color are getting targeted more than people who are White. This is important because the more that police keep killing those who are of color, the less safe they feel. 74% of black man and women are getting killed by some law enforcement, this can cause a big problem to our community because People of Color will start to be scared of the police thinking that they are going to get killed. This source is credible because it was published August 16 2016, which was two years ago and the information was to educate people about the problems that police has on Oakland community. Moreover, In one of my interviewees with Rafa Morales he discusses a similar feeling. Morales was born in Mexico but spent most of his life in Oakland. He is a trustworthy source because he has seen many Black people being judged because of their skin color, Morales mentioned, “I think police brutality has impacted the community in very different ways… for example, cops mostly stop someone who is black then someone who is white. They get targeted more because they are discriminated and there is a lot of stereotypes and ignorance that black people are bad” (Morales). This matters because police brutality is really affecting Oakland in a awful way. Police will more likely stop someone who is of color because they look “suspicious”. An important phrase is “there is a lot of stereotypes and ignorance that black people are bad”. The interviewee said this because that is what many people think when it come to black people. In the same way in the book, “Our America” by LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman, LeAlan expressed, “Rodney King—when I see this, I get mad. Because this is nothing to me— just beating the hell out of another nigger. I’ve seen police beat people in the street—beat ‘em with fist and with bats”(59). This is important because all around the world there is People of Color being treated awful by the police and there is no charge to the police that kill or/ and hit other innocent people. Rodney king was a 25 year old innocent Black man that was brutally beaten by 4 white Los Angeles police. The police kicked and hit king 56 times leaving searious damaged. Even though this didn’t happen in Oakland it is happening all over California and that is a problem. People of Color have the same rights as White people but it seems that police sometimes think that they should be treated differently because they are “dangerous people”. This book is a trustworthy source because it was the read interviews in the book that explained the lives of those People of Color that lived in the Ida B. Wells. The book purpose is to show the violence that many young kids have to see and not to judge Black people.

Secondly, Police officers sometimes are too quickly to react when they see a Person of Color because they think People of Color are awful people since that is what society stereotyped them as, and this can cause police officers to be scared of what might happen and they will shoot. To start, In a source called “Police Brutality in the Bay Area” by Elia G states,“At Fruitvale Station in Oakland, a white BART police officer brutally murdered a twenty-two-year-old black man. According to witness testimonies, Oscar was on his way home with his girlfriend when the officers asked him to get off BART. They asked him to get on the floor with his hands on his head, and Oscar did as told. When Oscar tried to answer a phone call, a white police officer held him down, took out his revolver, and shot him”(G). The police are making their lives more strenuous to People of Color. The article focused on a African- American man that was killed by a white police, this is biased to People of Color because they are being brought down by police when they did nothing wrong like Oscar. In Oakland there is innocent people getting killed every day for a crime that they might not have commited. There is several Black man that get killed by police because they look “suspicious”. The quotes is explaining how Oscar was an innocent men that was minding his own business. This is a credible source because I started to do more reasher about the topic and the 22 year old man that got shot and also found out others articles that also talk about the same topic that this article did. The article was also published on 2015 which was pretty recent. Similarly to what one of my interviewee reported, “Because there is people that don’t think about what they are doing and the police feels threatened so they shoot” (Bernal). Bernal is a credible source because she has the authority to share her opinion about police brutality since she lived in Oakland for 16 years. Bernal share her opinion about what is happening now and in the last few years. This quote is important because with all the stereotypes there is about People of Color police are scared that they end up shooting those people who are innocent and did nothing wrong. But police should not be too fast to react because most People of Color who end up being shot are trying to show the police that they have no guns and that they won’t attack. Sometimes the police can see that they are unarmed but end up shooting them and once the world gets the news the police officers said it was a mistake, even though it wasn’t really a mistake and they did shoot them because they believe all the dominant narratives that others say about People of Color.

Moreover, people should stand up to the oppression that police are bring on to People of Color. People can do this by not stereotyping others thinking that they are bad just because of their skin color. People can also support movements like Black Lives Matter to raise awareness about police brutality. Firstly, In an articled, “What Black Lives Matters Still Matters” by Peniele. Joseph, Joseph states, “Without the consciousness-raising of the Black Power movement…there would be no free breakfasts in public schools (an outgrowth of hot-meal programs launched by the Black Panthers)”( Joseph). This is a trustworthy source because it was published in 2017 and it is pretty reason. Peniel E. Joseph is the founder of the “Black Power Studies” so he has the right to about the problems that racial proffering brings on People of Color. This matters because without standing up to the racism there wouldn’t be any of the good things that we have now. Free breakfast in school was brought by the Black Panthers and without them there would be People of Color paying for their food. Standing up to the oppression that police brings on People of Color there could be less people getting scared that they will get killed or badly hurt when they come close to a police officer. There are dominant narratives about People of Color that aren’t true, such as they are all criminals, that they steal things, and kill other people. The dominant narratives are mostly said by those who are in power and they don’t know the real life of People of Color such as White people. But the counter narratives about People of Color is that they have a hard life because they get discriminated and face so much problems with the police. The counter narratives are about people who have experienced the oppression and they are mostly silence by those who are in power. It is very unfair that People of Color are getting discriminated because of their skin color. There are stories in the internet that talk about a White person who killed or hurt another person and they don’t get serious charges and some don’t even get jail time. But on the other hand if a Black person hurts or kills another person it is all over the news and they get jail time for mostly their whole life and get serious charges. It is important for people to stand up to this oppression to make the world a better place and a make the community fair for everyone no matter what skin color they have. Some people believe that police brutality has stopped because we don’t hear from it as much. I agree it has lower a little but it’s not over, People of Color all around Oakland are being discriminated by others because of their skin color. Just because we don’t hear from the oppression that People of Color face, doesn’t mean that it stopped completely. Based on the evidence that is being shown innocent black man are getting killed or/ and put in jail for a crime that they didn’t commit.

In conclusion,  People of Color are getting targeted more by the police than white people. This is true because there are many articles that talks about People of Color getting killed, forced down, or/ end up in jail for something they didn’t do because of the stereotypes that society made on People of Color and it is important for people in Oakland to keep standing up to this discrimination and make the community a better/ safe place.

 

 

Annotated Bibliography

 

Bernal, Aydet. “Police Brutality in Oakland.” 22 Dec. 17.

I interviewed Aydet Bernal about police brutality in Oakland. We discussed about how police brutality affects the community in Oakland and what can we do to stop innocent people getting hurt. Aydet is a credible person because she had lived in Oakland 16 years. Aydet is a person of color that gets discriminated because of her skin color.

 

Jones, Newman, and Isay, LeAlan, Lloyd, and David. Our America!Ideals Pub. Corp., 1991.

The book “Our America” is about 2 boys in Chicago that live in Ida B. Wells (ghetto) that share the story about their lives and how hard it is to live there. The book focus on teaching people to not stereotype people of color because we don’t know what they have to go through. This book is a trustworthy source because it was the read interviews in the book that explained the lives of those People of Color that lived in the Ida B. Wells. The book purpose is to show the violence that many young kids have to see and not to judge Black people.

 

Joseph, Peniel E. “Why Black Lives Matter Still Matters.” New Republic, 6 Apr. 2017, newrepublic.com/article/141700/black-lives-matter-still-matters-new-form-civil-rights-activism.

This article was about how Black Lives Matters movement cause some positive outcomes . The article focused on how standing up to racial profiling and police brutality can cause People of Color lives to change for the better. This is a trustworthy source because it was published in 2017 and it is pretty reason. Peniel E. Joseph is the founder of the “Black Power Studies” so he has the right to about the problems that racial proffering brings on People of Color.

 

Morales, Rafa. “Police Brutality in Oakland.” 5 Jan. 2018.

In this interview we talked about police brutality. We focused mostly on how officers stop people of color more than people who are white. Rafa Morales is a trustworthy source because he has learned about police brutality in his school years. I have known him for a while now and he focused on educating people about problems that he has experience that include the police.

 

Elia G. “Police Brutality in the Bay Area.” 826 Valencia, 826valencia.org/police-brutality/.

The article was about the oppression and fear that police brings on the community. The article focused on a 22- year- old African American that was getting on the Fruitvale BART and got killed by the police because the police officer thought that he had a gun. The article also talks about people in California who got discriminated by the police. This is a credible source because I started to do more reasher about the topic and the 22 year old man that got shot and also found out others articles that also talk about the same topic that this article did. The article was also published on 2015 which was pretty recent.

 

Swedback, Alex Barreira and Arielle. “Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black.” East Bay Express, East Bay Express, 16 Aug. 2016, www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/law-enforcement-killed-90-oakland-residents-since-2000-and-74-percent-were-black/Content?oid=4940357.

This article examines the number of people of color that were killed because of a police. The article focus on how many women and men of color were affected in an unacceptable way by the police in Oakland. This source is credible because it was published August 16 2016, which was two years ago and the information was to educate people about the problems that police has on Oakland community.


“Why Me?” asked Kahlil

This infographic  was inspired after I read  the Book “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas and it questioned why   character Khalil  had to die.


How Does Police Brutality Affect The Community?

 

Over the years there has been multiple people killed by police officers for example,Yuvette Henderson, Demouria Hogg and Richard Linyard from Oakland, CA. Why don’t people in the community talk about police brutality? They don’t talk about it because they know it all leads back to oppression and racism. People of color have been dealing with more police brutality than other races. Police departments have been spending more money on cases rather than schools.

Oakland has been spending more money on lawsuits about police brutality than in schools, after school programs etc. For example in the article “Oakland Police Misconduct Cases Raise Questions on Oversight” they declare, “ In addition to the $13.6 millions, the departments invested millions in new technology such as body cameras,computer servers and computerized systems to help evaluate officer performances and adhere to the court agreement. In her 2015-17 budget, Mayor Libby Schaaf created two new auditor positions and a civilian director of internal affairs in the Police Department,which add up to $520,000 a year…. That’s a lot of money for a city like Oakland. It could have been spent on Head start programs” (San Francisco Chronicle). The mayor of Oakland has been spending more money in Police Departments in order for them to have better technology to better deal with crimes in a better way instead of the money going to schools, the money could be used to create better programs, sport teams etc. This source is credible because it is an established newspaper that is known and it’s from the Bay Area. All Oakland schools should provide after school programs which can help prevent more crimes. In the article “Benefits for Youth, Families and community” explained, “ Effective afterschool programs can improve classroom behavior, school attendance,academic aspiration  and can reduce the likelihood that a student will drop out” (Youth.gov). Many schools are still being affected by the budget cut that the district has made. If there are no teachers, programs etc, this all leads to students being exposed to a bad environment since they would not have any type of way to get the proper education they need. If students do go into a bad environment then it could all lead to police brutality.

On the other hand, if there was after school provided to students then they are less likely to commit crimes. This source is trustworthy because the person who wrote this article cleary interviewed different people from the community so they were diverse sources. Moreover, More People of Color have been killed than any other race. In the article, “The Long Painful History of Brutality in the US” by Katie Nodjimbadem, it explains “Blacks are 2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers”(Nodjimbadem). This source is credible because the Katie N compared statistics from different places to one another to see how the rates of police brutality have grown. This article explains that People of Color are a bigger target than White folks. This brings back on how oppression keeps being an enormous problem. People in many communities don’t realize how much the oppression has grown. Even innocent People of Color have gotten killed. If People of Color are continuously being killed and police officers do not learn what they are doing is wrong. This situation later creates a bigger problem since most likely police officers have/will always have more power than anyone in the community. Us, as a community, should be able to speak up and not be scared of police officers. They should be able to hear our voices and how they should learn to protect the community not hurt others. Moreover, As stated by one of my interviewees, “ I am very against Police Brutality I think it’s sad how most of the time people getting killed are innocent,I think African Americans are a bigger target because if you see the news most of the time the people being killed are African Americans ” (Sanchez). Even people from the community in Oakland are justifying how African Americans are the bigger target. There has been protest about the racism that leads to Police Brutality but the community do not seem to listen. This source is credible because my interviewee is a resident from Oakland so she would understand how police brutality is a big deal in Oakland. As I interviewed a teacher from an Oakland Unified District school about police brutality Ms.Pippen stated, “I am against police brutality and I think it has to do with Police Officers not getting the proper training they need in order to prevent the violence that goes on, cops should be able to protect the community not hurt one another” (Pippen). Ms. Pippen explained how police brutality affects the community and that youth could be influenced with the violence that is going on and can lead to more violence. She is a credible source because she works in a high school were students of the Oakland Unified School District have been taught about depression and how we as a community can work harder to fight the oppression.Some may argue that spending money on body cameras and civilian could be good items because that way Police Departments can help with all of the criminal activities going on. In the article “ Study shows police body cameras are good for the community and for the police” talks about the many ways body cameras will help communities for example, “We believe the use of body cameras will strengthen community, improve accountability and transparency , protect our officers from false complaint and provide valuable evidence for prosecutors” (Walter Einenkel). Since there has been more body cameras there has been able to prevent more police brutality by seeing how the police officer and the person react to the problem they are having, which means less violence. It will also help inmates that are already in jail and they will be able to have more evidence if they are in trial whether they are guilty or not. This source is trustworthy because it specifically talks about camera bodies and the cameras actually help an environment with violence.

In conclusion, if there is less money for schools then the chances are higher for people to commit crimes that could lead to police brutality.

 

Annotated Bibliography

 

“Benefits for Youth, Families and Communities .” Youth.gov, youth.gov/youth-topics/afterschool-programs/benefits-youth-families-and-communities. On January 16, 2018 I did research on how after school programs could be effective. It explained how schools are better off with after school programs because they help improve a students behavior. This source is credible because they are articles that are from the government, they have no reason to lie about statistics that make students react better.

 

Sanchez, Jennifer. “Police Brutality Interview .” 1 Jan. 2018.

 

On January 9th,2018 I interviewed a student that attends Oakland Unified School District. I was able to ask her what her perspective on police brutality was. She is a credible source because she has been learning about oppression, she is against something very serious and is part of the Oakland community which means she knows about the oppression going on.

 

“Study shows police body cameras are good for the community and for the police .” Daily Kos , 13 Oct. 2015, www.dailykos.com/stories/2015/10/13/1431583/-Study-shows-police-body-cameras-are-good-for-the-community-and-for-the-police.

On January 16 ,2018 I did research on how body cameras are helpful. For example on how the body cameras are able to capture every move in order to prevent Police Brutality.

 

Oakland Police misconduct cases raise questions on oversight .” San Francisco Chronicles , 10 July 2016, www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-police-misconduct-cases-raise-doubts-on-8350857.php.

On January 14 I did research on how the city of Oakland has been overspending on better items for the Oakland Police Department to use instead of the money being spent on after school programs etc. This source is credible because the San Francisco Chronicles is a newspaper that is very well known.

 

“The Long Painful History of Brutality in the U.S.” Translated by Katie Nodjimbadem, “The Long Painful History of Brutality, Katie Nodjiml, 27 July 2017, www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/long-painful-history-police-brutality-in-the-us-180964098/.

On January 8th,2018 I did research about Police Brutality I decided to go on this article because it was bringing back history of the US which leads to all of what is happening this year. This source is trustworthy because the date has been recent and has precise information.

 

 


A Letter to the Policeman

My people don’t like you badge wearing knuckleheads,

that’s just where we at.

Screaming “ All lives matter “  is a protest against my protest,

what kind of” ish”“ is that?

 

I’m sorry you can never feel our life,

tryna have faith, but we never felt alright.

It’s very hard to elevate when this country is run by whites.

 

Young black men tryna find jobs but didn’t get calls back yet.

Now they gotta sell drugs to put food in their cabinet.

Yall wanna copy our slang and everything that we know.

Tryna steal Black culture and then make it’s your own.

We can’t even drive without cops tryna start ish.

 Were tired of the systematic racism bull-ish.

All you care about is a badge and power and

 being ugly and that’s the policeman within you.

 

Hatred all in your brain, it slowly starts to convince you,

Then you’ll teach it to your children, then the cycle continues.

 

I praise 2Pac like he was a ‘fuckin’ God

He was fighting for his life way before he “fuckin” died.

    

Can’t erase the scars with a bandage.

I’m hopin’ maybe we can come to an understandin’.

 

It’s like we livin’ in the same buildin’ but splittin’ into  two sides,

We still don’t like you,

But there’s two sides to every story and now you know mine.


Something to live for, Something to die for

This piece was inspired by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give  

This piece exemplifies the butterfly effect, such as changing the past will affect the future greatly. Natasha is the speaker of the poem she was killed in a drive-by and her best friend Starr saw it all…Now, what would happen if Natasha did not get shot?  How would this effects Starr future?

 

Coldly lying there

You look as if you are a mannequin

Tears pouring down my eyes

I touch your smooth skin that they layered with foundation for a disguise

The layers were there only to hide what they had done

Because beneath them I can still see the stitches that were placed

But now that you are gone they will forever be erased.

 

Flashbacks in my head renewed

A sleepover in the middle of June

Laughing and playing.

Little did we know the next morning in the street you’d be laying

Lifeless, as blood trickled through your beautiful curly hair that always smelled like coconut oil

And we didn’t know when we were laughing and playing that you’d be buried 6 ft beneath the soil.

 

They knew who you were and moving wasn’t enough

King had to get revenge on your dad even if it meant he would be cuffed.

But I was going to miss you

This was an issue

This wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t still alive.

For you to live I had to die.

 

The night grew on and I couldn’t sleep

I couldn’t eat

I am 10 and I always was

When I awake

I am in my room and it was all dream

Outside I hear the sounds of ice cream …

I hear other kids playing in the fire hydrant

Laughter and happiness and not one siren.

 

I am running out in my bathing suit coming to find you

Pushing through Mav’s store door with no clue

No clue what was going to happen

I pulled you out and in the fire hydrant, we began to play.

Until BANG… BANG …BANG

 

Turns out that the coconut oil was the blood that was running through my hair

But I would never have had it any other way

If it meant for you to see another beautiful day

Although now so high my soul will soar.

Because Starr you are “Something to live for and something to die for”


Why is police brutality such an issue?

Police brutality is one of the most polarizing issues in the nation today. I hesitate to even write these words because I know I will be criticized for my point-of-view. But it’s an issue that needs to be talked about.

First off, there are so many reported cases of police brutality and corruption that it would not be possible to list them all. So I’ll stick to something more recent:

“It was around 4 a.m. on Dec. 5 when Natalio Conde woke to the sound of men moving through his railroad apartment on Brook Avenue in the Bronx. He was frightened. Ninety-two years old and in fragile health, he knew he was no match for intruders. Then he heard a commotion and saw his brother-in-law, Mario Sanabria, 69, in the doorway. Mr. Sanabria had lived with him for seven years, looking after his food and medicine in return for room and board. The lights went on. Mr. Conde said he saw a burly man pushing Mr. Sanabria into the room, holding him by the collar. They were close together, no more than a foot apart, he recalled. Mr. Conde pulled the sheet up over his head and lay back, pretending to be asleep. ‘What’s happening?’ he heard Mr. Sanabria say in Spanish. Then he heard a shot. ‘It was like a bomb going off,’ he said. The men turned out not to be robbers, but New York City police officers from the elite Emergency Service Unit executing a search warrant. Dressed in tactical uniforms, they had broken down the door without warning and searched the apartment, room to room. A few hours later, the Police Department’s chief of patrol, Terence A. Monahan, said that Mr. Sanabria, who spoke no English, had confronted two of the officers with a machete. Mr. Sanabria refused an order to drop the weapon and came toward them, the chief said. An officer, later identified as Detective Ruben Leon, fatally shot him once in the chest. Mr. Conde said that in the seconds before he took cover, he did not see a machete in his friend’s hand. The machete that the police recovered belonged to him, he said, not to Mr. Sanabria. It was a souvenir from the Caribbean — and he kept it behind a door in his room. He said he doubted Mr. Sanabria even knew where it was. The family of Mr. Sanabria, who worked for decades at an ice cream factory in the South Bronx, has sharply disputed the police account of his shooting. The police were not looking for Mr. Sanabria, but for his nephew, Miguel Conde. The officers had received information that Mr. Conde — Natalio Conde’s 38-year-old son — had a gun and narcotics in the apartment, the police said. But they found no drugs or weapons, beyond a crumbling stub of a marijuana cigarette and a pocketknife, Miguel Conde said in an interview. Mr. Conde had been taken into custody when he showed up at the building hours after the shooting, but after being questioned for several hours, he was released with a summons for the marijuana and the knife.”

I am not cherry picking here. If you want to find more accounts, you’ll find them. Don’t worry, it won’t be hard to find. With the technology we have today, we are able to broadcast the problem with ease, “Today, live streaming, tweets and Facebook posts have blasted the incidents of police brutality.”

But back to the above account. There are so many things wrong here. But I want to focus on one aspect, an aspect that is summed up by the family’s lawyer: ““Five police officers can’t figure out a better way to take down a guy who is 69 years old and all of 5-4 and 160 pounds, other than shooting him the chest?” Police officers are supposedly well-trained to deal with violence and intense situations, yet shooting the man was immediately resorted to. Why? If the man was putting up a struggle, why not use a baton or a Taser, why the gun?

This can represent two things. Police officers are in a power position and they love exercising that power onto other people, or the police officers are in fear and they resort to violence for the fastest solution. Whichever is the case, there is definitely a problem here, no one can deny it. Having cameras attached to the police officers, like some states have implemented, helps a lot, but it needs to be so they can’t turn it off or “unexpectedly turn off”. Or if the problem lies in the ladder, more funding and attention should be given to the training of police officers to combat that fear. Now I’m sure it’s stressful to be a cop, but unfortunately cops have a huge responsibility, and we as citizens have the right, and duty, to ask more from our police force.

 

 


Adultification of Black Babes

Are Black Children Forced to Grow Up Faster Than White Children

YES Black kids are forced to grow up quicker than their white counterparts- that is, they are seen as adults much sooner than white children. Most societies afford children special qualities and privileges, innocence being chief among them-this is a privilege not extended to  black kids, This may sound absurd, after all, children are children and everyone ages at the same rate- no one is 18 until they’re 18. However society has forced black children into adulthood well before their time.

According to research published by the American Psychological Association, black boys are perceived as older and inherently less innocent than their white counterparts. This has huge and sometimes violent and deadly ramifications, when police show this same bias. In the study 264 mostly white female undergraduates rated the innocence of people- infants to 25 years old. When the kids were nine years or younger, no matter the race, the level of perceived innocence was the same. However when kids were 10 years old, the average age of black boys was overestimated by four and-a-half years (Phillip Atiba Goff PhD). They also were rated as less innocent. The reason that seeing kids as older than they are is harmful is that, society understands that adults can be held more responsible for their actions and that kids may not understand the extent of what they’re doing, or may not have been able to control themselves. When this same courtesy is not extended to black children, they are left looking more responsible. The special brand of understanding and compassion reserved for kids that doesn’t go to them, leaving  them vulnerable in the worst possible ways.      

The adultification of black children is also evident in the justice system by the amount of black children tried as adults. According to WNYC |New York Public Radio, about 68% of all the minors prosecuted in the state of New Jersey had their prosecutor request to try them as adults (Sarah Gonzales ).

Outside of black children being tried as adults, even when tried as the children they are, they are given harsher and longer sentences than their age mates of different races. They are also disciplined more harshly in school settings. Even in preschool, children aged around four year old, black kids, although they make up only 18% of the preschool population, make up nearly 50% of out of school suspensions(NPR). This again shows that even at tender preschool ages, black kids are somehow more responsible for their actions. That every infraction, no matter the size, committed by a black child had malicious intent behind it.

By not being afforded the luxury of innocence, black children are having their childhood effectively taken from them.  

 

Works Cited

“Black Girls Viewed As Less Innocent Than White Girls, Georgetown Law Research Finds.” Black Girls Viewed As Less Innocent Than White Girls, Georgetown Law Research Finds – Georgetown Law, https://www.law.georgetown.edu/news/press-releases/Black-Girls-Viewed-As-Less-Innocent-Than-White-Girls-Georgetown-Law-Research-Finds.cfm

 

“Kids in Prison: Getting Tried as An Adult Depends on Skin Color.” WNYC, www.wnyc.org/story/black-kids-more-likely-be-tried-adults-cant-be-explained/.

http://www.wnyc.org/story/black-kids-more-likely-be-tried-adults-cant-be-explained/

 

American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/03/black-boys-older.aspx.

http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/03/black-boys-older.as

 

“Racial Inequality in Youth Sentencing.” Working to end the practice of sentencing children to life in prison without the possibility of parole, fairsentencingofyouth.org/the-issue/advocacy-resource-bank/racial-inequality-in-youth-sentencing/.

http://fairsentencingofyouth.org/the-issue/advocacy-resource-bank/racial-inequality-in-youth-sentencing/

 

“Black Preschoolers Far More Likely To Be Suspended.” NPR, NPR, 21 Mar. 2014, www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/03/21/292456211/black-preschoolers-far-more-likely-to-be-suspended.


The Time Is Now

We’ve all seen or heard of the NFL and NBA players kneeling, raising their fists, or etc during the national anthem. They immediately got the attention they wanted but in doing this they also received unwanted attention and people started to believe they were insulting our soldiers by kneeling or raising a fist during the N.A. You can tell that they got even more attention when our president tweeted about wanting to fire all the players who participated in this.

These people who are risking their jobs are trying to get the word out that they’re not happy with the things happening in our country and now is the time to act, not later, not never, not soon, Now is the time to act because if we don’t act now we never will until it’s too late.


Not Allowed To Fight For Our Rights?

I feel like the athletes that are kneeling during the national anthem are right as far as the motive but have the delivery. It’s very understandable that people feel like they’re trying to disrespect the military and people who have lost their lives for our country. One thing people are failing to realize that is that they aren’t trying to disrespect anyone, but they’re trying to bring attention and light to a nationwide problem that is being looked past way to easily. People don’t understand because they have never had an encounter with social injustice but they should still understand that people are getting killed by the very task force that is supposed to be protecting and serving us. If we can’t rely on the force that’s suppose to protect us then who do we go to when we need help?

Another problem with this crisis is that people are so quick to assume it’s bad or turn their heads because the situation doesn’t really affect them. People should care no matter whether it affects them or not because it’s just the right thing to do but instead, people are getting mad at kneeling athletes for trying to stop these racially motivated crimes and make sure all people of color get their rights as a U.S. citizen. social injustice is probably one of the top hidden problems in the U.S. right now and has been for generations and our athletes are just trying to help bring awareness and attention to that, nothing more nothing less.

 


For What Will You Stand?

“…O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

One of the most quoted lines Francis Scott Key wrote.  He probably did not think his poem “Defence of Fort M’Henry” would become a part of today’s National Anthem which is such an attribute in today’s society, centuries later.

Though, I do not typically participate in political disputes or politics for my own reasons, I do, like everyone else, have an opinion on this specific matter. As of late, there have been some athletes who are taking a knee during the National Anthem.  They feel as though they are taking a stand against the unfair treatment happening to African Americans and other minorities projected from police and other government officials within the United States.  Those that are against taking a knee during the National Anthem will say it is disrespectful to the men and women fighting for our country.

Football player, Colin Kaepernick, began a protest in his own way by not standing for the National Anthem.  In turn, many people tried to state that he was going against America.  He was displaying his own form of nationalism.  His message was to show he disagrees with the current state affairs in America. Kaepernick stated, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”  This was his way of trying to publicly announce that discrimination of any kind to anyone is inappropriate.

There are many possible ways for this protest to be resolved, yet the government is making all the wrong moves to solve this problem. If it were not for a stubborn president and other government officials, this protest could be stopped easily without adding more fuel to the fire. But nothing is that easy when it comes to the government and its laws. Trump tried to punish the athletes for not standing and that caused more of an outrage.  I feel as though Colin Kaepernick has every right to take a stand against the National Anthem at a time like this.

“…O’re the land of the free and the home of the brave” is meant for everyone to be treated as equals and to have a fair opportunity within the United States.

He is a public figure who has the voice to speak for the “Little Guy” who is mistreated as an American.  Since the game, there has been much slander as well as the termination of his contract.  I do not agree with this at all.  It is an act of unjust. Which again goes against the National Anthem.


Should we really take a knee?

America can only be great if people make it great, and not standing for the National Anthem is one mistake of many. Americans should be proud of the country that they live in, but most are not and their symbolism of not standing during the National Anthem shows it. As an American Football Player, you are a public figure in the spotlight and everyone is watching you. Make positive moves about and toward our country because you are representing it. A lot of debate has bee going on stating ” When one believes the United States is not living to its’ ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all, refusing to stand for the flag and the the National Anthem is appropriate and justified,” which some people may believe, but our soldiers who fight, die and risk their lives for the flag, and our freedom, should be respected and standing for the National Anthem shows that respect!


Is it because im black

I believe that it is our rights to not stand for the national anthem. our right to sit for the national anthem is starting to anger people. the anthem talks about freedom and black people still don’t have rights and being killed for no reason meanwhile the people that are killing us are being let free. people sit and kneel to show a peaceful, legal protest. while people try to blow it into something it isn’t it is just to show that the whole country needs to change together we can work towards becoming a better nation.


Your Choice

I sit During the national anthem because I believe it doesn’t pertain to me and its my opinion. I feel like national anthem never was my cup of tea. if it came to a respect thing then yes I would stand for it for the national sake of people. I usually see others just standing for it just to stand for it or look like they dont wanna stand for it. I dont like standing for it for many reasons for one, I dont get the cause of what Im standing for and I dont really wanna get deep down into it and wanna know. I dont see the moral relief into it really.Others may not relate or agree with me, but this is just how I feel and others still may feel the total opposite and thats okay because thats just how I feel and How they feel. One thing I do feel like it is serious for is the athletes because thats there career on the line and I believe that there coaches take it very serious but if I was an athlete I wouldn’t at all . Because that would just be my belief and how I would feel and nobody could make me feel any type of different way . There could also be many different reasons on why people dont stand for the national anthem you never know thats why I feel everyone should have there own belief and there own CHOICE.


NFL players take a knee during the national anthem

The shooting, the killing, the unfair treatment of minorities in the United States needs to stop.  As an African American female, I am frightened as to what my future may be. The government blind and mutes’ American citizens.  They will do anything it takes to make the bad look good and the good look evil.

#TakeAKnee is a movement that started with NFL players, coaches, and owners taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest against racial inequality and police brutality. This movement begin when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he took a knee during the national anthem at a football game. President Trump then responded by saying “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!” (People are using #TakeAKnee to support NFL players after Trump’s comments, usatoday.com). He viewed that by kneeling during the national anthem was disrespectful to the country and those who fought for it. President Trump tried to turn something positive into something negative. Do you view the #takeaknee movement as something positive or something negative?

 


Kneeling: Is There Really a Problem ?

Why is it that whenever we want to stand up for something, it’s ripped from up under us and we’re told ‘“that’s not acceptable.” How come it’s not acceptable?

Growing up, most of us are told to fight for what we want, go for it, take a stand, but when we try, they stop us and tell us we can’t do that. People tell us that we’re going about it all wrong, but is the honestly any right way to go about it?

This applies to the #TakeAKnee protest going on in the NFL. Most of these players are using their name, their voice, for the people who don’t have one to bring attention and awareness to something they feel so strongly about and yet they’re being told to stop.

These players are being benched, and even suspended from games all because they won’t stand for the national anthem. It’s a choice that they are choosing to make for themselves. If they don’t want to stand, they don’t have to. They shouldn’t be punished for standing up, in this case kneeling, for what they believe in.

Monday,  former NFL coach by the name of Mike Ditka made a statement that says players have no cause to kneel in protest of racial injustice towards African Americans because “there has been no oppression in the last 100 years.” Ditka also feels that everyone has the right to protest but if you’re a professional athlete, you have to have a sense of loyalty and respect the game.

Now if we’re being technical, he said respect the game, not the flag. You owe loyalty to the game, not a country or government who doesn’t give the same loyalty back. There’s a big difference between the two.

People have the right to represent whatever and however they please. There’s nothing wrong with standing, but there also is nothing wrong with sitting, kneeling or any other form of protest.

Let’s take the VP for example. Vice President, Mike Pence, walked out of the Indiana Colts game after witnessing 23 players from the 49ers kneel during the anthem. Our VP believes that everyone should stand for the anthem because to him, it’s a form of disrespect.

Most Veterans and Military alumni aren’t even seeing this protest as disrespectful like most people are. Some of them are actually for it.

People honestly are making a big deal out of nothing. People are going to stand for something, they’re going to protest. It’s up to us, to just suck it up, deal with it, and move on. Let people have their say in whatever they want. photo


Taking The Knee For What you Believe In

Protesting by taking a knee is necessary. Some players feel like they aren’t being heard , so they decided to take the knee during the National Anthem . You should be able to protest how you want to without anybody judging you . Not standing for the National Anthem is a peaceful protest & it’s not harming anyone. I know some people feel disrespected but the football players really don’t mean any disrespect , they just want to be heard.

Our president makes things no better , he honestly doesn’t think before he speaks. For him to be the president he says a lot of things that the president should not say. A lot of people are making to much out of this situation , I honestly think this is a distraction from the government . So we won’t pay attention to the serious things that is happening in our country.


A Knee on our Country

Protesting the National Anthem to shouldn’t be as serious as everyone has blew it up to be. Although, it is very essential to most people and athletes that are protesting, this really isn’t an effective way to approach the situation. So many people are saying Donald Trump shouldn’t have said what he said. Which is true, but come on now; let’s be real. That man has been having so many ignorant remarks to say since he figured out he’s got a voice.

Kneeling during the national anthem brings about so many sides, arguments, and opinions. We are all aware of the issue but in reality this stops so much from taking place that is probably a greater cause than kneeling during the anthem. Such as, money is not being made and that is a necessity to survival in this world.

Also, it is taking so much attention from the real issues in life; because so much is going on. There just needs to be a better way than bending down at a worldwide, well watched streamed game. As a singer who enjoys singing the national anthem, it would be rather annoying and disrespectful to be kneeling while trying to serenade everyone with song. Working so hard to practice for that song for players to kneel in your face. Not only singers but also people who fought for this country. The national anthem may be so sacred to them yet, players still kneel.

Saying all this to say this situation isn’t not important but it shouldn’t be as blown up as everyone has made it thus far. We need to focus on the greater issues. If all just came together and began to fight this system as one the world would be so much better off but hey, who am I to say that’ll ever happen.


America’s big issue

The current debate over kneeling and sitting has become a big issue in America. Everyone on this earth has their own beliefs, its like forcing Muslim to believe Buddhism. Kneeling is really over racial injustice and police brutality, They can’t completely stop it so there only way to show it’s a real problem is to kneel. Its not like the Government or president will step in and fight for people’s right, Donald Trump is clearly worried about another country than trying to clean his own country. Think about why they began to kneel anyway? What was the cause? Others say maybe there wouldn’t be a need for a protest if Americans came together and agreed for once how the NWBA does. When players kneel they put their hands over their heart which shows they still appreciate the flag when the national anthem plays. Travis Hancock a writer made it noticeable that doesnt not saying the whole national anthem disrespectful?
Kneeling is appropriate and people need to face it. It’ll show the world their serious about their issues. Everyone needs support in our world and we should start now. They’re more problems going on in the world. Think about the homeless veterans that fought for us that stand around outside every night and day we care so much about standing for them for the national anthem but cant stop to help them out.


How do i feel about the people refusingti stand forbthe national anthem?

I think people is taking this a little too far and i feel as if people dont stand then thats what they feel. We all bleed the same so whats the difference if we kneel? Nothing at all. All of this commotion is just because they are fanous and peoole watch them. If they think they are not free and they think they dont they have their rights then why stand? I really dont think it should be that big of a deal its not like they commited a crime they are just protesting on what thry believe in. As long as you kneel quietly and respectfully it shouldn’t matter.


Taking a Knee Is Pointless

I don’t see why the national protest is a big issue. Honestly, I don’t care about any part of it. If people want to take a knee during the national anthem, let them. if they want to stand let them. The main reason this is so pointless to me is because I honestly don’t think racism or police brutality will ever end. It’s just something we will have to get used to. Kneeling during the national anthem or not participating in it is not going to stop crimes against blacks and other minorities. All it’s going to do is spark up argument and anger. Then when people get angry that’s how more crimes against black people are committed. So in the end all of this is pointless.


Protest your Right!

rights protest photoEvery American citizen has the right to protest. Protesting is a freedom that is given to americans and is protected by the first amendment. The amendment gives us the right of freedom of speech which includes the right to protest. Today, there are issues with protest all around america. The NFL has received a lot of heat from the media of their players not standing, instead taking the knee and locking arms with other players during the national anthem. NFL players are not standing to protest racial injustice and police brutality in America. NFL team head coaches are getting involved by not letting their player taking a knee and to stand during the national anthem. Miami Dolphins head coach, Adam Gase, has his players wait in the locker room or tunnel during the national anthem if they are not going to stand. NFL players can get fired for not standing during the national anthem if the coach makes that decision. There are even people that their job is getting impacted of this protest. ESPN’s co-host, Jemele Hill, got suspended for two weeks after tweeting about the Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for not letting his players taking the knee during the national anthem. Jemele tweet violated the ESPN’s social media guidelines and it resulted in her getting suspended. Jemele is an american citizen that was violated of her freedom of speech. Today, there is a lot of Americans that get violated of their rights and we need to fight to protect our rights.   


Kneeling for What You Believe In

There’s nothing wrong with the football players kneeling down during the national anthem. They are not doing anything wrong. The football players as of Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, and Detroit Lions are protesting for a reason and it being about how they’re treated in the United States of America. People all around the world protest everyday because of a problem they’re enduring in their place they stay at. There’s no problem at all with what they’re doing. People are forgetting that protesting for what they believe in is not illegal. They also forgetting that many people don’t say the pledge of allegiance. Plus the pledge of allegiance is a big part of the  United States as the national anthem. People have to respect the football players call on the national anthem whether they like it or not. The football players won’t change their call until america take action on major problems that keep occurring nonstop with no care what so ever. I personally don’t sing the national anthem because of my religion as an Jehovah’s Witness. We as Jehovah’s Witnesses are not doing anything hurtful, it’s just part of our religion. In all, people should respect other people calls even if it bugs them. For decades people of all race been protesting in america. Why is it a problem now? In the article, Arian Foster, Marcus Peters among NFL players protesting during national anthem, Arian had something thoughtful to say. Arian Foster said, “ they are exercising the right.” To be completely honest Arian is right. The NFL players are enduring their right coming from the first commandment of the constitution. If people are upset by the protest, why have it in the first commandment in the first place? If people thought the NFl players were enough, think again. From the article, Tracking the Kaepernick Effect: The anthem protest are spreading, it had something interesting in it. The article followed up with, “ more athletes of all ages take a knee during the national anthem at sporting events, and there’s no indication they’ll stop anytime soon.” Another piece of interesting stuff was brought out in this article called, many young athletes joining Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest. This article said, “ Michael Walker retweeted a picture of the protest and said he has gotten no negative feedback.” I find the protest no harm what so ever. The football players are not hurting no one physically, they not yelling or starting riots; they’re just being peaceful as the people did on bloody sunday. All they asking for is a change, that’s all. It’s not about one skin color, it’s all skin colors. A little change is all they ask for like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted in the sixties. Every athlete wants things to get better so that the future is not what it is now. They won’t stop till Donald Trump take serious action and stop thinking about himself all the time. Can peace happen? That’s what the athletes are trying to test even if it is putting their job or even life at risk.


Take a knee with me

Kneeling during the star spangled banner should not be a problem. If the president or country is not loyal to one, then why be loyal to them? Kneeling is not rude nor disrespectful to the military. They have a choice to voice their opinion, but then again they don’t. They’re being controlled and that is what this all boils down to. According to Tom Zipper and Mike Prada (sb.com), the WNBA started this protest back in July, 2017…July 9th to be exact. They had pre-game conferences about justice and equality and also kneeled. They were fined $500 each for doing so. “We want to be able to use our platforms and our voices”, said by WNBA player, Tanisha Wright. I don’t think I could agree more. Under that statement an anonymous woman said “don’t tell us we have a voice and then fine us for using it.” When we have such strong support behind a worldwide problem we are told to shutup. Some may feel kneeling isn’t the answer, but if we don’t stand up for ourselves who will? Today’s generation is so simple minded and quick to give up. We need these big figures such as the NFL, WNBA, NBA to be our voice, our leaders. We have to not be controlled. History is slowly but surely repeating itself, we have to be stronger than our ancestors were and take advantage! Especially with the resources that we are provided with today.

Photo by LadyDragonflyCC – >;<


Kneeling Down, Rising Up

Standing for what you feel is in the best interest for everyone, is not only a selfless act, but it shows that a person wants to ultimately bring good to the world. Using a voice that not many others share, in order to reach a widespread audience on a common issue. Even if that means standing alone, showing those who mock what you feel in your heart is right can only be a test on if you really want the issue to be resolved. Cornering the issue of NFL players (and other entertainment corporations) taking a “stand” against the national anthem should not be a problem. If anything, those individuals are partaking in a peaceful protest. No violence or acts of disrespect have been done. They are only speaking out on the rising concerns of how our “united nation” deals with certain situations. Team members and even coaches of various sports teams have taken a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Also, as stated in the article from ESPN’s website “NFL players, coaches, owners lock arms, kneel during national anthem”, teams have stayed in the locker rooms until the game officially starts. As a result those individuals have been ridiculed by many naysayers and even the president. Stating that what they are doing is shameful and disrespectful to those who have fought for our country. The president stated on Twitter that he would like owners/coaches to punish anyone who does not participate in the national anthem. Colin Kaepernick was the first of many to kneel during national anthem. He constantly has hateful comments thrown his way by many, but he still continues to fight for what he feels needs to change in today’s system. Kaepernicks views were one sided, as others constantly argued back that they were “great officers” that didn’t need to be put behind bars. Police brutality could’ve have been stopped early on, instead officers were given a slap on the wrists. While others overlooked the issue, Kaepernick chose to raise his voice. He stated, “ African Americans were oppressed by the country’s leaders, who felt ashamed by their company”. We the people need to take a stand on the social injustices of this country before sides and fights corrupt the streets.

~ Jalyn Brown

 

 


Why Should Expressing Your Beliefs Come At A Cost?

Rather people should kneel during the national anthem or not should not be the question. The question should be, “Should people who are standing up for their believes be penalized for it?” Yes, people should be able to see you and kneel during the national anthem. And yes, it is necessary.
In the United States we are supposed to be the land of the free. Free to speak out, and free to assemble. We are eve free to protest, peacefully of course. But if we are allowed to believe in what we want why are the football players being criticized for it?
In 2016 Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem to protest against racial behavior towards African Americans, and also police brutality. Every since then it’s been a wave of protest but now it seems as if people are being about more involved, a bit more critical, and now the football teams are saying enough is enough.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a B…. off the field right now. Out he’s fired! He’s fired!’ (ESPN 2017) Trump said at a political rally in Huntsville Alabama. One of the biggest debates has been if the football players are disrespecting our flag and veterans, or is Trump just trying to use that as an excuse to be disrespectful.
The article on ThinkProgress “Trump says he speaks for veterans on NFL protests. We let them speak for themselves.” Written by Luke Barnes has 4 different veterans speak out about how they feel about the protests and the president’s comments.
A former U.S. army member and Tennessee National Guard, Amanda Blount, feels as if the protests are justified. Amanda thinks activism is important and that African Americans have been through centuries of slavery and discrimination. So I’m now way or form are they disrespecting the flag. Trump should be finding a way to make the country safe for everyone.
Being able to stand up for what you believe in in important because that’s what America is based on. And if that isn’t true we are false advertising “The Land of the Free”.
Veterans put on the uniform to exercise the democratic right to practice what you wish. A marine veteran, Manson Shams doesn’t take offense “because the parties in the NFL have clearly said this is about inequality and racism not about the troops.” But why does trump insist on making it about the flag?
Moral of the story is no, the football team owners should not be able to tell the players how to exercise their rights or tell them to stand up or lose their jobs. But yes the players should follow standard procedure. Yet the players should still be able to express their beliefs however they feel in appropriate and no they should not be penalized for it because eventually every voice will be heard and change will come about.

 


Our Women Won’t Be Quiet

Women basketball players are catching the nation’s eye both negatively and positively by protesting at their games. According to sbnation website the girls have made shirts to protest while playing the game. Well of course some people disagree with this, and one of those people happens to be the president. Instead of worrying about world hunger, rape, gun violence, sex trafficking, he is instead focused on talent men and women protesting peacefully for something that they believe in. I thought protesting peacefully was allowed, according to the constitution of the united states. Maybe i was missed inform, but if this true why does the president have the right to silence these women? Yes , he is making so if any woman protest she will be fined and even the coach can be fined. Why is he trying to hush them? Maybe he is afraid of the outcome it will have, because as we know protesting have worked before. Or maybe he is just ignorant to what the nation really needs. The protesting is needed. Even if the president of the united states disagree. We as a nation have the right to protest any thing if we’re doing it peacefully.

Photo by Katie Tegtmeyer


Take A Knee For What Is Right

The government is making the #takeaknee movement and making into the something to cover up bigger problems that’s going on in the world. The football players are taking a knee for the things that is not right in the cities we live in and because they don’t feel like the flag has equality for all people. Police brutality is one of the major problems in cities we live in everyday. Trump is making it seem to the world that their disrespecting the flag, our country, and the soldiers that fought for our country. The picture on the ESPN article shows a player kneeling with his hand over his heart showing he respect the flag and the men and women that fought for our country but is taking a knee because he doesn’t agree with what the government is allowing and not doing nothing about it. On page 3 paragraph 10 in the ESPN article the football explains why he is not standing because he feel like the national anthem is not bringing equality for all people.football player photo


Peacefully Protesting in the NFL

Protesting in the NFL is completely necessary. As players, their voices are important and the decisions they make on and off the field can either make or break their football careers. The fact that so many Americans are angry about this is understandable because we were all taught to respect the flag and to stand and recite. Society has to understand that not everyone is okay with standing for words that don’t apply to them and their rights.

 

According to Maggie Astor in the article “How N.F.L. Sponsors Have Reacted to ‘Take a Knee’ Protests” , this debate has been simmering since last year when the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick knelt to protest police brutality boiled over last week when President Trump declared that players that protest this way should be fired. So just because they’re public figures they are being denied their right to freedom of speech ? And this is fair because it’s their job ?

 

We have all been told as citizens we must honor our flag. What if we don’t believe the words that are being recited as we stand ? These players respect the Veterans who fought for our country , but they simply disagree with the things we have to say because these players, like many others, don’t feel the National Anthem was written for the freedom of all people. The National Anthem is another way to make uneducated Americans think they are free. It is another way to pretend America is perfect.

 

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee in a New York Times article talks to reporters and explains how Trump “respects our country” but can’t seem to respect our country’s peace and how he could be setting us up for another war. The misuse of the Military is injustice to those who serve and according to “Unsilent Majority” on Twitter, we kneel to protect and honor the freedom of the Military as well. Trump mentions respect of veterans when he agrees with the immediate use of Military in situations where he feels violence is better than communication and he feels it’s okay to threaten other powerful countries putting our country at risk and throwing the Military on the lines to back up his threatening trash talk.

 

“We must act accordingly on the job”  they say. Meanwhile, our President is concerned about a peaceful protest and firing those involved when there are other things that need much more  attention.

 

If this longstanding tradition talked about the exercise of rights that were equally distributed among Americans there would be no problem for people to stand and find other things to protest against. This seems to be a big issue in today’s society because we are being taught the meaning of what we are saying and it just doesn’t quite fit the actions shown by authority and government.

Photo by kyle tsui


Is Taking A Knee Doing too Much?

independence.com, Donald Trump threatens to change tax law to penalize NFL over “take a knee protest.” The president has criticized NFL clubs for “disrespecting” their country. If we continue to kneel he will continue to threaten us with things that will hurt us now and also in the future. We can’t run away from the fact that he is our leader and he has a lot more power than us. As stated in newsweek.com, Kevin Seifert says “failure to be on the field by the start of the national anthem may pursuit in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of the draft choices for violations of the above, including first offenses.” Trump searched the NFL rule book to stop players from taking a knee and it worked. When you have power you can do whatever. Our best bet is to come together and find an approach that will help us not take us down.


Timing is Everything

The protests of the football players has gotten completely out of control ether through word of mouth or on the media such as the news, though a few reasons can explain why. The first reason for why it had gotten completely out of control is the timing that the protests happened, during the national anthem. During this time, trying to protest is not really effective as it could be any other time during the game, as they are protesting against police brutality and against the president. The national anthem, and its meaning as everyone stands for it is to be united as a nation, even if people do not think we are united or that if they are free or not, as people have fought for these freedoms and at least to be united as a nation. This meaning comes into play of people protesting as it does not seem like the right time to protest over these topics or even towards the president himself, as Espn had said that they were protesting against. Another reason on why this was not great is that, even if it’s a sports uniform, they are on the job, as Strawberry explained in his article. He explained how it is bad to be protesting while in uniform. As people have uniforms on are on the job, they have a responsibility being on duty to how you are portrayed, especially on the field being broadcasted to people all over the united states. On another website, Procon.org, explains it on both sides as well. They explain it well as it says it’s not just disrespecting the nation, but the millions of people who had risked their lives through the lifespan of the United States who had fought for the country we all call home. Also they become at risk to lose their jobs over these actions, despite knowing this they choose to do so, even when they can protest literally any other time where it’d be okay, as protesting is not wrong. It’s just when and how they chose to do so.


Would You Rather Stand Or Sit?

Do you stand or do you sit down when the national anthem comes on? Most don’t stand because the national anthem may not mean nothing to them it’s just words, they let come in one ear and go other the other. Some stand because they feel like that’s the right thing to do.The national anthem has a very important meaning. Most people don’t know that there is four stanzas to the national anthem. Why people don’t put they hand over they heart and stand when they hear the national anthem? When Francis Scott wrote it it was the first time that someone had put down in words there feelings about our country and the flag. Their was a lot of man that died just for fighting for our country so I feel like the least we could do is show them the respect that they deserve. Everyone has stood for the national anthem so why would you just stop standing now?If you already been standing for it don’t just stop now because we are having problems with our society. We all know that we have a lot of problems with our society today , but standing when the national anthem comes on is showing respect. If you think about it there is a lot of people that died fighting that war. We are always going to have problems in our society and every problem is not going to always get solved. If you go to a football game and when the national anthem comes on and you look around almost everybody stand up. Some people just stand because they feel like that’s the right thing to do.Some people don’t even stand up because it hurt for them to stand like elder people thats understanding. But if you just not standing because you following someone or is just lazy. Then thats a problem.


Be The Change You Want To See In The World

In an article by PROCON.org about the players who took a knee during the National Anthem, stated that the action was an ineffective and unprofessional way to promote a cause. “It’s not good to be a distraction to your team, nor is it good to use your team as your platform,” said the article. Furthermore, refusing to stand angers many and sows division in our country. Although many people may think it’s a sign of disrespect to the flag or to the veterans who’ve fought for our country, not standing for the National Anthem is actually an appropriate form of a peaceful protest! Kneeling, locking arms, and even sitting during the people have the right to freedom of opinion and expression. So why is it such a big issue?

By refusing to stand, the players were actually making a stand. You’re supposed to stand up for what you believe is right, and “sit” if it’s wrong, because you have the freedom to do so! If you do not believe in what the National Anthem stands for you should not be forced to participate. It’s supposed to represent respect to our soldiers who fought for our freedom, but are we free? No, we’re not. The National Anthem is like false advertisement; all talk, but nothing to back it up. It grants freedom and equality, but doesn’t guarantee it for us, in which it should. Yes, there will always be problems in the world, but those problems sometimes goes unnoticed when no one makes an effort to give those problems recognition. It’s a sign of power, pride, and confidence! Refusing to stand is a peaceful protest that has a possibility to make a big change in the world! It can make others with similar opinions get involved, and make them comfortable to voice how they feel too. It can form unity, and make people want to come together. If more people take a knee or protest, it will grab a lot of attention like it’s doing now! And those who are against this protest like Donald Trump, will only make the movement stronger. Don’t let what others say or think affect your beliefs, you could be the change you want to see in the world!


The National Anthem Is Racist

The National Anthem is racist, people shouldn’t stand for it. The National Anthem we sing today is edited. It has many racist lines that were taken out. One of the taken out lines that stood out to me was ” Their blood has wash’d out their foul footsteps pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave. From the terror of fight or the gloom of the grave..” (www.theroot.com). This line basically means the blood of all the former slaves and “hirelings” will wash away the pollution of the British invaders. (www.theroot.com). The previous line from the anthem is wrong is so many ways because it disrespects the African American soldiers who fought for our freedom.  People shouldn’t stand for a “fake’ anthem. These racist comments were taken out because people knew they were wrong. African Americans should do more research on the anthem so they can have a decent background on why they should boycott the anthem.flag photo

Photo by One Candle Photos

Photo by Always Shooting

Photo by IAN RANSLEY DESIGN + ILLUSTRATION


Should We Stand, Kneel, or Sit?

The questions is whether we should stand, kneel, or sit during the National Anthem. My thoughts are in the middle, I understand both views on the issue. Some say we should stand for the people fighting for our country. To stand for our flag and country. Others say they don’t want too due to not believing in what the anthem has to say and offer. Personally I stand for the people in my family who have fought for our country and the ones who continue to fight. We should be able to do what we feel is right. Whether you stand, sit, kneel, or whatever. Unless its harming you in a physical way don’t worry about it, you do you.

Photo by jnn1776


My Opinion on Racism

For me, racism is something that makes me uncomfortable to talk about. It saddens me to know that there are people in the world who hate other people just because of the color of their skin. It’s even worse when there are children whose parents are teaching them to hate people for the color of their skin. People should not judge each other for the color of their skin. Whenever I hear about police officers shooting black men, I never know what to say or how to react. Its disappointing knowing that racism will never die off or that people would continue to judge each other based on skin color. It makes me sad knowing that future children and children today would have to grow up feeling disliked by other races just because of their skin.

Photo by Taymaz Valley


Rodney King Poem

Stop! Get out with your hands up

Ouch! 1 hit

Ouch! 2 hits

“Stay down sir”

Im down and cant get up

Im beaten and abused

Ouch! 3 hits

Ouch! 4 hits

I know this is wrong

But im black

I am Rodney King


It Explains Why Everything Went Tumbling Down

I was not trying to hear those words.
I won’t, I won’t, I won’t
allow you to say such things
because I know the society we live in is cruel.

I’d rather die before hearing that mess,
the mess about those selfish fools hurting my baby.

And for you, as a police to tell me this news?
No way, No way, No way. It’s unacceptable

 

Seeing the evidence broke my heart.
I know something was wrong.

I can feel my head hurting so much.
It was a sign, and I trusted my gut.

I just didn’t want to believe
that something happened to my baby boy.

His blood, realistic the image.
Now it’s no doubt, justice for Rodney.

And I won’t sleep, nor will I stop.


These People

 

Look at all of these people, all of this because this Rodney King guy

Maybe we’d be better off if he’d die

These people destroying their own belongings

Now, they don’t have anywhere they belong

Looting stores, setting fires

Don’t these people ever get tired

They’ve been at it for six days

But, I’m still wondering how much this job pays


But I Still Stand

I am appalled by all of these things that has happened

 

The body and soul of an african american man being beaten to a pulp

 

But I still stand

 

My name being drug through the dirt

 

But I still stand

 

My pride being beat out of me in minutes

 

My life flashing before my own eyes 

 

But I still stand

 

NO JUSTICE


BUT I STILL STAND

 


Police Brutality Among Black and Brown Youth: Survey Responders NEEDED! Help!

Hello Youth Voices,

Please take my survey. I really need the research data for my Senior Capstone Project. My target audience is all students. I am researching police brutality among black and brown youth. Thank you for your time.

[iframe src=”https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfqL9xwc6maefEBfCunQhf-pnA-PZxzZsj_vmyxLbFdWaIarg/viewform?usp=sf_link” width=”100%” height=”1800″]

 


Blue Wall of Silence

My 30-second hook was about the Blue Wall of Silence, an unwritten rule among police culture where they would never rat out each other out. I had to practice a couple times in front of my friend before I could nail down my hook. When I was looking back at my recording, I realized that I didn’t have good eye contact with my camera and I would do a lot of body movement. My pacing was alright as I was trying to describe a scenario. Oral presentation wise I need to work a lot on my body movement because I tend to move a lot and I would also focus on eye contact since my eyes were moving to the side most of the time.

When I was watching myself I noticed improvements I could make because the things I was doing were things I did unconsciously. However, as I begin to practice more and more in front of others my confidence grows a little more so I could get better.


Police Brutality

The subject of police brutality is a growing issue, but the simple fact is that African Americans are scared to have encounters with police officers. They are seeing other African-Americans getting killed in the media and get scared that, that is going to happen to them as well. As a black person, I can personally say from experience that when I see photos or videos on the news of people that look like me being treated violently just because they are black, it scares me. It also makes me think that the same thing could happen to me just because of my race. It is a shame that many African Americans have to be taught a certain way to act around police. When just simply walking down the street, if a police car rolls by, it would strike worry in a black person. Our young African American children watch these stories on the news, giving them a negative view of not only police but of society in general. These videos make young black children think that their lives do not matter as much as everybody else’s, and gives them less hope for the future. Nobody should be violently handled because of race or anything else that makes them different.

It is a shame that there is a stop and frisk policy that states that without statutory provisions, a police officer has the power to stop, question, and frisk suspects. Most of the time, this is used to the officer’s advantage to stop and frisk anyone they see, mainly being innocent African Americans. When an African American is injured or murdered by a police officer, the officer barely suffers the consequences. Instead of getting reprimanded they are excused for their inexcusable actions. This issue is rapidly taking the lives of not only African Americans but also minorities in general. A certain group of people should not be singled out based on any physical feature. Race is something that defines a person and cannot be changed. If people are getting unlawfully assaulted and killed and being singled out because something that they cannot change, what does that say about America as a whole? The fact that this is even an issue in society is sad, and something needs to be done to change this.

To conclude, everybody should be treated equally, and no one should be singled out or considered less than because of his or her race. Throughout America’s history of slavery and segregation, these kinds of acts should not still be going on today. African Americans struggled to fight for the same rights as everyone else and not to be discriminated against. Many people may think that just because the actual acts of slavery and segregation are not occurring that racism does not exist, but it still does. Until EVERYONE can truly be accepted for who he or she is, it always will. Nobody should be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of his or her character, and until this happens, we are not truly united as one.


Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

My Observations:

1st Image- What I noticed once when I saw this image was how it was color coded to black and white. How the words were bolded in black. I think mostly to show and have others see these bolded words and take it with them. The phrase written on this poster is powerful. I heard this phrase being said mostly everywhere. Black people fighting for their rights against police brutality. It has been an issue for a very long time and different people around the globe has been protesting to stop police brutality. The hand prints that are on the poster demonstrates “hands up”. Trying to say even though one has its hands up, please don’t shoot. This photo is trying to say even they have their hands up, they still feel like they are being targeted and are going to shoot anyways. Which I feel is not right. All people including black people should feel safe around any police officer because it is their job to protect us, not shoot us.

2nd Image- This image speaks. With a young black male holding a poster that says, “Am I Next?” shows how much it is affecting the young and making them feel like they are being targeted so much by the police. With all these commotions going on around the world, officers shooting young black males needs to be looked at. If there is no justice, then there is no peace. The person holding up the poster with his fist up takes it back to the days when “fist up” was a symbol for the blacks meaning black power. It sends out a powerful message. Black lives do matter and all this police brutality and discrimination against them needs to stop. We are all people and should be treated with respect.

 

 


Police Brutality

 

“No one had anything to say to those cops, I don’t blame them, Because you’re are pretty much a target if you’re seen talking to the cops”(Morgan). Some African-Americans wont even talk to some police officers. Why are they scared to communicate with police officers? They get scared because of what happened to other African-Americans when they weren’t a threat, they were shot and killed.

 

African-Americans are usually more to be scared to have encounters with police officers. In the article “Cops and Community Search for Trust I Oakland’s Most Violent Neighborhood” by Nailah Morgan, it shows “The divide between both parties has become more prominent around the nation as videos showing police officers shooting and violently arresting minorities continue to flood social media timelines and evening news segments”(Morgan). They’re seeing other African-Americans getting killed on the media and get scared that, that’s going to happen to them as well.  

Photo by Elvert Barnes


NE OH Takes on the Women’s March on Washington (updated with videos I shot that day)

Hi, Youth Voices! My name is Abby Henry, and I am a Senior at Jackson High School in Massillon, Ohio (1 hour South of Cleveland). I went to the Women’s March on Washington and I would like to share about my experience.

I worked on the Hillary Clinton Campaign for the Ohio Democratic Party for about 11 months. Everything you could imagine a campaign doing, I did it! I phone banked (calling supporters to get them to vote/volunteer and calling undecided voters to share why I was supporting Hillary), I canvassed (going door to door to supporter and undecided voters’ homes to make sure they voted), I registered thousands of voters, I organized a fellow team of students in my area, I housed a Regional Organizer of the Campaign (who became like my brother), and I worked on social media outreach. I tirelessly dedicated hours upon hours to the campaign, so naturally, it was devastating when we didn’t win the electoral college. Being a woman (sex-wise), a girl (gender-wise), an animal rights advocate, an environmentalist, and an ally for those of different sexualities, nationalities, races, and religious backgrounds I knew I had to continue being heard. About a week after the election, I participated in a local #NotMyPresident March and felt empowered. Thus, when I heard about the women’s March I jumped on the opportunity.

On January 20, 2017, my Mom, Andi (my middle sister), Isaac, Ted, Tumas (my best friends), and I crammed ourselves into our car and road tripped 7 hours to Washington DC. After a quite uncomfortable car ride, being squished in the back seat with all of the luggage, we arrived in DC around 11 pm. We stayed with a student at the Catholic University of America, Meghan, who had taken a semester off of her studies to be an organizer for the Ohio Campaign. She lived with my Grandmother, and we worked endless hours together so we got pretty close. For the march the next day we all took the metro to Union Station, which was packed with clever signs and pink hats. My group attempted to meet up with the organizer of the campaign who lived with me but had no such luck. Still feeling inspired in the face of our defeat, we listened to speakers before the march. If you watch the videos below, you can tell that in the earlier videos we were farther away but we were able to keep creeping up closer to the stage. There were big names like Gloria Steinem, American Ferrera, Scarlett Johanson, Katy Perry, Michael Moore, etc. There were also many organizers speaking. My favorite was Ashley Judd’s powerful poem:

My favorite was Ashley Judd’s powerful poem:

and Sophie Cruz.

The speakers went a little longer than intended, so people were getting a little tired of standing and not marching. We personally stood for the speakers from 9 am ET to 2 pm ET, and we didn’t even hear all of them. At around 2 pm, we pushed out of the standing crowd to get to the marching crowd. The streets of DC were completely closed and filled with marchers, it was a truly amazing sight to see. My favorite chants were “this is what democracy looks like,” “this is what a feminist looks like,” and “welcome to your first day, we will not go away.” I was amazed at how peaceful the whole march was and a number of people that showed up, from everywhere. In addition to the DC March, there was at least 1 march in every US state and around 100 marches outside of the US. The world was united under one cause, I have never been more proud to be a part of something.

For those who don’t know, the pink hats you see are pussy hats. They are pink hats with cat ears on the top. The aim was to unite everyone, even if they couldn’t make it to the march and to send a message that rape culture will not be accepted.

I was personally marching because I did not agree with the rhetoric normalized by Donald Trump in the 2016 Election. My main motives were reproductive rights and equality for all people.

One thing about the march that I didn’t particularly enjoy was the lack of organization. A lot of the speakers felt repetitive and ineffective. During a lot of speeches, the people on the ground felt talked at and not with. A lot of the speakers were reiterating the same issues in society, but that’s precisely why we all showed up. Sometimes we felt belittled by the speakers. I feel as though when the march became massive, it almost became too commercialized. That’s not necessarily something the march organizers could have helped, but it was a bit frustrating.

Despite the negative of the march, it was a great cause and it mobilized so many people. My favorite thing about the march was how inclusionary it was, the march wasn’t just for women. Men were also showing up for their support of women’s rights. Additionally, the march wasn’t just for liberals or solely anti-trump people either. I was reading stories about people that voted for Trump showing up for the march. They liked Trump’s policies but wanted to let him know that his rhetoric wasn’t appreciated. The inclusion and acceptance were amazing.

March on!


Police Brutality

Police relations are very important to focus on because police officers have  killed and harass people of color due to them looking “suspicious”.Instead  asking for an explanation or  handcuffing them, they take many black people’s lives not knowing how much it affects the community and the people around them that will make them seem dangerous and racist. The main reason why we have police brutality is that cops are hired who aren’t from Oakland,with a badge on there chest  cops feel more privileged and believe they have more power and they have trust issues between the community and cops.

 

To begin, police brutality is the use of excessive or unnecessary force by the police that perform verbal attacks on the citizens of the community which is people of color which is police’s conduct of being racist and a lot of intimidation .  This connects to my interviewer named Roosevelt Johnson who has lived in Oakland for 53 years who knows a lot about police brutality,he looks at the news a lot and does research on the black lives matter movement. ”I despise police brutality; to have the very people sworn to protect you , harass ,brutalize, even rape based on looking suspicious.Some policies go by the laws and others make up their own laws because they feel they can handle the jobs without instructions,”(Johnson). This interviewer saying is important because police take advantage of their jobs, they don’t think about saving the community. They think people of color who looks suspicious , they have did something bad. But you have to think the police intentions are based on the stereotypes of people of color which makes them attack black people. They are damaging Oakland because they are oppressing the community which makes the community get involved.

 

Additionally, having Oakland become more involved can make a huge impact on the law enforcement because they are setting bad examples for themselves nationally(media, news, websites) where everyone can see the emotional manipulation . My second interviewer named Kathy Johnson she was born and raised in Oakland for 41 years, she has seen a lot of impact on what Oakland has become of being negative and positive. Also she is credible because she is african american and she sees people of her color going through this harassment and killings by policies. This interviewer stated, “ As you see on the media , cops reactions are being aggressive and doing takedowns for example Michael Brown who has been shot and harassed by the police, it has been on the news a lot which it impacts the community emotionally and physically . This interviewer words are credible because cops are making the Oakland community lose trust in them because they see the negative vibes from the polices which makes them keep their guard up and that’s why you see in protests or in general with policies you see them refusing to back down or listen to the law enforcement because look at the impact of black lives matter, people are doing whatever it takes to make their voice heard.  

To go on forward with, Oakland is losing trust quick for the law enforcement because so many young people has been killed or harassed, it makes me wonder do the law enforcement check their officers to make sure that they are actually here to make sure the community is safe and not here to harass and kill based off skin color because the officers who don’t live here are getting the wrong idea of trying to serve the community. Mercury news talks about how the  Oakland police brutality protests about the policies and their law enforcement which has something to do with the trust. Mercury news states ,” Keep peace on our streets and protecting the safety of Oakland residents and business in our top priority… although we don’t anticipate problems to occur , in the event that the demonstrations become unlawful , the Oakland police department is prepared to swiftly address any criminal behavior that would damage property or jeopardize the safety of the police or police officers,”(mercurynews) . This is credible because it’s stating that police officers are setting bad examples for themselves because their actions impact a lot and makes the public think otherwise and starting to have doubt in the law enforcement thinking that they are not doing their job , but to think back to again some policies they think that having a badge, they can overrule but do not get consequences for their wrong doings. Protesting can make you see the reality and beliefs that each protester is facing.Lastly my interviewer named Colleen Weyland who is a Teacher and a Journalist  who has saw personal harassment from policies. Also background of journalism about Oakland Bay Area  and work with polices as a journalist. She also believes that police brutality is a big issue and impacts the community a lot. She states ,”Police involved shooting and institutionalized racism. Some take advantage of their job because they feel they have power and use people of color as an excuse and get no consequences.” This is credible because it shows that policies are oppressing the colored community and harass people of color just because without  reasoning. That’s why there is less trust because people have the fear of getting hurt , also because of the history behind the department misconduct.                

Photo by quinn.anya


Power by Anaja Patton

Money & Power power & money that’s all that we have ain’t trying to be funny.

you act like bologna you fake but you know me.

don’t talk to the cops I only leave them lonely.

don’t really care about your badge.

police out here acting like they from Iraq.

we don’t talk to snitches they say they get stitches.

fighting for freedom is my only vision.”

-anaja


Men of color targeted by Police Brutality

 

Men of Color Targeted by Police Brutality

Based on the evidence, men of color are targets for police which is the main problem that is happening on the U.S, which have led to many protests and also to many violent acts by people.

 

Men of Color are targets and that’s a US Problem. This number comes from The Guardian’s police killings database and it counts “1,096 people who have died at the hands of police so far this year. The Washington Post reports that 908 people have been shot and killed by cops” (Calacal). By my research it says that police cannot use deadly force unless the attacker is armed which many cases of police brutality have been with unarmed people.

 

How has police acts led to protests that get violent ? This is some evidence of one of the multiple cases showed someone who was not armed who died. The New York Times is a source that multiple people see and it is a newspaper which makes it credible. They point out the case of Michael Brown who is “an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. The shooting prompted protests that roiled the area for weeks. On Nov. 24, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that a grand jury decided not to indict Mr. Wilson. The announcement set off another wave of protests. In March, the Justice Department called on Ferguson to overhaul its criminal justice system, declaring that the city had engaged in constitutional violations” (The New York Times). This piece of evidence shows that Michael Brown was an unarmed man who was shot by a police officer. This shows that killing a man of color leads to protests because the police officer shot him without reason. Some say police are only trying to do their jobs. From the news, the police officers say they do not use violent force until they don’t have any other choice. But they are still targeting people because the arrest rates and the many victims of police brutality have been men of color.

In conclusion police brutality  targeted men of color which have caused  1,096 people who have died at the hands of police and I will leave you with a question do you think this is what people want to think about police the ones that are supposed to protect us? Why?


Police Brutality

 

Thesis:  Some police in oakland are guilty of unfair crimes and aren’t held accountable

 

In my opinion some police are nice and some are not and this is true because of interviews with  Oakland citizens and research.

 

One reason police are not nice is that police don’t get in trouble for being racist. Being racist means that a person does not like other people because of their color or race. When police are racist to people of color  often no one else can do nothing about it because they are the authority and people don’t know their rights so they are afraid. The police are not being nice by using their authority unfairly and this causes shooting and brutality.

 

What Oakland residents have to say?

 

In my first interview, with Angelica, a student in Oakland she talked about an experience with her dad. She reports that “It’s not an excuse to shoot somebody police officers are here to help not here to make racial comments.” This is important  because they are not here to help not to make racial comments to the community and I agree what she said. When police act this way it makes residents feel scared of them and they can’t do anything to them. If residents feel scared it means that  they can not do anything about it and some people will not trust police. Police are here to help people from danger, not make them feel like unsafe in the community. Another example of how the police makes the community feel unsafe is from when I interviewed Ms. Brown, she said “I don’t agree with it at all. cops shouldn’t judge or assumed that youth would do something bad.” This is significant because it’s talking about how people feel unsafe in the community because of\the racist comments. When police see colored people they should not think that they are going to do something bad like stealing a car or robbing people wallet and kill someone. Police judge people because some police are in training and they are new to the system. Therefore police are not useful for people that don’t need them and we don’t need them to make more violence and they always make it worse for the community.

 

What the news has to say?

 

When the police treat people badly, the news reports it to the world so people in the world could have something to argue about. The police kill youth and it’s not just youth that is being killed by police officer. This is important because some people have family that love them and so don’t so they got to find a way to get away from trouble and they don’t live right because they won’t rasi right so they got in bad situation and he or she probably have evidence about what’s going on on their family or they are in danger so that’s when you need the police so they can handle what’s going on in the community and in your house.

 

Some may think that police are good In an interview with Deputy Sheriff Alfredo, he believes that the police do not always have all the information they need and that is why they make assumptions, he says  “When an officer is called to a scene he arrives with very limited information, including age of possible suspects, and it is hard to differentiate physically a young teen from a young adult.” This shows why people think police are good because  they always make people think that all police do their job but in my opinion police are not doing their job because they always make excuses for using a gun but not using a taser for shoot any one in color.


Justice in the Crossroads

 

Crimes are plaguing the many streets of Oakland every day. We as a community, depend on the authority of the OPD (Oakland Police Department) to put forth protection around the city. But what happens when those who serve to bring justice, are those who are blind to it? For example, in the past few years, there were and still are “rogue” police officers policing our city and framing innocent civilians for arrests. This blog will focus on giving insights on the Oakland Police Department, police behaviors, and numerous perspectives of individuals on how their community is being impacted by the authorities.

 

The Oakland Police Department is a conflicting force within the city of Oakland. Like the city it resides in, the OPD has run into many troubles with the community of many Oakland natives. For example, an individual living in the low-income areas of the city who goes by the name of Hayro Estrada has concerns about the late responses of the police department towards crimes and cases. He stated in an interview,”Police don’t arrive for 40 minutes to an hour. When they do come, they shrug you off as if they’re too busy to deal with your problem.”

This comes as a major problem to communities where gangs and shootings are present and active. Some may perceive this to be a blatant showing of the OPD’s uncaring temperament towards the small folks of the city. However, OPD District 3 officer Lt. Henderson Jordan disclaims this by explaining that there are only 24 officers working from 6 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon. He states even further that if there was a serious incident, resources are drained quickly. Whether or not this is a satisfying answer for those unfortunate enough to have faced this dilemma in their community is an open door for interpretation and opinions.

 

While we rely on officers to protect us daily as we walk the streets of many neighborhoods and other parts of the city, there are times where the officers themselves are perpetrating crimes directly on civilians. Retracting back to the mentioning of “rogue” police officers, they plague the streets violating the rights of many. Racial profiling, unlawful arrests, and framing are just some of the shameful acts these “officers” inflict on many innocents. There are no doubts, that these repulsive “rogues” are one of the causes for the weak relationship between the Police Department and Oaklanders. Some officers who are enlisted officially in the department also abuse the power of their badge, placing heavy authority on people as well. In an interview, retired 25-year OPD veteran, Margaret Dixon, confesses,”I’ve seen black cops take it too far. I’ve seen white cops take it too far, and I’ve seen Latino cops take it too far.” This matter not only affects the lives of several people but also the trust and reputation of the OPD. When police officers report to crime scenes for interrogation, those who are interrogated want to open to someone who can connect to them. It will put the community at ease to know that there officers who are willing to cooperate with and listen to them.This is something that police officers need to take in consideration to build a strong, empathetic, relationship with the people of Oakland.

 

I have taken the liberty to go around and interview 3 individuals. The information gathered from the interviews are more personal and can be considered more impacting. I interviewed a teacher at my school who, being raised in an interracial family, has several experiences with the police and how one side of his family is treated. Another person who I interviewed was my counselor, who despite not having much experience with the police department, still gives a detailed perspective on the matter. To begin, Jordan Mickens (my math teacher) gives empathy for police officers who work to serve and protect citizens. He states,”I am really torn because I understand what a stressful job it is for police officers to do but at the same time, I have an intense reaction towards the police.” He then shares an incident that happened in the past. “In my old school, there was an incident where an officer was assaulting a student on campus. There were also encounters with my friends who are non-white who were treated poorly by PD. Overall, it is a negative opinion but I can still acknowledge that it is a hard job and that they need to change the way they conduct themselves.” When asked for reasons as to what makes him despise the PD, he responds, “Witnessing the unfair treatment of different people. I also have been in the car when my dad and mom have been pulled over. The treatment during that time was not equitable. It was two completely different experiences. The police officer was more aggressive towards my dad” (Mickens). It is no secret that skin color has become a recurring problem in the operations of the OPD. And considering that Oakland is filled with multicultural areas and neighborhoods, it is an absolute necessity for the OPD to change their protocols when it comes to dealing with people in this city. Moving on to Cathy, my counselor. She had limited knowledge in the regards of the police department. Nonetheless, she still shared some good answers that I believe are significant. When asked about her opinion on the OPD, she stated,”I live in the bay area so I don’t know as much about him. I do know that they have quite a reputation. There was a news about an officer having a sexual relationship with a young girl. It makes me feel distrustful of them. Police should be more professional.” This is an important message for all police officers as it is their job to protect and abide by the law. You cannot expect people to give you authority if you don’t even honor it yourself. Furthermore, Cathy expands on the idea of giving the PD a chance to redeem themselves. She advises,”They need to rebuild trust with the community. Hosting events for the people peacefully without showing any sort of authority as an individual can help with alleviating the notoriety that they have gained from abusing them.

 

In conclusion, I still believe that the OPD will continue to be a conflicting force within the Oakland community. This is not to say that they are bad for the city. With time and work, all of this can change if they work with the people and the law.

Photo by C64-92


Oakland’s Security

Crime remains one of Oakland’s most serious issues , which begs the question if police are doing their job? Through interviews with a few Oakland residents, that have lived most of their lives in the Bay Area, it was discovered their opinion on  police service. In an interview with an Oakland parent who has lived in Oakland for 5 years she was asked the question,” Do you think police service is a problem in Oakland?” Her response was, “ Yes, in certain occasions because they use a lot of  racial disparities which they need more training and teamwork [about]” (Rodriguez). This resident claims that Oakland’s police needs more training on how they police the city. Therefore, to address how Oakland’s police are not effective enough to keep communities safe there should be better training.

 

Oakland’s insecurity and lack of trust between people may be due to understaffed police forces and racial disparities among its citizens. According to the article (Stanford big data study finds racial disparities in Oakland…) by Clinton B. Parker, it states “ African American men were four times more likely to be searched than whites during a traffic stop.” (Parker) This shows that there are some police officers that racially depict  people based on their color of their skin. This means that people of color are the most affected among ethnicities.

According  to the article (Oakland police, stopping and handcuffing …) by Tom Jackman, it says  “ In pedestrian stops, 74 percent were black, nine percent white. Blacks were searched in one out of five stops, whites in one out of 20, the data showed.” (Jackman) This shows that community relations with police are negative in some areas due to disproportionate treatment by race. This means police interactions can bring insecurity  and fear for some instead of safety.

 

One can argue that police officers act the way they do by instinct since there lives are at stake all the time. While it is true that some police officers treat different ethnic groups the same,  they are not doing enough effectively to  overcome this bias problem. Using better data, providing education and conducting training workshops, can help them better understand how to change their cultures on policing. This can prevent police officers who abused their power of oppressing others of different races or low income backgrounds, to show trust and a feeling of safety to the residents by training them in social tactics among other things.

 

In another  interview with  a resident who has lived in Oakland for 4 years,  was asked, “How do you feel of Oakland’s environment ?” Jose respond ,“ That is very ugly because there’s a lot of insecurity and few cops…we need to put more of our part and help make it more clean and better”. (Gonzales) This shows that some Oakland residents don’t feel safe living in Oakland due to the  violence in some areas. This can be due to understaffed police force or implicit bias in how officers approach citizens which requires training to help them police better. Training can help bring better interactions between the residents and feel more secure of themselves.

 

In conclusion, Oakland’s police fight against crime isn’t very effective since some police officers are bias or have racial preferences  against its citizens.  This causes interactions between officers and residents to be negative in some areas. To solve this problem, Oakland’s police can be trained to learn how they to police better as well as educating the public and use better data to inform themselves. This can help improve their social tactics when policing and bring more security to Oakland.

 

Work Cited

Yomara Rodriguez.- Personal Interview. Jan 12.2017
Jose Gonzales- Personal Interview. Jan 14.2017
Clinton B. Parker- “Stanford big data study finds racial disparities in Oakland,Calif.,police behavior, offers solutions” posted on June15,2016
Tom Jackman-“Oakland police, stopping and handcuffing disproportionate numbers of blacks, work to restore trust” posted on June 15. 2016
Margaret Dixon-Interviewee- “Cops and the community search for trust in Oakland’s most violent neighborhoods”

Photo by Hernan Piñera


What does it mean to be a well trained police officer?

 

What does it mean to be a well trained police officer? photo

Did you know that a professional hairstylist spends more time learning about their profession than a police officer? This should make citizens feel unsafe. Citizens are getting help from cops that have very limited training. Based on the evidence, the main reason why there is police brutality is because police officers are not being properly trained.

To begin, the lack of training  has created a bias problem. Bias means to favor one’s side more than the other, so in this case, police are favoring white people over colored people.This makes people of color be targeted more for crimes and police harassment. In an interview with an Oakland resident who had an encounter with a police officer, he talked about his unfair treatment. He explained “as a police officer asked me a question I kindly asked him if he could repeat it again (in spanish) and his partner asked him what did I say and the police officer who asked me the question responded by saying “Nothing nothing he’s just a stupid Mexican” This shows the bias problem in the situation. The fact that he called him a stupid mexican was very wrong because it showed how he was targeting colored people. The keywords of this situation are  “stupid mexican”. The police officer used the words stupid mexican therefore the police officer was being both racist and bias. The words stupid and mexican expresses the way the police officer actually feels towards the people of color. Also he did not bother to repeat the question he asked to the oakland resident which is completely rude.

Many think there isn’t a bias problem and police have more than enough training because of all the hard exercise they do for example

 

Workout one

 

  • 20 second treadmill sprints
  • Knee to elbow push ups
  • Triangle sit ups(10 each leg)
  • 30 sec Treadmill sprint
  • Regular push ups (10-15)
  • Single leg kicks
  • Knee-to-chest push ups
  • 30 seconds treadmill sprints
  • Russian twist

(John Anillo)

 

These exercises help them in training for their ability to be active and their service shape to be prepared for the unexpected by staying on top of their shape. However, even though they have hard exercise they still don’t know much about the city that they are serving. Police officers spend 6 months only exercising and no research or take the time to just walk around the city to see how the environment is and just see it as a person and not the eyes of an officer. Many people are afraid of police officers when they are nearby and that’s because they have never seen an officer take time to bond with the community that they are serving to. Also, police are training for at least 6 months with only exercise but do they really train them and teach them about what it means to be a Police officer?

 

Overall, through all the research I did, I came to a conclusion that police should have more time in training, less exercise, and spend more time with the community that they are serving to due to the bias problem that is happening. I believe that if police officers change the way they train and actually get to know the community and communicate with the people around them then the bias problem would change.

What does it mean to be a well trained police officer? photo

Photo by fourbyfourblazer

Photo by fourbyfourblazer

Photo by fourbyfourblazer

Photo by fourbyfourblazer

Photo by fourbyfourblazer


Stand Up! Wake Up!

Stand Up! Wake Up!

Rest in Power

Matthew Ajibade, 1/1/15

Nicholas Thomas, 3/24/15

David Felix, 4/25/15

Terrance Kellom, 4/27/15

Darrius Stewart, 7/17/15

AND MANY MORE…

 

“Nearly 1 in 3 black people killed by police in 2015 were identified as unarmed, though the actual number is likely higher due to underreporting” (Mapping Police Violence). This is a huge amount of people being killed. What do people think about police brutality? Police brutality is becoming “common” and that is terrible because the crime is unfair and protesting needs to keep happening to stop it.

Police brutality in the U.S is becoming so common that every time there is news about it people don’t react the same as when it first started. In a letter “Police Brutality” by Antoine indicates “Police brutality is becoming more and more common, which isn’t good for us, the citizens” (letters2thepresident.org). The keywords in this quote are police brutality, common, and citizens. I believe that the author chose to use these words because he wants let others know what is the main topic is and what affect it has on us. The author seems very concerned about police brutality and how it’s becoming more and more common. Police brutality shouldn’t be common because most of the time innocent people are being killed for ridiculous reasons. Additionally in my interview with a parent organizer named Alexandra J. Shane indicates, “Things are not getting better. We are starting to see it and it’s starting to be normal! And I think that’s the saddest part, it starting to be normal. And that shouldn’t be normal by no means” (Shane). The author seems very upset and angry that police brutality is becoming more and more normal to people. She is upset that it’s becoming a daily thing were people see and don’t say or do anything to change what is happening. She believes it shouldn’t be a normal thing because a lot of the times it’s innocent people being killed. People shouldn’t make police brutality a common topic just because they are scared to fight back.

Police brutality is very unfair to young men of color. Firstly, when interviewing a student at Life Academy who asked to remain anonymous, she was asked what she thought about police brutality against people of color she states,  “Obviously it’s horrible! Because no one really deserves to be hit. If it’s in the name of self defense I can see why but… many police officers pull that self defense card when it cannot be applied to the situation” (Anonymous). The keywords in this quote are self defense, applied, and situation. They chose these words to point out how police officers always have excuses to hurt somebody. Excuse as in “I am the law try anything and I will make sure you never try anything like that again”. These words that the student used shows how much polices officers care about our community because instead of protecting and serving us they believe we are a threat and going to attack them so they pull “the self defense card”. The feelings expressed by the student seem to be very passionate as you can tell by the exclamation point. Moreover, In the article “Young Men of Color and the Other Side of Harm” Danielle Sered illustrates “Young men of color internalize it’s negative messages, but because it can also powerfully shape how others see and treat them–with serious implications for social services, the criminal justice system, and the development of an equitable society more broadly” (Sered). The keywords in this quote are internalize, powerfully shape, and serious implications. The author chose to use this word to show how young colored men are impacted by what police officers say about them. They internalize themselves and are seen as a threat to the public eye because of what police say or do. The police officer’s actions or sayings affect young men of color because people then start feeling unsafe around any colored person. This would then make it unfair to other people of color because they might get blamed for illogical reasons like stealing or committing a murder. Many people may say it’s the child’s fault for getting caught up for example the story about a kid names Tamir Rice. Tamir Rice was a 12 year-old boy who was shot by police officers when a 911 caller said that they saw someone with a gun (possibly a toy gun). People may argue that he shouldn’t be playing with guns even if it’s a toy because when they get older they might once to use a gun on somebody. But either way police officers shouldn’t have to shoot every time they believe somebody might have a gun. Also the 911 caller had mentioned that it might just be a toy gun meaning the police officer shot the 12 year-old knowing it could have just been a toy gun.

Police brutality is happening all around us and nobody is doing anything to stop it. In the article, “Police Violence, Resistance and The Crisis of Legitimacy” Kristian WIlliams explains, “Police shootings are relatively common, but only rarely create public controversy. The victim is usually forgotten, except by those persons who knew him personally. The cops involved are often treated as heroes and issued commendations” (Williams). The keywords in this quote are rarely create, public controversy, cops treated like heroes, and issued commendations. The author chose these words because they want to show that when nothing is being done the cops are rewarded for doing an “outstanding job”. The author also chose these word because they want to let people that they are rarely protesting to make a change. People need to realize and put a stop by protesting when instead of justice happening police are being treated like royalty. Furthermore, people should become more active and awake in the their community because they may never know if one day it will be one of their family members on the news. Additionally police brutality isn’t stopping because people aren’t doing enough to stop the situation. People can say they are fighting, but not hard enough because nothing is being done. They might talk about Trayvon Martin who was shot by a police officer and sparked protest across the country. Although people have been protesting nothing at government level has been changed.


“Normal” People?

How often do community members receive help from police? How often do community members hate on police? How often do you ask yourself these questions? It has come to my attention that police are judged unfairly by a grand amount of people. Being a 14 year old living in Oakland has treated me to multiple encounters with police.

Over the course of the past few weeks, I have done a lot of research on police, including interviewing community members for their perspective on the police. After all of this, I have come to believe that police officers do more good for Oakland than they cause harm to Oakland.

 

Although police do in fact make mistakes, some of their actions include reaching out to the community in form the of providing charity for their community. While doing research I found a foundation started by a former Oakland police officer. Their mission is “to promote public safety by supporting and providing critical resources for the Oakland Police Department and engaging community organizations and citizens as partners in support of our police officers and their work” (Oakland Police Foundation). Like I said, the organization was created by an Oakland police officer for not only officers, but the community as a whole. This organization’s mission strengthens police-community relations because it’s literally bringing the OPD and community organizations/citizens together while promoting public safety. Apart from reaching out to the community in this manner, OPD reaches out to young children and surprises their families during the holidays. On an online news source, I found the following quote, “One mom told KTVU at first she thought she was getting pulled over and was going to get a ticket, but she was pleasantly surprised when her kids received gifts” (KTVU). This annual OPD tradition is a way to surprise and make the community happy. It is a great act for the OPD to do because, with all of the crime, cruelty, and corruption in the world, it’s truly a beautiful act. These examples prove that OPD brings more good than harm into the community because they are reaching out trying to support their community.

 

Not only do police provide charity for their communities, they help at events within their communities. Police promote community wellness and opportunities for the community to unite in a healthy/positive manner. For instance, every year a block party is hosted by community and police. Last year, it was hosted at Lake Merritt in Oakland on the 2nd of August. ABC 7 news, a local news source writes, “This comes at a time when tension is high between many people and police. This is the 33rd National Night out. Police say every year they gain insight into the needs and concerns of the community” (abc7 news). Police organizing an event that gives police and citizens the opportunity to gain insight about one proves that OPD is doing good in the community because they are willing to listen to the community and better themselves by embodying the community’s ideal police. Also, Oakland Police ensured runner’s safety when they issued street closings and parking restrictions so that the first Oakland marathon could be made possible. This shows that Oakland police make an effort to help out at community events. I went around and asked multiple Oakland citizens (from diverse backgrounds) the following question, “What can Oakland police do to improve their connection with the community?”. Some of the responses I was given included, “They can try to get more involved with the community by holding events for families”, “At least get people in there that care about the city”, “Instead of having police drive around, have them walking around within the community so that they can act as a member of a community vs a person just patrolling” (anonymous). In sum, Oakland citizens would agree that police should be more integrated within their community so that they can truly build connections with community members.

Some may say that police hurt communities more than they help them because police are so bad they have gotten to a point in which nothing can fix the relationship the police have with the community. However, I do believe that it is possible to repair the damage police have done to the community because police are people too. In fact, in one of my interviews with UC Berkeley and Columbia University graduate, Rodrigo Sandoval, I asked the following question:“Do you think police are kind to citizens?” He responded, “I think for the most part. I actually think it comes from fear. I can be driving and if a cop pulls up behind me, I immediately ask myself if I did anything wrong” (Sandoval). His thoughts on police relations with the community are similar to mine and those of most people which proves that the connection between community members and the police is very weak. Being afraid of the people keeping one’s community “safe” is not an ideal situation to be in. In order to reassure a community of their safety, the community must trust in the charities and opportunities police hand out.

To conclude, police do more good in the community than they do bad because…

  • Police promote public safety
  • Police ask for input of community through community events
  • Police donate to youth
  • Police have opportunities for funding

I would like to thank you for reading about my opinion and research. With a perspective, I am Fernando Sevilla.


Are Blacks are more likely to face racial profiling than other races?

Dear Youth Voices Community,

My name is KeJahn Banks,attend Fremont High school, and I’m a basketball player.

I feel like the research I’ve done in my class has really enhanced my knowledge on my topic of police brutality.

This is my current thesis statement: Police brutality in Black communities has been an ongoing problem. The law enforcement has been a huge ongoing problem in the last few years. This misconduct tends to happen to communities of blacks that are unserved. Fremont High School seniors are now writing preliminary thesis statements to help guide how they read their sources. I would greatly appreciate your feedback and help on my preliminary thesis statement.

Sincerely,

KeJahn Banks

Fremont High School

Photo by longislandwins


We Need You The Most

Dear Mr/Mrs. President,

My name is Collyn Richardson. I am a 17-year-old African-American boy from Lansing, Michigan. I want you to notice that hyphen I used to describe my ethnicity, this is something that you should take into account. If you are not caucasian in America, I’m afraid that you’ll be referred to as just a hyphen. There must be action taken to end racial inequality.

I know you have heard there have been multiple cases of police officers killing “black” people. I do realize that not all police officers are bad, however, we need to be able to live comfortably without people having to worry about being killed by police. There is an apparent issue when my parents tell me “sometimes calling the police isn’t the best option, as they might come for you as a target.” Things like my dad telling me to be careful when I got my license because I am “DWB” or driving while black.

As a young African-American male, I can honestly say that I do not feel comfortable if I was to be stopped by a police officer, even for a routine traffic stop. It is also extremely mind-wrecking that every time I drive past someone and they are stopped by a police officer they are Black.

Now there is some statistics that do make me feel a little better but not completely safe. These stats include Independent Journal Review’s 2012 study of people killed during police arrests. 52% of the race that was killed were White.

Police and law enforcement are supposed to make us feel safe and feel comfortable that if something happens that they will be there in a heartbeat to help. Unfortunately, I do not feel that way about police, as many others do not as well.

Dr. Martin Luther King, only wanted peace between the races, as I also share this same vision. However, the fact that one day (at this rate) I will have to explain to my children the same thing my parents told me that “you must do everything that the officer says because I want you to make it home tonight” is a very emotional task.

America is so labeled. Everything has to be labeled and categorized, from sports to hashtags, everything is under some sort of umbrella. I believe that is where the issue begins, I think instead of labeling everything we should return to the vision of freedom, a cultural melting pot, with a thriving economy and a low poverty and unemployment rates.

It has to start with you, you are the most powerful voice that everyone is going to look to when times are tough. Police must be trained differently, and be trained not to fear people. This is the most important reform in racial inequality; this would change the perception of how they are receiving people of different ethnicity and that they aren’t just “a hyphen.” You are the make or break in efforts to return America to freedom. Help us Mr./Mrs. President, we need you the most.

Sincerely,
Collyn Richardson

“Black Power Fist Image.” Black Power Fist Image. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.

Hausam, Michael. “Uncomfortable Facts and Statistics That Don’t Fit the Narrative About Racial Violence.” Independent Journal Review. N.p., 23 Sept. 2016. Web. 02 Nov. 2016.

https://letters2president.org/letters/12962


Do we matter in this world?

Dear Mr./Mrs. President,

Hi my name is Kathleen and, first I would  like to  congratulate you on winning! Second I want to talk about major issues in our world I would like for you to fix. An important issue in our  country is that Black lives matter movement!

I believe  U.S.A is for everyone in every culture to be here to be safe and to have fun and live life.

In the U.S.A, today Black people are not living lives. They are not having fun and they can consider saying that they are not safe here. Recently a white police officer shot a Black person thinking he was going to kill him. But he was not and so she shot the Black man. According to www.hillaryclinton.comDonald Trump doesn’t care about Black lives.

Third I want to say that we have to save children! We keep getting kidnapped and no one is caring for that. Police officers need to be on the search for more time and more into this problem. Last time I checked, kids make this world unique and fun! I want children to live life. I want children to have as much fun as all grown ups wanted, but even more fun. I want children to be safe! Don’t you?

Last but not least, I want to say help our world! Our world can be fixed our world will be fixed with no world harm no loss of children and Black Lives Matter, and I am sure that lots and lots of people want this to stop. Once again I want to congratulate you on winning and I  hope you can make these things happen!

Sincerely,

Kathleen

Photo by Johnny Silvercloud


Black Lives Matter

Dear Next President of the United States,

An issue that I care about is Black Lives Matter is a major issue in our country. I believe that they do matter because the cops are just making it worse they kill Black people for no reason they think all black people are bad and they are not all bad like they say they are.In the United States today, they kill a lot of Black people because they thought they had guns or something in their cars to kill people. Recently, I saw in the news that they killd a guy just because he was Black and he need help with his car. According to the ABC 10 News, there’s a lot of violence in the country.

I think it is unjust that police are killing Black people just because they think they’re bad. They should not assume just because they’re black that they are all bad. We need to make our world a better place by stopping the violence. We need a president who will be a leader, take care of our country and make this world a better place by knowing what is right and what is wrong. The government needs to make a law to stop this violence. When you are president, please consider having a law that stops the negativity to people. If you do this, it will make the world a little better.

Photo by xddorox


Police Brutality

Dear Future President,

In our country, Police Brutality has been one of our biggest problems that we need to address. New cases of police brutality and civilians being killed pop up on the news every day. Due to the fact that most of the victims were African American or minorities, police brutality has been linked to racism. This has angered many citizens and has resulted in protests that lead to more violence. This caused a national “crisis,” fueled by the Black Lives Matter movement in which their goal is to get justice for those who have been harmed by police brutality.

There have been numerous articles that give detailed reports about police brutality throughout the country, many in which show the need to fix the issues in which terrorize our society. 

For example, this article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lapd-shooting-boy_us_57f6df31e4b068ecb5dd6f9c?utm_hp_ref=police-brutality talks about how a 16-year-old Hispanic boy, Daniel Perez, who was fatally shot in Los Angeles. This and many other cases caused national debate about the use of lethal force from police officers. 

The reason why all of these incidents happen is because Police officers are using their firearms against innocent civilians. 

Another article http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/13/us/keith-lamont-scott-was-killed-by-two-gunshot-wounds-family-autopsy-finds.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FPolice%20Brutality%20and%20Misconduct&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=collection&_r=0 talks about yet another shooting of an African-American by the police officers of Charlotte N.C. This has led to several days of protests and has even led to the death of one protester.

As you can see Mr./Mrs. President, this is no longer just about getting justice for the victims’ families but it’s about keeping everyone else safe from the riots and protests that can get people hurt or killed. 

If you could do something to fix this problem, our nation would become more united and more people could then live life knowing that they won’t be killed for no apparent reason.

Works Cited

Rojas, Rick, and Alan Feuer. “Queens Prosecutor Releases 71-Page Report on a Fatal Police Shooting.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 Oct. 2016. Web. 12 Oct. 2016.

“Keith Lamont Scott Was Killed by Two Gun Shot Wounds, Family Autopsy Finds.” New York Times. N.p., n.d. Web.

 

This work can be found on Letter 2 Next President. Worked on by Thomas Cho, Tuan Hoang, and Onyu Pak.


Time To Make A Change

Dear Future President,

Hi! My name is Layla and I am 10 years old. First, I want to say congratulations on winning the election! There are some things happening in the world, so I thought that I could bring them to your attention.

One issue that I think is important is poverty. I think that you have been doing good, taking care of the U.S, and making sure the people of the U.S are getting fair treatment, but you could fix poverty by giving people the money that they need, or at least lower the taxes for them. 1 in 5 kids in the U.S is living in poverty. I think that if they don’t get the money, or the time that they need, then their lives could be at stake by maybe not getting enough money for food, or even ending up homeless. I think you should really do something about it.

Another issue that I think is important is treating people equally because it isn’t fair that one person has to suffer and another person won’t. I know that you can punish people for being bad, but you can’t do it to the innocent. I don’t like how no one is stopping police brutality, and how police are not being fair to people of a different race. I bet if a police officer was black and wasn’t treated fairly, then he wouldn’t want to be in that situation. I thought that policemen were supposed to help the world, not terrorize it.

To be honest, I think you are doing a really great job with the U.S., but you and everyone else could do a little better at taking care of the world,and the people.

Sincerely,
Layla


Fight Against Racism

Dear Future President of the United States of America,

First off, I would like to say congratulations with your achievement of becoming the president of the United States. You must hear us people, and you must do what no other president has done: do what we the people think will make our country better. Every president has promised a lot and most of the time they don’t keep their promise and hopefully you will. These are some suggestion that I recommend so that you earn everyone’s respect.
An important issue that I care about is racism. Racism is a major issue in our country. It must stop. I believe that everyone was created equal and I know that Thomas Jefferson would agree with me if he were still alive, but sadly he is not. Where you come from should not influence the way other people treat you. Everyone comes from Earth. Diversity should be valued not looked down on. Recently, in the United States there have been many situations where police officers have been very brutal towards African Americans. Since the police brutality has been a very serious matter, many people have started a trend: Black Lives Matter. I think it is unjust that police are treating people unfairly simply because of their race. It is also unjust that the people who control these United States, debatably the guardians of these United States are betraying our trust. They are hypocrites. They put people in jail for killing others, but they are killing people and justice is not being made. The government needs to make justice. As you are president, you must do something and take a stand for we the people.


                                    Sincerely,
                                                                                  Gustavo Anaya

Photo by Daquella manera


Tell Police To Stop Shooting

To the Next President of The United States Of America:

One issue is that a lot of policemen or policewomen are killing black people who are not going to hurt the police. Last month a man named Alton Sterling  got shot and killed in Baton Rouge Louisiana. The person who was killed was not doing anything to anyone.Black people who are also listening to the police they do something wrong and they get shot or get killed.

Another problem is that the police who kill people don’t get their job taken away the police just get suspended for a few days. When the police come back from their suspension the policemen or policewomen do it again until they get fired.


Calling for Respect and Equal Treatment

Dear Future President of the United States,

I believe that Black lives matter in our world because we are all the same on the inside. Just because people look different on the outside, that doesn’t mean that White people should get more respect than Black people. 

Black people are getting shot by policemen just because they are Black. You can make a big change if you make a law that everyone gets treated equally maybe your supporters will respect you more. I think that the life of every person in this world matters because without them you would not be elected president.

You should also respect Black people because if you were Black, you would want people to respect you. I think that the color of your skin doesn’t matter. What matters is how kind you are. That is why I think that you should make a law that everyone gets treated equally in our world.

Sincerely,

Chris

Photo by Marcela McGreal


Why is the U.S so unfair these days?

Dear Future President of the United States,

Congrats on being the new U.S president. Was it hard to get to this place for you? Well, I have two important issues that are happening right now that need to be solved.

An important issue that I care about is police brutality. This is a major issue in our country. In the United States today has a very strong police department, recently a lot of African-American people are receiving a lot of violence towards them without those people doing anything against U.S laws. I think it is unjust that the police department thinks that they have enough power to go around and start killing black people.

According to an article in News ELA about a young juvenile he was playing with a toy gun and White man saw him and he thought that it was a real gun. The first thought that popped into my mind was how would a young boy can have access to a real gun and not have his parents know that he has access to that particular gun. A few moments after the misunderstanding policemen came and out of nowhere the police shot the young boy.

When you are a president, please consider police brutality because a lot of unfair justice is happening in our country and it is not fair that the police believe that they have so much power to go around and kill without a reason.I just don’t have enough words to say how brutal police departments are treating black people I just ask myself how about if that juvenile was a White boy would they have treated this scenario.

Another important issue in our country is how kids use social media. If you haven’t noticed yet, a lot of kids get bullied in schools and through social media. In my opinion, I think kids at some point their parents should check what they post or they follow. I have social media but older or even younger kid take the advantage of that privilege and take to use it for who knows what.

A lot of kids younger than 15 years old commits suicide because of those posts or comments. A lot of them get bullied because of their physical size, their skin color and a lot of people nowadays don’t feel comfortable with their bodies. That is all those social media bullies want for you not want to live anymore.

In my opinion, I think that the social media bullies don’t realize the physical or the mentally abuse they do to their victims. It is not fair for innocent people to be bullied for something that they didn’t do or that it’s not their fault. It’s not fair for an average teenager to live a life that most teenagers do especially being in a world that is all through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. This social media violence needs to be stopped.

Sincerely, Mariane

Photo by Paul Loubet


From the voice of a young black woman

Dear Future President of the United States Of  America,

Congratulations on being the new President of The United  States. We are thankful, and we hope that this country will be a better place again. Recently there has been some destruction, and I‘m hoping that you can fix it.

One issue that is going on is police brutality. It has been happening in lots of places, especially in the U.S.A.  It is hurting me more and more  to know that black people are getting mistreated consistently by police. As a black young lady, it hurts a lot because I wonder how kids feel to see their parents get mistreated and thrown around like dirt. It is not fair. 

They  are especially mistreated because of drugs, alcohol, and  fake gun toys. Even little kids are dying because of police brutality. According to News ELA, President Barack Obama has said that “In 2014, there were two well-known cases of African -American men killed by police. Eric Garner was in New York City. A white  police officer grabs him  around the neck  and he  died afterward. Michael Brown was in Ferguson, Missouri. A  white police officer shot him even though he did not have a gun or weapon. Neither did Garner. The deaths of Garner and Brown caused frustration around the world.”

Wait a minute what did they do? Nothing. Exactly. The were killed because the color of their skin which is racist and hurtful .

The second issue is Black Lives Matter. It happened in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s death. There have been kids and adults dying over their  protesting. 

We need  to stop this and make life the U.S.A. the way it was.  We need to make it justice. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream for this country and now his dream is breaking apart bit by bit, but that is why I can count on you to make the world  the way it was.

     Sincerely, Jamillie a student at The Learning Community

Photo by DonkeyHotey


Treat people from all races fairly

Dear Future President of the United States,

Black lives is an issue in our country. I think this because the people who are not getting treated fairly, people that are getting shot. That is Black lives. They are getting shot and mistreated by police officers. Most people in jail are blaming Black people. I think you should take a stand because you are the one that can stop and sign a law so that we could make a change in our country.

I think we should be all in a community that is fair and safe to any color. I hope you make a change in The United States of America. A country that is fair, safe and loyal.  

I think we all need to suggest a law about Black lives. They are not getting that much of fair treatment. They should be treated like White people get treated. Let’s have a fair country. I mean isn’t America supposed to be open to Black people, people that are Spanish or other languages? Because Black people can think differently from White people so they could elect you for president.

 

Photo by Johnny Silvercloud

Photo by DrPhotoMoto


Stop Racism and Enter Freedom!

Dear Future President of the United States,

There are so many issues in my community, and country. For example, crimes are being committed by the police and they are supposed to protect and help our community. They have been shooting and killing many innocent black people, and have not yet been punished for their actions. I worry soon my friends and family members will be the next victim.

I think it’s already unfair that in the past Back people had very little money or even homeless! Black kids couldn’t go to the same school as Whites, and even more dumb, they couldn’t go to the same bathroom, drink of the same water fountains, and eat out of the same stores! They had little freedom and I don’t want this to happen again.

I hope that soon police officers and other people understand that Black lives do matter! Thank you Next President, and good luck!

Sincerely,

Justin

Photo by Sander van der Wel


Why Police Should Stop Police Brutality

Dear next President of The United States of America, 

First of all new President congratulations on becoming the next President of America.

We have a problem in America and that is Police Brutality. I thought that Black people could do whatever we wanted without getting unfairly killed. I thought that until this year when there were multiple White Policeman killing people of color (not White).

In the Summer I went on a ride with my Dad to my cousin’s house. Until we got pulled over, by a White Cop. Since my dad and I are black I was scared I was trying to stay still, but I just  couldn’t. Turns out my Dad’s lights weren’t working and he just got a ticket. There was a time I wouldn’t get afraid like that, but that just proves we’re not safe anymore. While a White Cop kills an innocent man he is dead, but the cop just gets suspended off the Police Force.

One way I suggest fixing this problem is to talk to your men on the Police Force to not pull out your gun when you see a person of color. Instead only pull out your gun if they have a weapon. I have seen a Cop take down a drunk Black guy with a sharp bottle without pulling out a gun. That is what police should do help us not harm us, not to mention the Cop was white.

Please, New President of America do us all a favor and please try to solve this situation.

  

Photo by Elvert Barnes


Make Our Community A Better Place

Dear Future President,

I would like to congratulate to for being the next president. I would like to talk to you about an important issues in the United States.

The issue I am about to address is all of the police brutality that is happening to people of color. I think that is unfair to harm someone just because they aren’t white. People of color should be treated the same way as white people. I think that color doesn’t define us. Things that define us are are personality. Color is just a part of us it doesn’t mean we should be treated differently.

I have a feeling police are just taking advantage of their jobs and harming people for being innocent. Think about it like this, your family member is walking down the street and they are harmed because they are of color. I bet you will probably be devastated because they didn’t even cause harm or trouble.

Another issue I have is the problem about immigration. I think that immigrants decided to leave their country for a certain reason. You think that all immigrants are bad, but they are not they just want to get away from their troubles back at home. Yes some people do cause harm, but for the most part they just really want a better life. I think you should just give them a chance. I feel really strongly about this because last year my cousins immigrated from Colombia. Their reason was only so that they could be with their family. I know you think they are taking jobs, but really they are not. Like I have been saying they just want a better life.

If you would just make these changes this world could be so much better.

Sincerely,

Siera

                                                                                                                                      

Photo by Fibonacci Blue


Law Enforcement in America

The history of Law Enforcement dates back to the beginning of this country’s history. When the signing of the constitution took place, the founders made a set of rights and laws in which the American people would follow for an orderly society. Now in 2016, many of those laws are still in place, and law enforcement still enforces these laws making America a safe place for us all to live.

With this said, the news has flooded the headlines with the epidemic of Police involved shootings, diminishing the reputation Police Officers have in this country. The real question is, how do we avoid these situations but also protect of Police Officers. Every day these Officers put on a uniform and head out the door to protect the American people.

Recently, I was able to take part in a Ride-Along with the local police and found that many citizens would yell rude remarks or criticize the Officers whom I was patrolling with. I was shocked by the public view of Law Enforcement, and even more shocked at how calm the Officers remained. These Police Officers are amazing people who I thank for everything they do, and without them, this world would be much scarier than it is.

Back to the real question, which is the solution to the Police Involved shootings, I believe that action needs to be taken in order to assure the safety of every innocent individual, but for the Police Officers following what they have been trained, I believe that we as Americans need to tip our caps to the men and women in blue and remember that these people risk their lives every day to protect us. Thank you Law Enforcement agencies across America.


Drone Technology: Has it Gone Too Far?

 

Today’s day and age is obsessed with technology. It fills every moment of our time. The average person spends five total hours checking their phone. This could range from texting to web browsing to playing games. That is five hours that you will not get back each day that you live. This obsession with technology has us asking, what is next for our society? How will our lives be changed next? One example that I can think of is the iPhone 7. Another example is the use of drones. The iPhone 7 is considered to be a big release while drones have been in existence since before George W. Bush was president. Even though they have been hovering in the background, they will make their breakthrough onto the global stage. I think that their day has come.

This summer, there was an incident involving a “terrorist” and police in Dallas, TX. As reported by National Public Radio, the headline reads “Bomb Robots: What Makes Killing In Dallas Different And What Happens Next?” The article started by informing the audience that the Dallas police force killed a U.S. Citizen in a shootout with a drone that they had on hand. Usually, they use drones for democratic actions instead of lethal actions. The officers attached C4 to the drone and flew it up to the shooter. At that point, the officers blew up the drone, killing the shooter and ending the confrontation.

The reason that I mention this specific piece is found in the heart of the article. This is the first time in recorded history that a drone was used in the police force to intentionally kill someone. Remember what I said earlier? Will the drones have a breakthrough onto the global stage?

Here it is and it had a relatively negative debut. This is a very big issue with drone use and it leads us to questions.
Should we use drones in the police force?
Should we use drones in the military?
Should drones be not used at all?
These questions and more will be answered in this paper in the professional opinions of a high school senior. Using drones for military use is unethical and disrespectful in the aspect of war because this fight in the middle east is just a skirmish unless there are people ready to die for their cause.

A report made by ABC news that was published on February 6, 2013, notes that drone strikes in the middle East “creates more terrorists.” The American drone strikes are not weakening the anger towards our country. In fact, they are getting stronger by the minute. The whole point of the strikes in the Middle East was to kill off terrorists that were threatening America. We were specifically looking at the heads of the organizations. Through the actions that we have taken, the number of terrorists have decreased slightly and then increased again. The terrorists that have been taken out are just getting replaced by others ready to do the job. This is a pointless cycle that will never end while we are using drones to do the dirty work.

A 60 Minutes news report informs us that, when referring to the drone strike teams, “The fight for the pilots is on a video screen.” How can this possibly be considered a real war? If you are fighting someone on a video screen or a TV, you are playing a video game. The pilots will not know the full extent of their actions. Some of the videos showed real-time actions made by a pilot. We were able to see a convoy that the Air Force was following and witnessed the pilot blow up one of the cars to smithereens. I think that this is a very unethical approach to warfare. If these types of actions continue in the future, the pilots will get used to the routine. They won’t understand that they are fiddling with people’s lives when they pull the trigger. It’s not a game. It’s reality and warfare is not a game to be taken lightly. If you are going to declare war on someone, there is a reason for the declaration. There is a cause behind it, there is some reasoning. If a country is not willing to risk their lives to protect their cause, it is just a skirmish and nothing more. That is not considered war.

Sticking with the topic of unethical force, I would like to address the Dallas shooting that I mentioned earlier. The NPR article has a report from the police officers that says, “we saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate.” I think that this is a bit of a stretch. The police have been using drones for quite a while. Some of them have pepper spray on them or something similar. It has never had a lethal weapon before. In my opinion, there were other routes the officers could have taken. I would have incapacitated him with a drone and then sent backup to take care of the guy. There were other ways and they decided to just kill him. That is unethical. The officers do not have the right to decide who gets to live and who gets to die. I say take the drones out of the military force.

There are people that disagree with my viewpoint. One argument is the fact that the use of drones in the military will save lives rather than sending in soldiers. Remember the days of the Civil War when there were 620,000 deaths. What would happen if we could conduct war without losing any lives? Would that world not be the best and most peaceful? The answer is no. The world would adapt to this new way to wage war and we would be bombed every day. The conflict between countries would increase and some countries would disappear completely. Deaths would skyrocket because the people behind the drones will not understand the consequences of their actions. Eventually, kids will get to this tech and be able to kill people without a second thought. Do we really want a world where this happens every day?

I do not completely hate drones. I have reason to believe that they are the newest way to deliver packages and to advertise for small businesses. The only thing that I would insist on is regulations for the drones. They need to be controlled so that they are not used for purposes other than what they were designed for. Drones are not to be taken lightly. In the wrong hands, they can be a very deadly weapon. In the right hands, they are an energy-efficient way to deliver products.

In conclusion, the technology that we have is advancing very quickly, perhaps too quickly. Some tech is being used in a way that has not been analyzed to its full extent. I think we need to examine every piece of the puzzle before making an executive decision on how to use it. This technique needs to be applied to the drone issue. We need to make sure that everyone knows what the consequences will be if we continue to use drones in the military to bomb other countries. The world will end up being a place where the people without money will die at the hands of the wealthy people. Countries will disappear and lots of people will die. Using drones for military use is unethical and disrespectful in the aspect of war because this fight in the middle east is just a skirmish unless there are people ready to die for their cause. Drones are changing the way that we fight wars, deliver packages and control mobs. We need to make sure that drones do not get out of hand or taken for granted.


Where I’m From Poem

I am from Oakland

Where people do drugs and get robbed at night

Where you here gunshots and sirens

Where you get shot for hanging out with the wrong people

A place where you can not be yourself without getting judged

but with all this going on

we will all make it out.

Photo by davidsonscott15


The Town

I am from a two-sided tree,
where life isn’t always as dreamed
where people laugh if you say thank you or please

I am from the town
where sideshows run the streets
where all you see on people’s feet
are Jordans and Nikes

I am from gunshots
to RIP someone, to every corner
to crying moms asking why?
where police lift guns instead of tasers
and say it was all an accident.

I am from church on Sunday
where parents say don’t do what I did, stay in school.

I am from seeing parks become smoking spots
to tire marks every street to liquor stores every corner
from seeing people posted at liquor stores
where everyone needs a grill to smile.

I am from the city
where you get looked down at for who you are.
where people say you’ll never make it

I am from Oakland
Born and raised

Photo by allaboutgeorge


Colin Kaepernick: Refusing to Stand for the National Anthem

I have decided to pick the issue of Colin Kaepernick not standing for the National Anthem because this is a huge issue that a lot of people are talking about. They are trying to get down to the bottom of whether or not  the protest that Kaepernick is making is dishonoring what our country country was build upon or not.

Colin Kaepernick is the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. “On August 26, 2016 Kaepernick refused to stand during the Star-Spangled Banner, this was in protest of the racial injustice and police brutality in the United States.” stated procon.org

After doing some more research from other articles on this issue. Steve Wyche an NFL media reporter interviewed Kaepernick and this is what he had to say.  “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is  bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” -Kaepernick

This has added fuel to the racial injustice and police brutality issues that we are facing today. On ProCon.org, it states the pros and cons of this protest movement that Colin Kaepernick is deciding to do. Pro 1: When one believes the United States is not living up to its ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all, refusing to stand for the National Anthem is appropriate and justified. Con 1: Refusing to stand for the national anthem shows disrespect for the flag and the members of the armed forces. Pro 2: When a national figure such as an NFL player refuses to stand for the National Anthem, it shocks people into paying attention and generates conversation. Con 2: Not standing for the National Anthem is an ineffective and counterproductive way to promote a cause. Lastly, but not least Pro 3: Not standing for the National Anthem is a legal form of peaceful protest, which is a First Amendment right. Con 3: Refusing to stand for the National Anthem angers many and sows division in our country.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000691077/article/colin-kaepernick-explains-why-he-sat-during-national-anthem

http://www.procon.org/headline.php?headlineID=005323

Photo by NYCMarines


Stop Police Brutality and Reduce the Rent

Dear Future President,

I wonder if police brutality will ever stop. The reason why I’m writing this to you is because I think people that are getting beaten or killed by law is wrong.

I say this because it hurts other people and it is sad to see family members losing their own family. On the other hand, I would suggest to stop the violence towards good people.

The other problem is paying rent. A lot of people always fall behind with rent because their job probably doesn’t pay them that much. Therefore, the rent needs to be decreasing because people can’t afford to pay high rent wherever they live.

The solution I suggest to you for these problems, future President, is stop the police brutality and decrease the rent prices.


Police Brutality

This country is facing many things with ongoing debates about things like transsexual rights, poverty and racism which has many people yelling at each other. One topic that I will bring up that has been going on for a long time but has only come up as the media and social have become more wide spread and that is police brutality. You would hear of a black police officer beating a white man but very few times until now we have never heard of a white officer beating up or kill a black person and claim self defense but we now see from videos which have been withheld by the police of white officers using violence against unarmed men of darker skin even when they had surrendered. This is common from when asked 61% of police officers don’t report serious violations by fellow officers, and than 84% have witnessed other officers using unnecessary force to make an arrest and officers who do 67% of the time get the cold shoulder from their fellow officers. All this has added up to when killings happen the news has lumped on them and their secrecy which has made people not trust officers and for the racism that has taken place on the watch of people they thought they could trust.

The problem is that to go thru police training only need a high school degree to start which we can have people who are as young as 18 or 19 which can lead to old preconceptions coming up when they are on duty based on their upbringing which needs to change. studies have shown that officers who went to collage and got a degree have better morals, know when to use force at better times and being older have matured past the preconceptions from their upbringing. The part of it is just the emotional part of it as if you were the mother, father, brother, lover, fiancee, or child of the person who is killed what does that do to them and the family. To have someone call or come to your door to say that you will never see them smile, laugh, kiss or marry them to never get to say goodbye all because a police officer a man of the law killed them.

These changes need to happen and officers must pay for what they have done and the pain and grief that has been afflicted by their actions, Justice must be upheld!honk for justice photo

Photo by Johnny Silvercloud

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj_sPrWnqPPAhVDdz4KHfkYBUUQjRwIBw&url=%2Furl%3Fsa%3Di%26rct%3Dj%26q%3D%26esrc%3Ds%26source%3Dimages%26cd%3D%26ved%3D0ahUKEwj_sPrWnqPPAhVDdz4KHfkYBUUQjRwIBw%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.africanglobe.net%252Ffeatured%252Fpolice-brutality-black-defense%252F%26psig%3DAFQjCNHJ8_wMczAJ46bGlRMloatawza7-w%26ust%3D1474642776190147&psig=AFQjCNHJ8_wMczAJ46bGlRMloatawza7-w&ust=1474642776190147. 


We need to do something about police brutality

Dear Mr./Mrs. President:

I think the most important issue we need to address for the new president is police brutality because it’s happening more and more often. But the government hasn’t done anything about it.

I think police brutality has been going on for along time but no one has been documented it. I think once more the people get involved, the government will get involved too.

The government has said they will out camera on the police and see what they are doing is right or wrong. But I don’t know if that will work because the police could just turn it off and lie saying it wasn’t working right.I think there is a lot of problems with it.

https://www.youthvoices.live/category/civic-engagement/police-brutality/