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Racial conflicts in America: are they causing police brutality?

by Leanna Tabora, staff reporter

Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9th emerged protests in Ferguson which spread to other states on the allegation that police brutality is caused by racism. Americans have gone up against police to protest these racial issues, in hopes that police and the American government will come to realization that racism needs to be put to an end. Photo is public domain.
Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9th emerged protests in Ferguson which spread to other states on the allegation that police brutality is caused by racism. Americans have gone up against police to protest these racial issues, in hopes that police and the American government will come to realization that racism needs to be put to an end. Photo is public domain.

Since Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9th, allegations have been circling around America and the media that the use of immoderate exertion by police officers are generated by racial views and conflicts.

Eric Garner’s death in Staten Island on July 17th has also been a reason for emerging protests and rage. Continuous anger surfaced after grand juries pleaded the police officers (who caused Brown’s and Garner’s death) innocent. The declaration of these police officers and the actions they took in killing these African American men does not necessarily mean that racism is fully involved because police violence in America has always involved every race.

In general, police officers are known to protect and prevent their area from any type of ongoing suspicious threat. For decades, police have been accountable for the actions they took when violently taking on those threats, and they haven’t just involved African Americans.

In January 2014, police attacked an 84-year old man for jaywalking in New York City, but he wasn’t African American; he was Asian. Also, a white 58-year old woman was brutally attacked by Wareham, Massachusetts by police in June 2014. Attacking an African American should not be considered racist when there have been numerous reports of attacks on different other races in America. It seems as if attacking/killing an African American now-a-days takes place as the only race who is being harmed in America by their white counterparts.

One of the answers to the question of why racism emerges as a cause of police brutality in America lays with the leaders and individuals who encourage the belief that racism is the reason.

“Whenever a black man is shot by a white police officer it is the most grievous of crimes, and that all people of color should demand justice,” Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson preach.

It’s not police brutality emerging because of racial conflicts, but the remarks of police brutality being voiced over racism in America that questions if racism is the reason for police violence.

Specifying one race as the reason why police exertion exists does not mean that racial issues fuels it. It means that people don’t grasp the concept that not just African Americans or Hispanics or any other race is being targeted for mistreatment by police. It means that they are the reason why society maintains the belief that racism is the reason behind police brutality.

If the people who specify one race as the reason why police exertion exists were right, society would only see only one race being harmed by police. That has never happened, and that never will, so attempting to prove that police brutality is caused by racial issues is wrong.

“I don’t think racism has to do with police brutality, I believe it has to do with the lack of experience that the cops have. You can’t be sending a rookie cop into dangerous areas because they could possibly shoot at anything or anyone they are afraid of or believe they can’t handle. I believe experienced forces are a lot more needed who can handle situations properly and effectively,” junior Brendon Muniz said.

One would point out that recently, African Americans are the dominant race being violated by police. With the deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and other African Americans, society has begun to suspect that white American police only harm them out of their “personal racist views.”

Yes, white policemen have used brutal excessive force on these African American men, but racism should not always be the first accusation towards these attacks and deaths between the two different races. Society protests and rages about the deaths of these African Americans by white police officers, but they don’t protest about other American deaths caused by police.

After the death of Dillon Taylor, a white man, who was shot and killed by police, it was never spoken of. Society seems to totally disregard any case of police brutality unless it’s happened to an African American or any other race that exempts whites. This simply shows that police brutality is not a racial problem, but an American problem.

Society in 2015 tends to listen to what the media has to say about certain issues, and the media is the current reason why people join the majority of a specific belief. The media covers police brutality and blames it on the white policemen who use violent actions towards citizens. The media has a strong ability to convince the world that their belief is correct, resulting in the majority of the American population to take the side that racism fuels police brutality.

The media’s evidence includes all of the times an African American has died just to prove that all white men are racist and should be at fault. Once again, that opinion has begun due to people, the media, and society addressing it.

Police brutality has been affecting all races before and since African Americans had to march to end racial discrimination with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960’s. Addressing it now at a time where America is much more diverse and police have been brutal to various amount of races now and in the past is not a correct thing to do.

If America consisted of only African Americans, it would be considered invalid for the media to blame African American police officers for killing their own race. In regards to that, the media and the rest of society should not blame white policemen/any other race of policemen for police brutality towards anyone.

“I think the media is one of the main sources of the racial riots. The media goes out of their way to make people want to protest. For example, in the Ferguson case, there was no reason why they had to keep pushing the fact that it was a white police officer and an African American. In all honestly, that shouldn’t matter. I don’t understand why the media makes it such a big deal, because it makes people more anxious and angry,” junior Molly Strauss said.

Although public opinion is that police brutality is caused because of racial conflicts this is definitely not the case. The recent killings of African Americans caused by white policemen have absolutely nothing to do with racial issues being involved with police brutality, especially since various races have experienced police brutality.

Blaming the entire white policemen category for technical crimes committed by a few towards a certain race is completely distinct from the presupposition that racism is the reason for police brutality. Overall, society should not take that side. No one should.

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