blog 1

WHY

Do They Punish The Minorities and The Poor More?

First and foremost, justice is obviously blind in the eyes of minorities because of issues dating back to slavery and other’s issues in the present times, i.e., police brutality and racial profiling. Minorities have never been treated fairly, so that is why justice is obviously blind to minorities. To most of the people who are not affected by this problem, they either ignore or they are simply oblivious to this problem by nature and culture. It has been like this for years. Dating back to the Babylonian Dynasty (1792-1750 b.c.),  the culture of these people followed the Code of Hammurabi. These codes/laws were not fair, and the code held punishments that were disproportionate depending on a person’s social status. For example, in our primary source reading of the Code of Hammurabi, it says that if a common man strikes a superior, he will receive 60 lashes. However, if the same common man strikes a “peasant” he would have to simply pay a fine of little worth. As you see, the punishments for crimes varied due to whom the crime was committed against. A crime committed against a peasant was remediated with a less harmful punishment than if it was committed against a “superior” person in society. In comparison, take a look at a modern example of disproportionate punishment, on August 3rd this year, a white man killed 22 people and injured 24 during a mass shooting in El Paso. The police approached the situation and properly arrested him and took him into custody without any aggression. (Everyone reading should have an idea of what is coming next.) We have minorities and people of lower economic status being approach by police very aggressively and punished disproportionately to the point of death for something as simple as selling loose cigarettes, keep in mind that this death from selling loose cigarettes came from being choked out by a police man. This case is very extreme but true. In these two cases, you have a minority selling cigarettes and being killed for it by the police, and you have a person who is not a minority killing innocent people and being handled in a non-aggressive, correct way. All that to say, this way of punishing people whose social status is low or not the majority in a society, has always been the norm in the “superiors eyes.” From b.c. to flat screen TVs, the unjust laws and ways have been ingrained in society. Therefore, the laws and punishments of today’s time are very similar to the Code of Hammurabi. However, the punishments nowadays are less obnoxious and more considerate of people  and take into account human decency and are becoming more aware of the unjust and disproportionate punishments. 

When it comes to addressing justice and injustice, the issue is so obvious, but so hard to take action on because of ignorance. To fix this problem, the problem must be addressed and not ignored. No one can be or act oblivious to unjust/disproportionate punishments.

**disclaimer** By no means am I saying that police should have killed/destroyed this mass murderer on sight. I am simply showing the disproportionate punishment of the two situations due to status and being a minority. Ready for comments though!

-Kevin Spencer

-word count: 504

2 thoughts on “blog 1

  1. Kevin,

    Great post about the connection of the disproportionate laws that started all the way back to ancient Babylon! I do have a few points that may help you in future posts when making such powerful connections and claims.

    To start, you should avoid the phrase “of course” when trying to communicate the gravity of the issue at hand. I understand that the topic that you are discussing is a critical point in our culture, but imagine an audience of people who are reading what you have to say. Theoretically there are two types of people, those who have seen and understand your point of view, and those who don’t or won’t see your logic. Using some phrases like of course shuts those people out immediately because it seems like you are unable or unwilling to explain yourself. Remember, if there are those who have not experienced, seen, or dealt with these social issues may need you to prove it to them using a good flow of facts and logic. Keeping that separate and professional tone and approach would really strengthen your writing!

    Also, a side note, what about the dynamics that you see here at the Academy? Have you noticed that there are specific social classes here and they receive different levels of punishments for the same crimes? I have noticed this parallel each and every day when it comes to the brigade of midshipmen. 4/C and 1/C midshipmen are approached COMPLETELY different for the same wrong doings. Just a interesting parallel to consider on this topic.

    Like

  2. Kevin brings in a different view than what I originally thought when I thought of Hammarabi’s code. My mind instantly thought of poor and rich rather than black and white. I would argue that the current laws in America do not discriminate against minorities, but the perceived culture that white people have good intentions while minorities have bad intentions can be seen in the media. Even so, I still agree that even if it is not officially written down there is some government discrimination towards minorities whether it is judges giving convicted colored people worse punishments for similar crimes done by convicted white people, or police officers being overly aggressive towards black suspects. I agree with Kevin’s closing statement that the way to end this discrimination to to be cognizant of it. Treating minorities different than white people is already illegal so what we as a country can do to fix the issue is to address the issue and acknowledge when there is a wrong that needs to be righted.

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