Justice system is inherently racially biased

Imagine you’re a black person walking through a white neighborhood. You wave to signal hello, yet no one responds. Everyone looks at you as if you are about to rob them. A police officer comes by, steps out of his car and begins questioning you about why you are there.

You are racially profiled because you are not white.

This is a feeling that many black people have felt. Racial profiling has no reason to exist in our world. Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray all unjustly lost their lives at the hands of racial profiling by police officers.

These events are unacceptable in 2015. Police shouldn’t have the right to discriminate against someone because of skin color. Black people are rightfully angry and change is the only way to fix a broken system.

But before someone can talk about the system, one has to define the system.

“The system that African-Americans typically refer to is the legal system, the culture surrounding it and the lack of progressive changes to both,” said Morris Johnson, an AP US history teacher for the Early College at Guilford.

The legal system controlling our streets has generated some seriously disturbing statistics according to the NAACP.

In general, black men are incarcerated at six times the rate of white men. Black men are convicted for drugs 10 times more than white men even though there are 11 million more white drug users. Black men even spend roughly the same amount of time for a drug offense, 58.7 months, as white men for a violent offense, 61.7 months.

These statistics should terrify anyone and rightfully anger the black community. If the previous statistics don’t indicate racism in our legal system, what does?

The lives of black people matter. Why should a black man spend years in prison when a white man only spends months for the same crime?

Police aren’t the only issue. Our legal system is corrupt across the board.

Change has to happen. However, opinions on how to carry out change vary.

“Time is the best ingredient for racial equality,” said Yishak Bililign, an Early College junior. “Each generation becomes less and less racist and time is our best solution.”   

Time is a powerful weapon but one can’t rely on time to fix centuries worth of racist culture.

The white people who make up 78 percent of our population and control the legal system need to adjust their way of thinking. The culture that has developed needs to be changed and adjusted to current progressive ways.

Recently, activists and organizers from the movement to end police brutality launched Campaign Zero. The campaign aims for comprehensive solutions to police violence.

Our police departments need nationwide reform. Some, not all, police departments have become horribly corrupt mini-militaries.

“Police officers get promoted on the number of arrests, regardless of the value of certain cases,” said Pratham Chhabria, an Early College senior. “Their promotion system encourages discrimination and the targeting of minorities.”

Black people have lost all trust in our police and only change can regain this trust.

Racism is still an issue in our society. To ignore it only shows ignorance. Our legal system targets the black community and it’s no secret. Without top-to-bottom reform of the legal system, corruption will continue and black people’s trust will never be regained.