Research Position Paper-31Savage

America’s Illusion of a Free Country

America is supposed to be a free country, but its freedoms are restricted from people of color. It may seem counter intuitive that people of color migrating to America are coming here because of America’s freedoms, but find themselves living in a nation of imprisonment. For this country to be glorified as a free country, it has many ways to imprison people without them physically being imprisoned. America has crafted a tricky contract with many loopholes and fine prints for its so-called freedom.

If a person of color that is living in poverty was asked if they feel free in America, the negative answer might seem as a rebellion against America, but the evidence of their conclusion is right under our noses. America has pointed the finger at people of color blaming us for our situation but this evidence shows otherwise.

In America, there is a vast amount of unjust laws specifically created to unjustly send people to jail. More specifically, the Three-Strike Law, War on Drugs Act and the Stop-and-Frisk law, were designed to send people to jail, mostly whom are people of color. America don’t see anything wrong with these laws because people of color has been stereotyped as criminals. If it was possible to brainwash most people to place a negative stereotype on the minority, mistreatment of the minority will be justified. This has given the government and law enforcement the green light to harass, imprison, and abuse people of color with little to no consequence.

There was a law passed in New York called Stop-and-Frisk that goes against our 4th Amendment right. Stop-and-frisk made it legal for police officers to stop, search, and question any individual they thought had drugs, weapons, or other illegal contraband on their person. It is nearly impossible to see anything someone has on their person if it’s hidden by their clothing. To conclude that someone is possessing something illegal just by looking at them is a form of stereotyping. This law is a legal way to racially profile an individual. It is not a coincidence that, African-American and Latino communities located where Stop and Frisk is active are overwhelmingly targeted. Someone can be walking home innocently, and be stopped by police just because the police officer felt like it or stereotyped them as being a criminal. In the article “Stop-and-Frisk Campaign” on the “nyclu.org” they stated that “innocent New Yorker’s have been subject to police stops and street interrogations more than 4 million times since 2002.” This is a big problem that needs to be solved. This is a clear violation of rights, but America has let this law be active. Most Americans are not affected by stop and frisk so it is regularly ignored. On the behalf of the people living in the inner city, we feel like our rights are violated and we are discriminated against because of Stop and Frisk. In the Constitution, the 4th Amendment states that, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warren’s shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Being a person of color isn’t illegal, nor is it probable cause for the police to stop and frisk someone.

Stop-and-Frisk was designed to arrest people, mostly whom are people of color, who were deemed suspicious of being involved in illegal activity. Because of negative stereotypes on people of color, these police officers have preconceived notions that people of color are criminals. Acting on suspicions with preconceived notions that people of color are criminals, will prevent law enforcement from doing their job correctly. Some people who are on the outside of the Black community will say the police are doing their job correctly but they aren’t. For example, when talking about Stop-and-Frisk Donald Trump said, in the “Presidential Debate,” that “it worked very well in New York, it brought the crime rate way down but you take the gun away from criminals that shouldn’t be having it.” Donald Trump has been known to openly stereotype people and this shows that people who stereotype, don’t see that it is unconstitutional. People like Donald Trump will never know what it’s like living in America and getting discriminated against just for being Black and simply walking down the street. To target a group of Americans, and strip them of any rights stated in the constitution is clearly unconstitutional. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure Americans that their constitutional rights are protected. To allow stop and frisk, the government is not upholding the constitution. Even if it worked as a deterrent, there is very little way to tell if someone is involved in illegal activity, when relying on suspicion. Suspicions are opinionated and is not something that should be a basis for a law. Laws affect our country in its entirety and they must be based upon facts not opinions.

Furthermore, laws before this were designed with prejudices and were deemed reasonable. The war on drugs act was created by President Richard Nixon in 1971. In the article “The United States War on Drugs” it’s written that “He proclaimed, America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse.” In all actuality, he knew he had two groups of people who could hurt his presidency. On one hand he wanted to get rid of the Hippies, who were against the war, and on the other hand he wanted to get rid of the Black Panthers, who were protecting the Black communities against discrimination and police brutality at all costs. To extinguish the two groups, Nixon associated the Hippies with marijuana and Black Panthers with heroin. This enabled law enforcement to eradicate both movements. As the age of the Hippies went away, so did the need to eradicate them. After the Hippies were extinguished, Latino’s took their place as the second target group. As for the Black Panthers, the Black communities never could recover from the connection with heroin. Even after the Black Panthers were eradicated, the Black communities were still subject to mass incarcerations due to drugs. They had no one to protect them against the very government that is supposed to protect them. This way of being tough on crime extended too many presidencies after Nixon.

Bill Clinton signed a crime bill in 1994, which enacted the three-strike law. The three-strike law was implemented to ensure that repeat offenders are kept in prison to serve 25 years to life sentences after committing a third offence. This meant that fewer people were being released from prison in turn increasing the prison population. Clinton wanted to show he was tough on crime during his campaign so he acted. Clinton followed past presidents who wanted to show they were tough on crime so he passed laws which created a spike of mass incarceration. Coinciding with the war on drugs act, the three strikes law filled prisons with a population of majority Blacks and Hispanics. It can be said that Bill Clinton took a page from Nixon’s book when he signed the crime bill in 1994. In the leading state of California, the prison population reached unthinkable numbers following this bill. By 2011, the prison population rose to almost double the prisons’ designed capacity. This overpopulation is the primary cause for the unconstitutional conditions found existing in the California prisons because it goes against health and safety regulations. Matthew Cate said, on “CNN.com” that “the governor and I strongly disagree with this ruling.” In that same article in 2006, “CNN” stated that “implementing the court’s ruling would result in up to 58,000 prisoners being released.” These prisons are populated by mostly Black’s and it can be speculated that the reason this problem is being over looked is because the population is mostly Black.

Though slavery is illegal, prisons has taken its place to strip people of their freedom. African-Americans are the leading population in these prisons because they commit crimes. In order for them to get incarcerated, the courts have to prove that they broke a law. Once someone is convicted of a crime they get thrown into the new slavery system. African-Americans, descended from slaves, living in poverty, commit street crimes because of their poverty, illiteracy and heritage. The legacy of slavery lives in our streets. Now, four hundred years later, conditions for the descendants of slaves still create criminality. Uneducated and impoverished, living in desperate communities, African-Americans in today’s inner cities are destined to commit street crimes. Slavery gave birth to street crime.

According to “History.com”, in 1619, slavery started when the first slave ships landed in the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia. Slaves, kidnapped from Africa to work for their slave owners, were tortures, forced to live in impoverished communities, forced to work for free, and deprived of the basic freedom to learn. Slave owners had complete control over the slaves, and they made it nearly impossible to survive. Slavery thrived for an excruciating 245 years. The Founding Fathers of America created the constitution, which would later free slaves. Slavery would then be a problem for African-Americans for the next 89 years. Slaves were freed by the 13th Amendment that was created in 1865.

When comparing 1619 and present day, they are like fraternal twins to each other. Although they may look different they are very similar. Both times involves, slaving, or imprisoning an extreme number of African-Americans, illiteracy in the African-American communities and severe poverty in those communities. Viewing the horrific timeline from 1619 to present day, there is a chain reaction of slavery, illiteracy, Jim Crow laws, and impoverished communities that produced street crime.

After slavery, African-Americans lived in poverty because they worked for very little pay. African-Americans could not make sufficient money ironically, because the only way to make sufficient money was to own farms. They could not own land, so they found themselves working in the same farms where they were once enslaved. Farmers were the driving force of America’s economy. Africans couldn’t own land because they were not considered citizens of the US. This is like problems we have today with wages and living conditions. According to the “United Sates Census Bureau,” in a chart of the “median household income”, the “average African Americans household makes only $33,321.” This is a little more than half of White household’s income. African Americans will get paid less than Whites who are doing the same job. There is a similarity with the pay because in the past African Americans always made less than Whites. Black ex-cons and White ex-cons are receiving different pay as well. Bruce Western, in the table three chart in his essay, “The Impact of Incarceration on Wage Mobility and Inequality,” claims that the average wages of African-American ex-cons are documented at $5.33 per hour, which is less than white ex-cons at $5.77. Trying to survive in society with these wages for both Whites and Black is nearly impossible. Most ex-cons end up living in the same environment that lead to their arrest. Even though both Black ex-cons and ex-slavers are free, theirs living situations seems all too familiar.

African-Americans have always been deprived of access to proper education. During slavery, it was illegal for slaves to learn so up until the end of slavery African-Americas didn’t learn. If you have generations of illiterate ancestors, this will negatively affect the learning ability for future generations. After slavery, Blacks were not allowed to go to the same schools as Whites because of Jim Crow laws. The schools that were available to Blacks were barely functional. If people are placed in an environment filled with poverty and illiteracy, street crime will be the result.

Black impoverished communities where made during segregation because African-Americans were not allowed to integrate into White communities. These communities were designed to be placed away from white communities. This is like the way communities are structured in present day. The structure of today’s communities started when America shifted from an agricultural economy to a factory driven economy in the 19th century. As the industrial age grew, and the agricultural age declined, people began to leave the farming life behind and move to cities and towns with factory jobs. The nation’s wage earnings began to come from people who were formerly self-employed but now employed by major corporations. Blacks and Whites where living in segregated communities, but they were more often working in the same factories in their cities and towns. This increase in the industrial age also came to a decline at the fault of the great depression. In 1929-39, America along with many other countries suffered from the largest economic fall in history. This economic fall forced many companies to lay off workers, causing vast unemployment and hardships. After 1939, the economy recovered after the New Deal and World War II’s contributions to the industrial industry. While things were getting better for Whites, Blacks were not as fortunate.

Whites began to leave the cities and move to suburban areas where blacks weren’t allowed. Public Housing policies were still preventing Blacks from taking most opportunities that were available to Whites. In a broadcast on “Fresh Air,” Richard Rothstein said that “the second policy, which was probably even more effective in segregating metropolitan areas, was the Federal Housing Administration, which financed mass production builders of subdivisions starting in the 30’s and then going on to the 40’s and 50’s in which those mass production builders, places like Levittown for example, and Nassau County in New York and in every metropolitan area in the country, the Federal Housing Administration gave builders like Levitt concessionary loans through banks because they guaranteed loans to lower interest rates for banks that the developers could use to build these subdivisions on the condition that no homes in those subdivisions be sold to African-Americans.” In this same broadcast, he also said that “This was to ensure that public housing would only be used to house people of the same race in which it was located.” This pushed Whites out of the public housing communities and trapped Blacks in. The overpopulation and low-income of communities made poverty spread like a disease.

As poverty started to grow people started turning to drugs. Drugs began to find their way to these impoverished communities after WWII. After WWII, war veterans returned home to these overpopulated and impoverished communities with bigger problems than the war to deal with. One of these problems was drug addiction. Drugs such as morphine and heroin was used on a regular basis in wars as pain killers. According to an article on “narconon.org,” “morphine was the only thing that made the gunshot, amputation and recovery tolerable.” Many soldiers became addicted to the drug and even after the war ended, they couldn’t shake the addiction. Heroin started getting made in the 19th century by boiling morphine. According to the same article, “in 1898, the Bayer pharmaceutical company began an aggressive marketing campaign to sell its commercial preparation of heroin. Heroin was heavenly promoted as being non-addicting, and therefore an excellent treatment for morphine addiction. In 1906, the American Medical Association approved Heroin for general use and recommended that is be used in place of morphine.” Heroin flooded the bodies of the solders and they had to feed their addiction. Returning home unemployed and living in poverty made it hard for them to buy the drugs they needed. If someone needs money, but they are unemployed they will do anything to obtain the money. Street crime is the easiest way to make money for people living in impoverished communities. Getting a gun on the street and robbing someone is easier than getting a job. People turn to street crime when they don’t see any other way to get money.

Cops have been able to hide their abuse of African-Americans because this street crime. Because of racism, African Americans have been getting slaughtered since the beginning of slavery and America have let cops who are slaughtering Blacks get away with it with little to no consequences. The slaughtering of Blacks has been normalized in America since slavery. During the time of slavery, Blacks were beaten, hung from trees, and abused, even by police. Blacks have always had trouble with police brutality and even in present day this hasn’t changed. Police officers get away with murdering people because their badges protect them. At the end of the day, it’s our word against theirs.  America has always stereotyped Blacks as criminals, so if there is no one around to witness the murders cops will get away with the brutality of African-Americans. There have been frequent videos of police wrongfully killing unarmed Black people and they still seem to get away with it. There have been a gruesome number of police killings of unarmed Black people in the past decades. According to the article, “Mapping Police Violence” on “Mapping Police Violenc.com” in 2015 alone, there was over 100 murders of unarmed Black people. This is unacceptable and it needs to change. We as Americans must figure out a way to undo all the wrongs done to African-Americans in the past and present. It is easy for America to blame African Americans for what we go through in America, but it’s not our fault its America’s fault. Connecting street crime and police with slavery is a long process but when you connect the dots they add up. After looking at the evidence, slavery is the only clear explanation for street crime. The evidence provided can no longer be over looked. It must be fixed before we find ourselves in a deeper hole than we are in currently.

Throughout American history the government has attempted to get our country out a hole but it always produce a shiny penny to mask the continuing problems. Although it looks appealing, it’s not worth much. For people at the bottom of the economic chart who are living in poverty, the government has provided the shiny penny that is welfare. According to Welfareinfo.org, the government created federally funded assistance programs in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. The Great Depression affected families financially in great numbers. Families with little to no income were the main beneficiaries of these welfare programs. Families are given money and food stamps to take care of their families. If a family has a low-income limit, these food stamps helps families save their money for other needed resources. These are all attempts to help struggling Americans. Even though this helps many poor families, it also encourages them to be dependent on the government. Blacks are the largest beneficiaries of welfare. According to “Seth Harden” in the chart “Welfare Demographics” on “Statisticbrain.com” Blacks account for most of the welfare recipients at 39.6%. It is hard to break a cycle of a dependent generation so many poor people of color find themselves in the same position as the generations before them. Depending on the government will keep those Blacks in poverty.

Every American has the right to be free and chase the American dream. This dream is to take advantage of the opportunities that our country has and work hard to achieve financial stability. For America to pride it’s self on being the greatest country in the world, we should not feel that we are slaves to our home country. It is illegal to discriminate against someone’s race, gender, and sexual orientation; therefore no one should feel oppressed in America. America is the land of opportunity and it’s up to the government to provide equal opportunity to its citizens. These shocking truths of unjust laws are showing that freedom in America depends on political views and ethnicity. It might be criticized as being un-American when people of color say they don’t feel free, but experiencing life from their perspectives might show why they question freedom in America. People of color have been living in a freedom restricted America since slavery and that needs to change. There shouldn’t be any poverty, illiteracy, or unjust laws preventing any American from receiving equal opportunity.

Works Cited

New York Civil Liberties Union. http://www.nyclu.org/issues/racial-justice/stop-and-frisk-practices. NYCLU n.d. Web. Accessed 31, Oct, 2016.

CNN. “California May Have to Cut Prison Population by 40 Percent.” CNN. Cable News Network, 10 Feb. 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

 “The United States War on Drugs.” The United States War on Drugs. Stanford University, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.
“Debate Reality Check: Does ‘stop and Frisk’ Stop Crime? – CNN Video.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.
“Heroin History 1900s.” Narconon International. Narconon, Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

NPR. “Historian Says Don’t ‘Sanitize’ How Our Government Created Ghettos” NPR.org. Fresh air. 14 May, 2015. Web.6 Nov.

Western, Bruce. The Impact of Incarceration on Wage Mobility and Inequality (n.d.): n. pag. Scholar.Harverd.edu. Harvard University, 1 Aug. 2002. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

Police Killed More than 100 Unarmed Black People in 2015.” Mapping Police Violence. Mapping Police Violence, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.

History.com Staff. “Slavery in America.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 09 Dec. 2016

Harden, Seth. “Welfare Statistics and Demographics.” Statistic Brain. Statisticbrain, 27 Sept. 2016. Web. 09 Dec. 2016.

Reflective-31Savage

Core Value I. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

I displayed core value one in my causal essay, “The Birth of Street Crime.” In this essay I marked stages of different events African Americans went through to be subjected to committing street crime. The causal assignment helped me to understand my history better. Before this assignment I never knew that the government is the reason why ghettos exist. My whole life I thought that the reason ghettos are populated with mostly Blacks and Latinos was because they couldn’t afford to live anywhere else. I soon discovered that there were Acts created by the government to make sure they were trapped in the ghettos. At the end of this assignment I’ve learned to dig deeper into research to find answers no matter what I’ve been taught.

Core Value II. My work demonstrates that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities. 

I displayed core value two in my definition essay, “Who’s Free in America?” In this essay I plucked a variety of statistics that African Americans are being mistreated in America. I tied the many statistics together to prove that people are being harassed everyday and being stripped of their rights. It was easy to make the correlation between the statistics and my view. I hope that these statistics change the views of many people who oppose my view. Bridging the gaps between the oppressors and the oppressed will make America a better country for everyone. America is a great country and hopefully I can start bringing the two oppressor and oppressed communities together.

Core Value III. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

I displayed core value three in my visual rhetoric assignment, “Good Dad.” I crafted a accurate written version of a thirty-second visual commercial. I took all the information I could possibly gather from the one-second increment clips to predict what the commercial was about. I paid close attention to every detail possible. As I got deeper into the commercial I started to form an idea that the man was playing around in the house which was close to the theme of the commercial. I soon noticed that the man was hiding from something or someone. If I was to let someone  read this assignment, I am sure they could vision the commercial simply from the words. I fulfilled the goal of the assignment by transforming words into a vision.

Core Value IV: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

I displayed core value four in my causal assignment, “The Birth of Street Crime.” I’ve met the expectations of academic writing in my causal assignment because I satisfied all the qualifications of core value four by pulling the information about slavery, poverty, and the effects of illiteracy. Each of these elements have a great impact on street crime. Professor Hodges asked me why I had to go all the way back to slavery to show why street crime is present in today’s time and I explained that I wanted to go all the way back to the beginning of the mistreatment of African Americans. According to all the evidence I’ve gathered there is a causal connection between street crime and slavery.

Core Value V. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation. 

I displayed core value five in my definition assignment, “Who’s Free in America?” I took on the ethical responsibility to represent my complex ideas by citing data I collected from my sources. I used many sources to prove that some people of color who are being mistreated by our government don’t feel like they are free and I gave them the credit for their research. Their research was very important to my assignment. The mistreatment of people of color has been going on since the beginning of slavery and even 397 years after the first slave ship landed in America, people of color are still being mistreated. Using Core value five I was able to cite all of my sources correctly. If I hadn’t cited them correctly I couldn’t claim this paper to be mine.

Bibliography-31Savage

1. “Radcliffe College Library Collection Relating to Ann Radcliffe, 1894-1977: A Finding Aid.” Radcliffe College Library. Harvard Library, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Background: This is a documentation of the first scholarship given by Ann Radcliffe in 1643.

How I Used It: I showed how long scholarships and financial aid has been available to those in need. I used this source to show that people are helped when they are trying to achieve higher education even in the 1800’s  

2. “History of Student Financial Aid.” FinAid | FinAid for Educators and FAAs | History of Student Financial Aid. Fin Aid, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016

Background: This a complete list of the long history of financial aid.

How I Used It: I gathered all the information about financial aid from this source. This source had a vast amount of information on the history of financial aid that was useful to my paper. I used this to also show that the government helps people that need financial help for school by granting them funds.

3. Michael Herring. “Child Labor in U.S. History.” Child Labor in U.S. History. Child Labor Public Education Project, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Background: This source provided all the needed information on childhood labor and the beginning of child labor laws.

How I Used It: I used this information to show how America started to help people to get out of poverty. Child labor laws was one of the first steps to helping people out of poverty. I used this to show that with child labor laws children were able to get educated and get well paying jobs after school.

4. “Welfare Reform – Social Welfare Change.” Welfare System Reform. Welfare Info, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Background: This source documents the kinds of governmental help through the Welfare Program.

How I Used It: I used this source to further explain the ways the government tries to help families who have little to no income. This source gives examples of different ways of government assistance and showing this assistance helped me show that the government creates opportunity for citizens to succeed.

5. “Heroin History 1900s.” Narconon International. Narconon, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

Background: This source gives the history on heroin’s origins and its addictions and uses.

How I Used It: I displayed the different effects heroin has on its users. I made a way to connect the dots between heroin poverty. Heroin is a drug that destroys more than the person using it. This sources gave me information that i used to show it’s destruction.

6. Staff, History .com. “The Great Depression.” History.com. History, 1 Jan. 2009. Web. 6 Nov. 2016.

Background: This source gives information on the great depression.

How I Used It: I used the information on the great depression to show why factory work started to decline. Factory work came to a decline when the Great Depression hit and I am using this source to show how it happened.

7. NPR. “Historian Says Don’t ‘Sanitize’ How Our Government Created Ghettos” NPR.org. Fresh air. 14 May, 2015. Web.6 Nov.

Background: This source is a broadcast and article that highlights the many ways the American government created ghettos.

How I Used It: I used it to show how America’s treatment of African Americans is the reason for us living in impoverished neighborhoods. The government have created curtain laws and acts to ensure that African Americans have a tough time surviving. This sources shows that ghettos and projects were created purposely.

8. Staff, History .com. “Slavery In America.” History.com. History, 1 Jan. 2009. Web. 6 Nov. 2016.

Background: This source gives the information on slavery.

How I Used It: I used this to show how slavery is the root cause of the mistreatment of African Americans in present day. The effects of slavery are still affecting African Americans in present day eventhough we are physically free.

9. White, Richard .. “The Rise of Industrial America.” The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Web. 06 Nov. 2

Background: This source shows the causes for the rises of the industrial revolution.

How I Used It: I used this source to show how the industrial age came about in America. The industrial age had a big impact on Americas economic system and I pointed out the positives and negatives from this source.

10. Western, Bruce. The Impact of Incarceration on Wage Mobility and Inequality (n.d.): n. pag. Scholar.Harverd.edu. Harvard University, 1 Aug. 2002. Web. 22 Nov. 2016+

Background: This source shows the wage differences for ex-cons and average Americans.

How I Used It: I showed the similarities between the income of ex-cons in present days and ex-slaves. They are two very different things but they have a lot of similarities. It is easy to see the differences but the similarities could easily go unnoticed.

11. Legal Information Institute. “Stop and Frisk.” LII / Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School,  Cornell University Web. Accessed 31 Oct. 2016

Background: This source gives the information on the Fourth Amendment and stop and frisk.

How I Used It: I used this source to show how the government is stripping people of color from their constitutional rights as American citizens. Stop and Frisk goes against our Fourth Amendment right and I wanted to highlight unjust practices by the US government.

 12. Nicole Shoener, “Three Strikes Laws in Different States.” LegalMatch.com. Legal Match, n.d.Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
Background: This source shows the reason for the Three Strike Laws and what states use them.
How I Used It: I used this source to show how sates in America are overpopulating their prison systems because of this law. The Three Strike Laws are designed to keep repeated offenders incarcerated and it is one of the main reasons for our overpopulated prisons.

Rebuttal Rewrite-31Savage

The Equal Opportunity State

America is a country where, a person can work their way out of poverty. There are equal opportunities for those who are wealthy, as well as those who are poor in America. If someone is living in poverty there are different assistance programs to help that person survive and get out of poverty. These assistance are labeled as government assistance. Some government assistance are, welfare, unemployment and financial aid. The government ties to set people up for success if they are willing to work for it. America was founded on creating a land where people can migrate, and create a successful living for themselves. Throughout America there has been people born into poor families who have worked their way out of poverty. Those who take advantage of the opportunities are the ones that succeed.

In present America, the US government makes it mandatory for children between the ages of 6 and 16 to attend school. Before this mandate children were put to work in factories. Education is a vital key to success. The US government realized this when there was an abundance of children were working and not attending school in the 19th and 20th centuries. According to the article Child Labor in U.S. History, children were preferred workers because employers saw them as more manageable, cheaper, and less likely to strike (Child Labor Public Education Project). Children were more likely to work in these factories their whole life because of the lack of education. With the help of child labor laws, the school mandate enabled children to get educated and end the child labor practices in the 19th and 20th centuries. Unions helped these harsh child labor practices come to an end. These employers paid very little and it was unlikely for the children to get out of poverty. Children were rescued by the Child Labor Committee when they fought for children to be provided with free, compulsory education. The Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 set federal standards for child labor. America fixed its mistake and gave those children a chance to experience life after poverty.

For those children who would later want to achieve high education but didn’t have the financial resources, the government provides financial aid. Financial aid has been available since the 1600’s. In present day, there is a financial aid application called FASFA that is filled out to determine the amount of government funds a student can receive. Outside governmental assistance scholarships are given by private company to increase funds needed to attend school. In 1643, the first scholarship was established by Lady Anne Radcliffe Mowlson at Harvard University (Fin Aid). This scholarship was worth 1000 pounds (Harvard University). This helped someone attend school, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend without it. Harvard then awarded their first student loan in 1840. After the creation of the US Department of Education in 1867, student aid programs started to thrive. Many different student aids were created to help certain groups of people. In today’s world you can receive a scholarship of just about anything. There is a list of 100 unique scholarships on YesCollege.com and one of them is the Jif most creative sandwich contest. This scholarship is worth $25,000 and it comes with a Jif Peanut Butter Basket. Qualifications to receiving scholarships have evolved from simple education based qualifiers to fun and creative qualifiers.

Beyond educational help, the government has created ways to assist those who are living in poverty. The government created federally funded assistance programs in the 1930’s during the Great Depression (Welfare info). The Great Depression affected families financially in great numbers. Families with little to no income were the main beneficiaries of these welfare programs. The welfare system stayed in the governments hand for the next sixty years (welfare Info). States were granted the ability to control their welfare programs individually. States were given a grant called TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), which is the base of welfare. Families are given money and food stamps to take care of their families. Food stamps are food vultures for families to get food. If a family has a low income limit these food stamps helps families save their money for other needed resources. These are all attempts to help struggling Americans.

Every American has the right to be free and chase the American dream. This dream is to take advantage of the freedom and work hard to achieve financial stability. It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on race, gender and sexuality, therefore no one is denied the opportunity of financial stability. American is the land of opportunity it’s up to the citizens to choose their future and go get it. Many people try to migrate to America for its opportunities every day. America is thought to be the greatest country in the world.

 

Works Cited

“Radcliffe College Library Collection Relating to Ann Radcliffe, 1894-1977: A Finding Aid.” Radcliffe College Library. Harvard Library, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Hawksworth, Scott . “100 Unique and Weird Scholarships.” YesCollege. Yes College, 14 Nov. 2016. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

“History of Student Financial Aid.” FinAid | FinAid for Educators and FAAs | History of Student Financial Aid. Fin Aid, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016

 Michael Herring. “Child Labor in U.S. History.” Child Labor in U.S. History. Child Labor Public Education Project, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

“Welfare Reform – Social Welfare Change.” Welfare System Reform. Welfare Info, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

“US Welfare System – Help for US Citizens.” US Welfare System Help for US Citizens. Walfare System, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Causal Rewrite-31Savage

The Birth of Street Crime

The legacy of slavery lives in our streets. African-Americans, descended from slaves, living in poverty, commit street crimes because of their poverty and their heritage.

In 1619, the first slave ships landed in the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia. Slaves, brought from Africa to work for their slave owners, were tortures, forced to live in impoverished communities, forced to work for free, and deprived of the basic freedom to learn. Slave owners had complete control over the slaves, and they made it nearly impossible to survive.

Now, four hundred years later, conditions for the descendants of slaves still create criminality. Uneducated and impoverished, living in desperate communities, African-Americans in today’s inner cities are destined to commit street crimes.

When comparing 1619 and present day, they are fraternal twins to each other. Both times involved, slaving, or imprisoning an extreme number of African-Americans, illiteracy in the African-American communities and severe poverty. Viewing the horrific timeline from 1619 to present day, there is a chain reaction of slavery, illiteracy, Jim Crow laws, and impoverished generations that produced street crime.

Starting with slavery, it thrived for an excruciating 245 years. In 1776, the Founding Fathers of America created the Declaration of Independence, which would later free slaves. Slavery would then be a problem for African-Americans for the next 89 years. Slaves were freed by the 13th Amendment that was created in 1865.

After slavery, African-Americans worked for very little pay. African-Americans could not make sufficient money ironically, because the only way to make sufficient money was to own farms. They could not own land, so they found themselves working in the same farms where they were once enslaved. Farmers were the driving force of America’s economy. Africans couldn’t own land because they were not considered citizens of the US. This is like problems we have today with wages and living conditions. According to the “United Sates Census Bureau,” in a chart of the “median household income”, the “average African Americans household makes only $33,321.” This is a little more than half of White household’s income. African Americans will get paid less than Whites who are doing the same job. There is a similarity with the pay because in the past African Americans always made less than Whites. Black ex-cons and White excons are receiving different pay aswell. Bruce Western, in the table three chart in his essay, “The Impact of Incarceration on Wage Mobility and Inequality,” claims that the average wages of African-American ex-cons are documented at $5.33, which is less than white ex-cons at $5.77. Trying to survive in society with these wages for both Whites and Black is nearly impossible. Most ex-cons end up living in the same environment that lead to their arrest. Even though both ex-cons and ex-slavers are free, theirs living situations seems all too familiar.

African-Americans have always been deprived of access to proper education. During slavery, it was illegal for slaves to learn so up until the end of slavery African-Americas didn’t learn. If you have generations of illiterate ancestors, this will negatively affect the learning ability for future generations. After slavery, Blacks were not allowed to go to the same schools as Whites because of Jim Crow laws. The schools that were available to Blacks were barely functional. If people are placed in an environment filled with poverty and illiteracy, street crime will be the result.

During segregation, African-Americans were not allowed to integrate into White communities therefore, Africans lived in impoverished communities. These communities were designed to be placed away from white communities. This is like the way communities are structured in present day. The structure of today’s communities started when America shifted from an agricultural economy to a factory driven economy in the 19th century. As the industrial age grew, and the agricultural age declined, people began to leave the farming life behind and move to cities and towns with factory jobs. The nation’s wage earnings began to come from people who were formerly self-employed but now employed by major corporations. Blacks and Whites where living in segregated communities, but they were more often working in the same factories in their cities and towns. This increase in the industrial age also came to a decline at the fault of the great depression. In 1929-39, America along with many other countries suffered from the largest economic fall in history. This economic fall forced many companies to lay off workers, causing vast unemployment and hardships. After 1939, the economy recovered after the New Deal and World War II’s contribution to the industrial industry.

Whites began to leave the cities and move to suburban areas where blacks weren’t allowed. Public Housing policies were still preventing Blacks from taking most opportunities that were available to Whites. In a broadcast on “Fresh Air,” Richard Rothstein said that “the second policy, which was probably even more effective in segregating metropolitan areas, was the Federal Housing Administration, which financed mass production builders of subdivisions starting in the 30’s and then going on to the 40’s and 50’s in which those mass production builders, places like Levittown for example, and Nassau County in New York and in every metropolitan area in the country, the Federal Housing Administration gave builders like Levitt concessionary loans through banks because they guaranteed loans to lower interest rates for banks that the developers could use to build these subdivisions on the condition that no homes in those subdivisions be sold to African-Americans.” In this same broadcast, he also said that “This was to ensure that public housing would only be used to house people of the same race in which it was located.” This pushed Whites out of the public housing communities and trapped Blacks in. The overpopulation and low-income of communities made poverty spread like a disease.

As poverty started to grow problems started to rise and street crime was born. Drugs began to find their way to these impoverished communities. After WWII, war veterans returned home to these overpopulated and impoverished communities with bigger problems than the war to deal with. One of these problems was drug addiction. Drugs such as morphine and heroin was used on a regular basis in wars as pain killers. According to an article on “narconon.org,” “morphine was the only thing that made the gunshot, amputation and recovery tolerable.” Many soldiers became addicted to the drug and even after the war ended, they couldn’t shake the addiction. Heroin started getting made in the 19th century by boiling morphine. According to the same article, “in 1898, the Bayer pharmaceutical company began an aggressive marketing campaign to sell its commercial preparation of heroin. Heroin was heavenly promoted as being non-addicting, and therefore an excellent treatment for morphine addiction. In 1906, the American Medical Association approved Heroin for general use and recommended that is be used in place of morphine.” Heroin flooded the bodies of the solders and they had to feed their addiction. Returning home unemployed and living in poverty prevented them from buying the drugs they needed. If someone needs money, but they are unemployed they will do anything to obtain the money. Street crime is the easiest way to make money for people living in impoverished communities. Get a gun on the street and robbing someone is easier than getting a job.

Because of racism, African-Americans have been getting slaughtered since the beginning of slavery. During the time of slavery, Blacks were beaten, hung from trees, and abused, even by police. Blacks have always had trouble with police brutality and even in present day this hasn’t changed. Police officers get away with murdering people because their badges protect them. At the end of the day, it’s our word against theirs.  America has always stereotyped Blacks as criminals, so if there is no one around to witness the murders they get away with them. There have been frequent videos of police wrongfully killing unarmed Black people and they still seem to get away with it. There have been a gruesome number of police killings of unarmed Black people in the past decades. According to the article, “Mapping Police Violence” on “Mapping Poliece Violenc.com” in 2015 alone, there was over 100 murders of unarmed Black people. This is unacceptable and it needs to change. We as Americans must figure out a way to undo all the wrongs done to African-Americans in the past and present. It is easy for America to blame African Americans for what we go through in America, but it’s not our fault its America’s fault. Tracing street crime back to slavery is a long process but when you connect the dots they add up. After looking at the evidence, slavery is the only clear explanation for street crime.

Works Cited

“Heroin History 1900s.” Narconon International. Narconon, Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

NPR. “Historian Says Don’t ‘Sanitize’ How Our Government Created Ghettos” NPR.org. Fresh air. 14 May, 2015. Web.6 Nov.

Western, Bruce. The Impact of Incarceration on Wage Mobility and Inequality (n.d.): n. pag. Scholar.Harverd.edu. Harvard University, 1 Aug. 2002. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

Police Killed More than 100 Unarmed Black People in 2015.” Mapping Police Violence. Mapping Police Violence, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.

History.com Staff. “Slavery in America.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 09 Dec. 2016

Harden, Seth. “Welfare Statistics and Demographics.” Statistic Brain. Statisticbrain, 27 Sept. 2016. Web. 09 Dec. 2016.

Definition Rewrite-31Savage

Who’s Free in America?

In America, there is a vast amount of unjust laws specifically created to unjustly send people to jail. More specifically, the Three-Strike Law, War on Drugs Act and the Stop-and-Frisk law, were designed to send people to jail, mostly whom are people of color. America don’t see anything wrong with these laws because people of color has been stereotyped as criminals. If it was possible to brainwash most people to place a negative stereotype on the minority, mistreatment of the minority will be justified. This has given the government and law enforcement the green light to harass, imprison, and abuse people of color with little to no consequence.

There was a law passed in New York called Stop and Frisk that goes against our 4th Amendment right. Stop-and-frisk made it legal for police officers to stop, search, and question any individual they thought had drugs, weapons, or other illegal contraband on their person. It is nearly impossible to see anything someone has on their person if it’s hidden by their clothing. To conclude that someone is possessing something illegal just by looking at them is a form of stereotyping. This law is a legal way to racially profile an individual. It is not a coincidence that, African-American and Latino communities located where Stop-and-Frisk is active are overwhelmingly targeted. Someone can be walking home innocently, and be stopped by police just because the police officer felt like it or stereotyped them as being a criminal. In the article “Stop-and-Frisk Campaign” on the “nyclu.org” they stated that “innocent New Yorker’s have been subject to police stops and street interrogations more than 4 million times since 2002.” This is a big problem that needs to be solved. This is a clear violation of rights, but America has let this law be active. Most Americans are not affected by stop and frisk so it is regularly ignored. On the behalf of the people living in the inner city, we feel like our rights are violated and we are discriminated against because of Stop and Frisk. In the Constitution, the 4th Amendment states that, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warren’s shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Being a person of color isn’t illegal, nor is it probable cause for the police to stop and frisk someone.

Stop-and-Frisk was designed to arrest people, mostly whom are people of color, who were deemed suspicious of being involved in illegal activity. Because of negative stereotypes on people of color, these police officers have preconceived notions that people of color are criminals. Acting on suspicions with preconceived notions that people of color are criminals, will prevent law enforcement from doing their job correctly. Some people who are on the outside of the Black community will say the police are doing their job correctly but they aren’t. For example, when talking about Stop-and-Frisk Donald Trump said, in the “Presidential Debate,” that “it worked very well in New York, it brought the crime rate way down but you take the gun away from criminals that shouldn’t be having it.” Donald Trump has been known to openly stereotype people and this shows that people who stereotype, don’t see that it is unconstitutional. People like Donald Trump will never know what it’s like living in America and getting discriminated against just for being Black and simply walking down the street. To target a group of Americans, and strip them of any rights stated in the constitution is clearly unconstitutional. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure Americans that their constitutional rights are protected. To allow stop and frisk, the government is not upholding the constitution. Even if it worked as a deterrent, there is very little way to tell if someone is involved in illegal activity, when relying on suspicion. Suspicions are opinionated and is not something that should be a basis for a law. Laws affect our country in its entirety and they must be based upon facts not opinions.

Furthermore, laws before this were designed with prejudices and were deemed reasonable. The war on drugs act was created by President Richard Nixon in 1971. In the article “The United States War on Drugs” it’s written that “He proclaimed, America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse.” In all actuality, he knew he had two groups of people who could hurt his presidency. On one hand he wanted to get rid of the Hippies, who were against the war, and on the other hand he wanted to get rid of the Black Panthers, who were protecting the Black communities against discrimination and police brutality at all costs. To extinguish the two groups, Nixon associated the Hippies with marijuana and Black Panthers with heroin. This enabled law enforcement to eradicate both movements. As the age of the Hippies went away, so did the need to eradicate them. After the Hippies were extinguished, Latino’s took their place as the second target group. As for the Black Panthers, the Black communities never could recover from the connection with heroin. Even after the Black Panthers were eradicated, the Black communities were still subject to mass incarcerations due to drugs. They had no one to protect them against the very government that is supposed to protect them. This way of being tough on crime extended too many presidencies after Nixon.

Bill Clinton signed a crime bill in 1994, which enacted the three-strike law. The three-strike law was implemented to ensure that repeat offenders are kept in prison to serve 25 years to life sentences after committing a third offence. This meant that fewer people were being released from prison in turn increasing the prison population. Clinton wanted to show he was tough on crime during his campaign so he acted. Clinton followed past presidents who wanted to show they were tough on crime so he passed laws which created a spike of mass incarceration. Coinciding with the war on drugs act, the three strikes law filled prisons with a population of majority Blacks and Hispanics. It can be said that Bill Clinton took a page from Nixon’s book when he signed the crime bill in 1994. In the leading state of California, the prison population reached unthinkable numbers following this bill. By 2011, the prison population rose to almost double the prisons’ designed capacity. This overpopulation is the primary cause for the unconstitutional conditions found existing in the California prisons because it goes against health and safety regulations. Matthew Cate said, on “CNN.com” that “the governor and I strongly disagree with this ruling.” In that same article in 2006, “CNN” stated that “implementing the court’s ruling would result in up to 58,000 prisoners being released.” These prisons are populated by mostly Black’s and it can be speculated that the reason this problem is being over looked is because the population is mostly Black.

America is supposed to be a free country, but these shocking truths are showing that freedom in America depends on politic views and ethnicity. It might be criticized as being un-American when Black’s and Latino’s say they don’t feel free but experiencing life from their perspective’s might show why they question freedom in America.

  Works Cited

New York Civil Liberties Union. http://www.nyclu.org/issues/racial-justice/stop-and-frisk-practices. NYCLU n.d. Web. Accessed 31, Oct, 2016.

CNN. “California May Have to Cut Prison Population by 40 Percent.” CNN. Cable News Network, 10 Feb. 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

“The United States War on Drugs.” The United States War on Drugs. Stanford University, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.
“Debate Reality Check: Does ‘stop and Frisk’ Stop Crime? – CNN Video.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Enough About You-31Savage

Flawed Paragraph

Money seems to have a big role in our society; you can’t do much or get far if you don’t have any. Money is valuable in different ways, even when you don’t see it physically. In today’s society you must have faith in the government and in the banking system that your money is being handled with in the proper manner, if not then you would have to hide all of your money under your mattress or around your house. I have no clue what happens in the banks, or how they take care of your money. I always thought money was simple; you either have some or you don’t—that’s it. However, being introduced to this assignment, the Yap Fei, US gold, French francs, Brazilian cruzeros, and debit accounts now seem similar. No one actually sees their money being transferred. When you get paid, you aren’t handed cash, you don’t receive a physical check, the money’s all directly transferred to your bank account, and you just have to trust that you got more money.

Edited Paragraph

Having money will decide how far we can get in our society.Money affects our lives even if we don’t notice it. We keep our money where we think its safe, whether thats a bank or under our mattress. The big mystery lie with the way banks ways handle of handling and taking care of the money we give them. Money’s complexity stretches beyond the notion that either we are wealthy or poor. After this assignment, the Yap Fei, US gold, French francs, Brazilian cruzeiros, and debit accounts now seem similar. Sometimes we don’t acutely see our money being transferred. When we get paid, our money gets directly deposited in bank accounts without us ever seeing it.

Rebuttal-31Savage

The Equal Opportunity State

America is a country where, a person can work their way out of poverty. There are equal opportunities for those who are wealthy, as well as those who are poor in America. If someone is living in poverty there are different assistance programs to help that person survive and get out of poverty. These assistance are labeled as government assistance. Some government assistance are, welfare, unemployment and financial aid. The government ties to set people up for success if they are willing to work for it. America was founded on creating a land where people can migrate, and create a successful living for themselves. Throughout America there has been people born into poor families who have worked their way out of poverty. Those who take advantage of the opportunities are the ones that succeed.

In present America, the US government makes it mandatory for children between the ages of 6 and 16 to attend school. Before this mandate children were put to work in factories. Education is a vital key to success. The US government realized this when there was an abundance of children were working and not attending school in the 19th and 20th centuries. According to the article Child Labor in U.S. History, children were preferred workers because employers saw them as more manageable, cheaper, and less likely to strike (Child Labor Public Education Project). Children were more likely to work in these factories their whole life because of the lack of education. With the help of child labor laws, the school mandate enabled children to get educated and end the child labor practices in the 19th and 20th centuries. Unions helped these harsh child labor practices come to an end. These employers paid very little and it was unlikely for the children to get out of poverty. Children were rescued by the Child Labor Committee when they fought for children to be provided with free, compulsory education. The Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 set federal standards for child labor. America fixed its mistake and gave those children a chance to experience life after poverty.

For those children who would later want to achieve high education but didn’t have the financial resources, the government provides financial aid. Financial aid has been available since the 1600’s. In present day, there is a financial aid application called FASFA that is filled out to determine the amount of government funds a student can receive. Outside governmental assistance scholarships are given by private company to increase funds needed to attend school. In 1643, the first scholarship was established by Lady Anne Radcliffe Mowlson at Harvard University (Fin Aid). This scholarship was worth 1000 pounds (Harvard University). This helped someone attend school, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend without it. Harvard then awarded their first student loan in 1840. After the creation of the US Department of Education in 1867, student aid programs started to thrive. Many different student aids were created to help certain groups of people. In today’s world you can receive a scholarship of just about anything. There is a list of 100 unique scholarships on YesCollege.com and one of them is the Jif most creative sandwich contest. This scholarship is worth $25,000 and it comes with a Jif Peanut Butter Basket. Qualifications to receiving scholarships have evolved from simple education based qualifiers to fun and creative qualifiers.

Beyond educational help, the government has created ways to assist those who are living in poverty. The government created federally funded assistance programs in the 1930’s during the Great Depression (Welfare info). The Great Depression affected families financially in great numbers. Families with little to no income were the main beneficiaries of these welfare programs. The welfare system stayed in the governments hand for the next sixty years (welfare Info). States were granted the ability to control their welfare programs individually. States were given a grant called TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), which is the base of welfare. Families are given money and food stamps to take care of their families. Food stamps are food vultures for families to get food. If a family has a low income limit these food stamps helps families save their money for other needed resources. These are all attempts to help struggling Americans.

Every American has the right to be free and chase the American dream. This dream is to take advantage of the freedom and work hard to achieve financial stability. It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on race, gender and sexuality, therefore no one is denied the opportunity of financial stability. American is the land of opportunity it’s up to the citizens to choose their future and go get it. Many people try to migrate to America for its opportunities every day. America is thought to be the greatest country in the world.

 

Works Cited

“Radcliffe College Library Collection Relating to Ann Radcliffe, 1894-1977: A Finding Aid.” Radcliffe College Library. Harvard Library, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Hawksworth, Scott . “100 Unique and Weird Scholarships.” YesCollege. Yes College, 14 Nov. 2016. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

“History of Student Financial Aid.” FinAid | FinAid for Educators and FAAs | History of Student Financial Aid. Fin Aid, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016

Michael Herring. “Child Labor in U.S. History.” Child Labor in U.S. History. Child Labor Public Education Project, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

“Welfare Reform – Social Welfare Change.” Welfare System Reform. Welfare Info, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

“US Welfare System – Help for US Citizens.” US Welfare System Help for US Citizens. Walfare System, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Causal Argument-31Savage

The Birth of Street Crime

African American people tend to commit street crimes because they are living in poverty and were once slaves. In 1619, the first slave ships landed in the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia. Slaves were people from Africa that was brought to work for their slave owners. Slaves were tortured, forced to live in impoverished communities, forced to work for free, and were deprived of the basic ability to learn. Slave owners had complete control over the slaves and they made it nearly impossible to survive. There has been a correlation between 1619, and present day. Although these tames are drastically different, there are many similarities between these times. Viewing the horrific timeline from 1619 to present day, there is a chain reaction producing street crime.

Slavery thrived for an excruciating 245 years. In 1776, the Founding Fathers of America created the Declaration of Independence, which would later free slaves. Slavery would then be a problem for African Americans for the next 89 years. The 13th Amendment was created later in the year of 1865, which freed slaves.

After slavery, African Americans worked for very little pay. African Americans could not makes sufficient money ironically, because the only way to make sufficient money was to own farms. They wasn’t able to own land, so they found themselves working in the same farms where they were once enslaved. Farmers were the driving force of their economy. Africans couldn’t own land because they were not considered citizens of the US. This is similar to problems we have today with wages and living conditions. According to the United Sates Census Bureau, in a chart of the median household income, the average African Americans household makes only $33,321. This is a little more than half of White household’s income. Furthermore, the average wages of African American ex-cons are documented to make $5.33, which is less than white ex-cons. Trying to survive in society with these wages is nearly impossible. Most ex-cons end up living in the same environment that lead to their arrest. Even though both ex-cons and ex-slavers are free, theirs living situations seems all too familiar.

During segregation, African Americans were not allowed to integrate into White communities therefor, Africans lived in impoverished communities. These communities were secluded away from white communities. This is similar to the way communities are structured in present day. The structure on today’s communities started when the America shifted from an agricultural economy to a factory driven economy in the 19th century. As the industrial age grew, and the agricultural age declined, people began to leave the farming life behind and move to cities and towns with factory jobs. The nation’s wage earnings began to come from people who were formally self-employed but now employed by major corporations. Blacks and Whites where living in segregated communities, but they were more often working in the same factories in their cities and towns. This increase in the industrial age also came to a decline at the fault of the great depression. In 1929-39, America along with many other countries suffered from the largest economic fall in history. This economic fall forced many companies to lay off workers, causing vast unemployment and hardships. After 1939, the economy recovered after the New Deal and World War II’s contribution to the industrial industry.

Whites began to leave the cities and move to suburban areas where blacks weren’t allowed. Public Housing policies were still preventing Blacks from taking most opportunities that were available to Whites. In a broadcast on “Fresh Air,” Richard Rothstein said that “the second policy, which was probably even more effective in segregating metropolitan areas, was the Federal Housing Administration, which financed mass production builders of subdivisions starting in the 30’s and then going on to the 40’s and 50’s in which those mass production builders, places like Levittown for example, and Nassau County in New York and in every metropolitan area in the country, the Federal Housing Administration gave builders like Levitt concessionary loans through banks because they guaranteed loans to lower interest rates for banks that the developers could use to build these subdivisions on the condition that no homes in those subdivisions be sold to African Americans.” This was to ensure that public housing would only be used to house people of the same race in which it was located (Richard Rothstein). This pushed Whites out of the public housing communities and trapped Blacks in. The overpopulation and low income of communities made poverty spread like a disease.

As poverty started to grow problems started to rise and street crime was born. After WWII, war veterans returned home to these overpopulated and impoverished communities with more problems to deal with. One of these problems was drug addiction. Drugs such as morphine and heroin was regularly used in wars as pain killers. According to an article on narconon.org, “morphine was the only thing that made the gunshot, amputation and recovery tolerable.” Many soldiers became addicted to the drug and even after the war was over they couldn’t shake the addiction. Heroin was crated first by boiling morphine at the end of the 19th century. According to the same article, “in 1898, the Bayer pharmaceutical company began an aggressive marketing campaign to sell its commercial preparation of heroin. Heroin was heavenly promoted as being non-addicting, and therefore an excellent treatment for morphine addiction. In 1906, the American Medical Association approved Heroin for general use and recommended that is be used in place of morphine.” Heroin flooded the bodies of the solders so they had to feed their addiction. Returning home and living in poverty prevented them from buying the drugs they needed. If someone needs money, but they are unemployed they will do anything to obtain the money. Committing crimes is the easiest way to make money living in interspersed communities. We as Americans have to figure out a way to undo all the wrongs done to African Americans in the past. It is easy for America to blame African Americans for what we go through in America, but it’s not our fault its America’s fault.

Works Cited

“Heroin History 1900s.” Narconon International. Narconon, Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

Staff, History .com. “The Great Depression.” History.com. History, 1 Jan. 2009. Web. 6 Nov. 2016.

NPR. “Historian Says Don’t ‘Sanitize’ How Our Government Created Ghettos” NPR.org. Fresh air. 14 May, 2015. Web.6 Nov.

Staff, History .com. “Slavery In America.” History.com. History, 1 Jan. 2009. Web. 6 Nov. 2016.

Romer, Christina D. “Great Depression.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1 Jan. 2016. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

“Primary Documents In America.” Loc.gov. Web Guides,Web. 6 Nov. 2016.

White, Richard .. “The Rise of Industrial America.” The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Web. 06 Nov. 2

Wickham, DeWayne “Wickham: Do You Know When Slavery Began and Ended?” USA Today. Gannett, 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith, U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60-245, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2013. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

Western, Bruce .. The Impact of Incarceration on Wage Mobility and Inequality (n.d.): n. pag. Scholar.Harverd.edu. Harvard University, 1 Aug. 2002. Web. 22 Nov. 2016

Definition Argument-31Savage

 

Who’s Free in America

In America, there is a vast amount of unjust laws specifically created to unjustly send people to jail. More specifically, the 3 Strike Law, War on Drugs Act and the Stop and Frisk law, were designed to send people to jail, mostly whom are people of color. America doesn’t see anything wrong with these laws because people of color have been stereotyped as criminals. If it were possible to brainwash the majority of people to place a negative stereotype on the minority, mistreatment of the minority will be justified. This has given the government and law enforcement the green light to harass, imprison, and abuse people of color with little to no consequence.

There was a law passed in New York called Stop and Frisk, that goes against our 4th Amendment right. In the Constitution, the 4th Amendment states that, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warren’s shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Being a person of color isn’t illegal, nor is it probable cause for the police to stop and frisk someone.

Stop and frisk made it legal for police officers to stop, search, and question any individual they thought had drugs, weapons, or other illegal contraband on their person. It is nearly impossible to see anything someone has on their person if it is hidden by their clothing. To conclude that someone is possessing something illegal just by looking at them is stereotyping. This law is a legal way to racially profile an individual. It is not a coincidence that, African American and Latino communities located where Stop and Frisk is active are overwhelmingly targeted. Someone can be walking home innocently, and be stopped by police just because the police officer felt like it or stereotyped them as being a criminal. In the article “Stop-and-Frisk Campaign” on the “nyclu.org” they stated that “innocent New Yorker’s have been subject to police stops and street interrogation more than 4 million times since 2002.” This is a big problem that needs to be solved. This is a clear violation of rights, but America has let this law be active. Most Americans are not affected by stop-and-frisk so it is regularly ignored. On the behalf of the people living in the inner city, we feel like our rights are violated and we are discriminated against because of stop-and-frisk.

Stop and Frisk was designed to arrest people, mostly whom are people of color, who were deemed suspicious of being involved in illegal activity.  These police officers have preconceived notions that people of color are criminals, will prevent law enforcement from doing their job correctly. Some people who are on the outside of the Black community might think that it works. For example, when talking about Stop-and-Frisk, Donald Trump said, in the “Presidential Debate,” that “it worked very well in New York, it brought the crime rate way down but you take the gun away from criminals that shouldn’t be having it.” This shows that people that stereotype, don’t see that it is unconstitutional. People like Donald Trump will never know what it’s like living in America and getting discriminated against just for simply walking down the street. Even if it worked as a deterrent, there is very little way to tell if someone is involved in illegal activity, when banking on suspicion. Suspicions are opinionated and is not something that should be a basis for a law. Laws affect our country in its entirety and they have to be based upon facts not opinions.

To target a group of Americans, and strip them of any right stated in the constitution is clearly unconstitutional. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure Americans that their constitutional rights will be protected. To allow stop-and-frisk, the government is not upholding the constitution. Furthermore, laws before this were designed with prejudices and were deemed reasonable.

The war on drugs act was created by President Richard Nixon in 1971. In the article “The United States War on Drugs” it’s written that “He proclaimed, America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse.” In all actuality, he knew he had two groups of people who could hurt his presidency. On one and he wanted to get rid of the Hippies, who were against the war, and on the other hand he wanted to get rid of the Black Panthers, who were protecting the Black communities against discrimination and police brutality at all costs. To extinguish the two groups, Nixon associated the Hippies with marijuana and Black Panthers with heroin. This enabled law enforcement to eradicate both communities. As the age of the Hippies went away, so did the need to eradicate them. After the Hippies were extinguished, Latino’s took their place as the second target group. As for the Black Panthers, the Black communities never could recover from the connection with heroin. Even after the Black panthers were eradicated, the Black communities were still subject to mass incarceration due to drugs. They had no one to protect them against the very government that is supposed to protect them. This way of being tough on crime extended too many presidencies after Nixon.

Bill Clinton signed a crime bill in 1994, which enacted the three-strike law. The three-strike law was implemented to ensure that repeat offenders are kept in prison to serve 25 years to life sentences after committing a third offence. This meant that fewer people were being released from prison in turn, increasing the prison population. Clinton wanted to show he was tough on crime during his campaign so he acted. Clinton followed passed presidents who wanted to show they were tough on crime so he passed laws which created a spike of mass incarceration. Coinciding with the war on drugs act, the three-strikes law filled prisons with a population of majority Blacks and Hispanics. Bill Clinton took a page from Nixon’s book when he signed the crime bill in 1994. In the leading state of California, the prison population reached unthinkable numbers following this bill. By 2011 the prison population rose to almost double the prisons’ designed capacity. This overpopulation is the primary cause for the unconstitutional conditions found existing in the California prisons because it goes against health and safety regulations. Matthew Cate said, on “CNN.com” that “the governor and I strongly disagree with this ruling.” In the same article in 2006, “CNN” stated that “implementing the court’s ruling would result in up to 58,000 prisons being released.” These prisons are populated by mostly Black’s and Latino’s and it can be speculated that the reason this problem is being over looked is because the population is mostly Black and Latino.  

America is supposed to be a free country, but these shocking truths are showing that freedom in America depends on politic views or ethnicity. It might be criticized as being un-American when Black’s and Latino’s say they don’t feel free but experiencing life from their perspective’s might show why they question freedom in America. 

Works Cited 

New York Civil Liberties Union. http://www.nyclu.org/issues/racial-justice/stop-and-frisk-practices. NYCLU Web. Accessed 31, Oct, 2016

 

N, C. N. “California May Have to Cut Prison Population by 40 Percent.” CNN. Cable News Network, 10 Feb. 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
Carroll, Lauren .. “Donald Trump on Stop-and-frisk.” @politifact. PolitiFact, 28 Sept. 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
The Editorial Board. “California’s Continuing Prison Crisis.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Aug. 2013. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
Farley, Robert. “Bill Clinton and the 1994 Crime Bill.” FactCheckorg. Fact Check, 12 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
Nicole Shoener, “Three Strikes Laws in Different States.” LegalMatch.com. Legal Match, Web. 21 Nov. 2016