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!
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