The author of Young Black Men and the Criminal Justice System: A
Growing National Problem Marc Mauer, indicated in his journal post that “almost 23% of black males between the ages of 20-29 end up in prison, jail, on probation or parole on any given day.” What black communities have struggled with in the recent years has been the effect of injustice actions caused by law enforcement officials. Biased and unfair treatments from law enforcers are usually towards black males rather than black females. When watching the news and when searching around on the different social media sites, we find that police brutality victims are males and not females. Some may believe that in order to help prevent future police brutality event from happening, we have to start with our young men who suffer in lower class communities.
Motivating young black men to stay out of drugs, violence, and other criminal acts should be the first step when it comes to solving the issues within Black America today. Young black men who are striving for a better future should begin their focus on education and post secondary education. Also written in Mauer’s article, he makes a claim that “The number of young Black men under the control of the
criminal justice system — 609,690 — is greater than the total number of Black men of all ages enrolled in college — 436,000.” He compares this statistic to the number of White males in higher education which is 4,600,000. This lies a huge problem. People may feel the need to focus their attention more on young black males over young black females because of all the social issues young black males are faced with daily.
Although the My Brother’s Keeper is a positive enforcement for young black men and boys around different communities and part of the world, people, men and females, have argued as to why the movement is exclusively for young boys and why not for young black females as well. Months after starting the MBK movement, over 1,000 women of color wrote letters to the President addressing the issue. The letters were to urge the President to include the sisters as well as the brothers in positive movements such as MBK. One women named Legertha Butler-Walton included in her letter to the former President that she didn’t march with Martin Luther King to get the “whites only” signs taken down, only to then have the nations first black President put up signs that say “men only.” To justify the exclusion of females, the White House states that “boys of color are too often born into poverty and live with a single parent.” But, in fact, girls too are born into poverty and are raised by single parents, so the White House really can’t use that reason to justify the exclusiveness to males.
There are obvious facts that show how police brutality effects more men then women. The MBK movement that Obama has exclusively for males has again caused women to be infuriated because they, too, need guidance and reassurance from leaders. In fact, studies have shown that African American males make more money than an average African American female. Research clearly shows these numbers and how women need help getting in the workforce just as much as males do. Another interesting statistic is that African American males are less likely to raise children on poverty-level wages then African American females. It is understandable that young black males need influencers and leaders because of what is going on around the world today such as police brutality. Young black males have been the highest target for police brutality. But, at the same time, if we take a look at the increasing rates of teenage pregnancies which causes young females to drop out of school, and most of the time, not continue their education after their child is born, our women need as much attentions as the males are getting.
Although recent studies show that young girl hog the academic achievements such as honor roll and principles list, they too, need support and guidance from leaders to stay on that track. Communities need not only male influences but female too! Black Female influences such as Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Gabrielle Union should all take on the same helping challenge that Barack Obama did with young black males, and use it to help the young sisters out as well.
Mauer, Marc. “Young Black Men and the Criminal Justice System: A Growing National Problem.” ERIC – Education Resources Information Center, 31 Jan. 1990, eric.ed.gov/?id=ED336442.