Labeling To Black Males In The Courtroom Sample Essay

The judicial system is supposed to be impartial and play by the rules of fairness to deliver justice without favoritism or prejudice. However, in the American justice system, minorities, especially black males, experience disproportionate unequal treatment due to their race or ethnicity. To some extent, blackness and criminality are almost synonymous, and this issue has a historical basis. Starting from the post-Reconstruction era, prejudiced ideologies pervaded the courts leading to court rulings and preferential laws that have been critical in the unprecedented rise in the number of incarcerated Black males in American prisons even in contemporary times. Black males have been labeled as brutes through various media, and this perception has influenced court rulings. This paper discusses how the mind, self, and society contribute to the labeling of Black males in the courtroom using five articles on the subject.

Literature Review

A 2016 study by Smiley and Fakunle sought to investigate the “historical criminalization of Black males and its connection to contemporary unarmed victims of law enforcement” (350). Specifically, the authors wanted to assess how unarmed Black males have suffered in the hands of law enforcers, were killed for being suspects, and criminalized posthumously. The study found that traditional mass media normally portray these individuals as savages and thugs using a choice language to deliver this message. Smiley and Fakunle argue that the stereotype that Black males are inherently violent has been so pervasive that even journalists advancing these unfounded claims may not be consciously racist. These narratives often find a way into the judicial system where the involved victims are treated unequally and unfairly.

Another article written by Dunnaville, Jr. in 2000 argues that the unequal treatment of minorities in the American justice system is one of the major problems facing modern society in the 21st century. According to Dunnaville, Jr., most Americans believe that the current judicial system is unfair based on a study conducted in 1999, with 52 percent of 2000 citizens saying that they do not fully trust the system (20). Based on this study, “68 percent of African Americans felt they were treated worse than white people, and almost 45% of the white people surveyed agreed with this perception” (Dunnaville, Jr. 20). These opinions are grounded on the fact that race plays a major role in court rulings due to long-standing stereotypes.

In a 2019 article, Brook detailed cases where racism pervaded the trial of various Black males and wonders whether such individuals should be executed, with the evidence that the trial was not fair. According to Brook, the Racial Justice Act allowed death row victims to appeal for a life sentence if there is sufficient evidence to show that race was a factor in their conviction. However, this law was repealed, and the affected individuals returned to death row. The problem of race in American criminal justice is systematic and Black citizens were not included in jurors in any meaningful way until later in the 20th century. Brook concludes that race will continue to play a significant role in court rulings due to the stereotypes based on the assumption that Black males are violent.

In 2020, Bostic wrote from a prison where he is serving a 241-year sentence after being convicted at the tender age of 16 in 1995. While he admits that he is guilty of 17 counts of crimes associated with two armed robbery cases, the judge decided to run the counts consecutively, amounting to 241 years, even though he had the option of running them concurrently, which would mean 30 years in prison. Delivering the ruling, the judge told the victim, “You will die in the Department of Corrections” (Bostic). In 2018, the retired judge who sentenced Bostic to 241 years regretted his decision noting that in retrospect, he recognizes that at such a young age, brains are still developing. However, even with the Supreme Court decisions in 2010, 2012, and 2016 that juveniles sentenced to life without parole could appeal, the State of Missouri refused to hear his appeal.

In another undated article by the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) argues that despite the evidence that Black males are treated unequally in the American criminal justice system, the trend continues unabated. This aspect has led to the disproportionately high numbers of incarcerblacklacks males in American prisons. For example, an analysis by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that if “current incarceration rates remain unchanged, 32 percent of black males and 17 percent of male Latinos born in 2001 can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetime” (CRF). On the other hand, only 6 percentwhitehite males will be sentenced to jail. These trends are directly linked to racial stereotypes associated with the assumption that Black males are criminals in nature.

Findings

Based on the findings of these studies, race contributes significantly to the disproportionate conviction of Black males in American criminal justice. Despite African Americans forming only “12 percent of the US population, they account for 40 percent of all incarcerated individuals and 42 percent of those on death row” (CRF). Such racial stereotypes are rooted in history, with the media playing a central role in painting Black males as criminals. Therefore, given that such individuals are adjudged guilty even before the trial, even if innocent, they are unlikely to prove their innocence. The articles are not different, while they use a varying choice of words; they all arrive at the same conclusion that the American criminal justice system is racially skewed. Some gaps that could be filled through research is why Black males are prone to committing various crimes.

Implications for Everyday Life

The information gathered from these studies is important for everyone in contemporary American society, whether scientists, laypeople, scholars, judges, or students. It is time for all Americans to reflect and question the basis of their beliefs concerning the strong correlation between Black males and criminality. People should reevaluate their subjective views objectively and make independent conclusions on whether Black males are inherently criminal. Perhaps this reflection will affect the way such individuals are treated in the courts.

Conclusion

The issue of unfairness in the American criminal justice system is long-standing, with Black males suffering disproportionately to form the largest number of incarcerated individuals on death parole. This problem is associated with stereotypes that have been particularly advanced by the mass media that such a group of people are inherently criminals. This perception has pervaded the justice system, which is characterized by prejudice. The articles analyzed in this paper agree with this argument. As such, people should start questioning their beliefs and make independent conclusions concerning this matter.

References

Bostic, Bobby. “A Juvenile Lifer Finds Peace in the Prison Garden.” The Marshall Project, 2020.

Brook, Jack. “Racism Tainted Their Trials. Should They Still be Executed?The Marshall Project, 2019.

CRF: The Color of Justice. CRF, n.d.

Dunnaville, Jr., Clarence. “Unequal Justice Under the Law- Racial Inequities in the Justice System.” Senior Lawyers Section, 2000. Web.

Smiley, CalvinJohn, and David Fakunle. “From “Brute” to “Thug:” The Demonization and Criminalization of Unarmed Black Male Victims in America.” Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, vol. 26, no. 4, 2016, pp. 350-366.

Biology: Application Of The Holobiont In Humans

Introduction

When it comes to the formation of a unique environmental unit, a holobiont can link an individual host to a variety of interactive microorganisms, and microbiota (Bachmann et al. 2017). According to Casadevall and Pirofski (2014), the holobiont relationship explores the connection between microbiome and microbiota. Microbiomes refer to a broad habitat composed primarily of microorganisms, genomes, and environmental conditions (Hadfield and Bosch 2020). In addition, bionts are regarded by scientists as one of the primary individual organisms that can generate a hologenome composed of the consolidated genomes of all bionts. A holobiont could be described as a connection between a specific host and its microbiota in simpler terms. On the other hand, the hologenome concept depicts the whole of the holobiont’s metagenome.

Application of the Holobiont in Humans

The human gut presents a holobiont relationship with the microbiota. In analyzing the human gut and microbiota, a positive correlation is obtained between the two. Notably, a humanistic view of the relationship illustrates a functional level of homeostasis and equilibrium between microbiota and the host. Nonetheless, incidents of disruption generally make the body more vulnerable to illnesses (Casadevall and Pirofski 2014). Hadfield and Bosch (2020) state that the human gut can showcase a holobiont relationship in humans, where the result can be either positive or negative. As such, microbiome manipulation has the potential to cure and deter illnesses that were common and hard to treat before manipulation (Bachmann et al. 2017). Recent research findings submit that a dysfunctional holobiont association has the potential to cause illnesses (Casadevall and Pirofski 2014). Hence, whether chronic or acute, most ailments are thought to be preceded by a disruption of the microbiome.

How an ailment can modify the Human Holobiont

Pathobionts constitute preliminarily harmless microbes in modified settings with illness-carrying capability. In the human holobiont, there is a resilient equilibrium that exists between the microbiota and host (van de Guchte, Blottière, and Doré 2018). The optimistic, stable relation is primarily sustained by an increased microbial variation, an elaborate and sophisticated molecular crosswalk, and other dynamic holobiont organizations (Liu et al. 2017). However, pathobionts may attack the host and eventually change their usefulness, therefore causing damage.

Disease Class and Potential Treatment Modality

The disease class chosen for the study is where the etiology of the illness is a pathogen. According to Liu et al. (2017), pathobionts can either be exogenous or endogenous. Endogenous pathobionts do have the ability to thrive on or within the recipient’s body. In contrast, exogenous pathogens are fond of invading the victim’s inconvenient conditions (van de Guchte, Blottière, and Doré 2018). As such, it is safe to state that the holobiont concept is only beginning to be understood in its complexity and dynamics. It has been established that most external substances that affect the holobiont can change the microbiome, leading to adaptation and evolution, as well as dysbiosis and disease (Rosenberg and Zilber-Rosenberg 2016). A new or altered microbiome may become health-perturbing pathobionts, leading to infection.

Microbiota can be used to treat diarrhea that is, most of the time, caused by Clostridium difficile. The treatment is called Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) and entails the transfer of an altered microbial stool strain from a healthy individual to the recipient’s intestinal tract) (Rosenberg and Zilber-Rosenberg, 2016). The majority of patients whose recovery had earlier failed due to an antibiotic’s initial treatment are reported to have recovered through FMT.

References

Guchte, Maarten van de, Hervé M. Blottière, and Joël Doré. 2018. “Humans as holobionts: implications for prevention and therapy.” Microbiome 6 (1): 81. Web.

Liu, Jay, Brett Williams, Daniel Frank, Stephanie M. Dillon, Cara C. Wilson, and Alan L. Landay. 2017. “Inside out: HIV, the gut microbiome, and the mucosal immune system.” The Journal of Immunology 198 (2): 6g05–14. Web.

Rosenberg, Eugene, and Ilana Zilber-Rosenberg. 2016. “Microbes drive evolution of animals and plants: The hologenome concept.” MBio 7 (2): Web.

Hadfield, Michael G., and Thomas CG Bosch. 2020. “Cellular dialogues between hosts and microbial symbionts: Generalities emerging.” In cellular dialogues in the holobiont, 287–290. CRC Press.

Bachmann, Radu, Daniel Leonard, Nathalie Delzenne, Alex Kartheuser, and Patrice D Cani. 2017. “Novel insight into the role of microbiota in colorectal surgery.” Gut 66 (4): 738–49.

Casadevall, Arturo, and Liise-anne Pirofski. 2014. “Microbiology: Ditch the term pathogen.” Nature 516 (7530): 165–66.

The Right-to-Work Laws In The US

The right-to-work law is a central provision that gives employees the freedom to choose whether to join a workers union or not. As such, under this law, employees have some freedom at the workplace, even in a unionized environment, to decide whether to pay union dues for representation. The debate on this law has intensified in the recent past due to the dynamic nature of the business world across the globe. This paper will explore the history of “Right to Work laws”, the views of its proponents and opponents, and the implication of these laws to the future of the American nation.

The Right-to-Work Debate

The history of the right-to-work laws dates back to the colonial and revolutionary period in the US, during which most Americans practiced agriculture. The number of laborers, which included artisans, apprenticed servants, and slaves, had increased significantly. The major cities of Philadelphia, New York, and Boston harbored most laborers who agitated against poor working conditions and low wages (Anderson, 2015). During the industrial revolution, a substantive increase in laborers’ number was witnessed because many Americans transitioned from agricultural to industrial jobs. In the late 19th century, unions such as the National labor union and Knights of labor were formed. However, the organized labor movements received some public resistance when a Chicago police officer died in an explosion after one of the striking laborers threw a dynamite stick.

In July 1935, the National labor relations act was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt (Anderson, 2015). According to the law, this was a major booster in the union activity because unionists and employees received greater political protection. The employees got a right to self-organization for purposes of collective bargaining. Additionally, the Act compelled employers to pay the labor unions for defending and protecting their interests (Anderson, 2015). The Act also imposed a compulsory union membership to all the employees in any given organization, restricting employment to the registered members only. However, in 1947, Congress made some amendments to the Act, and President Harry Truman passed the Act through his vital power (Anderson, 2015). The amendments led to the current Right-to-work law that allows various states to protect the employees against compulsory union membership as a condition for employment in both the public and private sectors. Currently, only 28 states have enacted the Right-to-work law, and the employees now have the right and freedom to associate with the union of their choice.

Right to work laws has ignited a hotly contested debate on social and political scenes. The debate is increasingly taking Center stage as states strive to improve workers’ welfare, create more job opportunities, and attract new investors. Supporters of the right to work Act argue that a worker should have the freedom to decide whether to pay dues to the union (Andrias, 2016). If the union offers good services to the client, the worker would be convinced to voluntarily join the union and pay the dues to continue enjoying those services. If the workers do not get sufficient value from the union, nobody should compel them to continue supporting it. According to Thomas Jefferson, compelling workers to support a union’s ideologies they do not believe in is sinful and oppressive.

Opponents of right-to-work laws argue that such laws are meant to cripple the unions because people who are not bona fide members usually benefit from the unions’ negotiations without incurring any cost. The federal law compels unions to defend and protect all the workers’ interests at any given company, whether they pay union dues or not hence placing the union in a shaky situation. Under this Act, people can withdraw from the union without paying a single cent but still enjoy union representation (Andrias, 2016). If they were full members, the federal law would cover them because the union cannot negotiate on a package that will discriminate against the non-members. However, negotiations are ongoing to allow the unions to represent and bargain for the dues-paying members only.

Politically, it is argued that right-to-work laws are meant to lessen the unions’ impact in terms of influence and political power. When a union has little financial muscles, it will offer little support to political candidates and their initiatives. It is believed that most unions support Democratic politicians in their endeavors to power (Chava, Danis, & Hsu, 2017). The right-to-work laws, which are typically supported by Republicans, are geared towards weakening the support accorded to the Democrats by the unions, especially at the state level.

The enactment of Right-to-work laws has increased the worker’s life satisfaction. Employees who do not have to pay the union dues to become members can use the same monies to impact their lives positively. The concept of free-riding members in a union is baseless because labor unions do not equally benefit all their members. For instance, when unions use the experience as the basis of promotion for the union members, it harms the young, talented, and ambitious workers who aspire to grow in their profession. Additionally, right-to-work laws improve the employee-employer relationships and ultimately encourage the unions to offer better services to the clients (Chava et al., 2017). This law creates an open and trustworthy relationship and makes an excellent environment for the employees’ optimum work. The majority of the democratic politicians are against the Right-to-work laws, perhaps due to their selfish interests. These laws harm their political ambitions, which is why they do not put the benevolent concerns of the workers first. Therefore, the benefits of the enactment of this law far outweigh its demerits.

Right-to-work laws in America seem to be gaining prominence in the recent past. Several states have enacted this law, and many labor unions are losing public support. Union membership is on the decline, which is an indicator that policymakers need to rethink labor unions’ place in contemporary society. In the past, mistreated workers could seek refuge from the unions for decent pay and a safe working environment (Chava et al., 2017). However, most labor unions have turned into political vehicles that politicians use to enrich their selfish interests. Unions have evolved into organizations that push for political agendas rather than take care of union members’ interests. Notably, the union leadership has benefited more as compared to the union members. More states will enact these laws to spur economic growth. It is indisputable that many companies prefer establishing themselves in those states that have passed the Right-to-work laws.

Conclusion

Right-to-work laws open more economic opportunities, such as corporate investment and employment. The states and business communities should move on and strengthen this legislation because this is the future of America. In a right-to-work state, employees can decide to join a labor union and still stop paying the union dues. In essence, they can continue enjoying the benefits gained through collective bargaining agreements even without any financial commitment to the union. Given that many companies emphasize the right-to-work when making decisions on location, there is no doubt that managers and directors will continue to prefer those states that have enacted the Right-to-work laws when setting up businesses in the future.

References

Anderson, E. (2015). Equality and freedom in the workplace: Recovering republican insights. Social Philosophy & Policy, 31(2), 48-69.

Andrias, K. (2016). The new labor law. Yale Law Journal, 126(1), 1-100.

Chava, S., Danis, A., & Hsu, A. (2017). The impact of right-to-work laws on worker wages: evidence from collective bargaining agreements. Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, 18(1), 1-70.

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