Posts

The Geneva Convention Debate

The Geneva Convention not only prohibits any acts that involve the torture or cruel treatment of prisoners of war. To me, there is a difference between cruel treatment and torture; however, I believe that either of these treatments should be prohibited- to an extent. Throughout the Bush Administration the words "free" and "liberty had been used a myriad of times, but how can we be truly free if we do not treat our enemy soldiers with an ounce of respect or dignity. How is it fair to say that our enemies cannot torture/ disrespect our soldier, but we can torture/disrespect their's. The Supreme Court believes that "the Geneva Conventions do not apply to prisoners captures in the war on terrorism, ... the president can unilaterally set up secret military tribunals in which defendants have very few if any rights, and ... the Constitution does not apply at Guantanamo." (Foner 890) Although I understand the reasoning behind the Convention and the beliefs of the …

Korematsu Background, Decision, Minority & Majority Opinions

The racial prejudice does in fact play a role in government's treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II because the American government made a decision to put all Japanese citizens in internment camps, and did not think through the racial implicate of this decision. The agreement to imprison these citizens was based on race and fear; they gave these men, women, and children no explanation why they had to move or sell their homes and belongings. With the enforcement of Executive Order No. 9066 came the destruction of communities, and the unlawful internment of hundred of people in order to try and secure The United States after the recent attacks in Japan. Citizens of the US with Japanese heritage were forced to remain in their homes from 8 pm to 6 am throughout this executive order in order to protect others from espionage. The belief that these citizens were spies made it difficult for the government to decipher who was friend and who was foe. The sole reason that Japan…

The parallels of the caste system

The racial caste system perpetuated in the form of mass incarceration, despite the achievements of the civil rights movement through political disenfranchisement, all white juries, and the War on Drugs. The racial undercast is defined by Alexander as, "a group defined wholly or largely by race that is permanently Locke out of mainstream, white society by law, custom, and practice." (Alexander 1) This racial undercast is filled by events such as Jim Crow and mass incarceration; these two events may seem dramatically different in definition, but are somehow similar in motivation and goal. Both of these systems were built on the foundation of white supremacy, and the want to exploit the racial biases of poor whites in effort to make a difference politically and economically. One event that was a fall out of mass incarceration was the loss in voting and jury status; without these rights, black men and women were mostly juried by all-white juries in their rulings. All- white juri…

The era of colorblindness

The era of colorblindness is a time in which the general population and government believes that arrests and criminal repercussions are based on the crime alone, rather than the “convict’s” race. It is a time in which law enforcements believe that they can stop, question, or arrest a person based on a description or race. This “era of colorblindness” was born during the War on Drugs, which was declared in 1982 by President Reagan, and has evolved into a prejudice against black communities. This “war” was designed to go after rural communities where drugs and their dealers were thought to be present. Black men were stopped and questioned randomly on the street or during a pursuit, and were beaten by police officers. Some of these were placed in prison for thought of position, and would take the plea so that they could end their time in prison, but they soon realized that they were branded as a criminal when they had done nothing wrong. One thing that surprised me while reading this les…

Law and Order Rhetoric

The conservative "law and order" rhetoric provided a new racial bride to low - and lower- middle class whites by infiltrating impoverished black communities, and "cracking down on crime" (2). Many of these lower class whites lived in neighborhoods near black impoverished communities, but we're never searched at the level of their racial counterparts. Te rhetoric "law and order" was enforced by law enforcement and Southern governors in the late 1950's in an effort to mobilize white oppression. Conservatives would use images of the poor to demonstrate who qualifies as “deserving” and “undeserving” which ultimately led to the racial divide. Poor whites and minorities were forced to compete with equal terms for status and employment. Race was the wedge that so many feared.  Over time the law and order rhetoric failed to dismantle the Jim Crow system, but was extremely appealing to poor whites and the working class, mainly in the South, "who were …

Beginnings and Ends

The commonly understood beginning of Reconstruction was in 1863, after slavery was abolished. During Reconstruction, many whites rejected the new system in which the South was rebuilt. The end of Reconstruction is thought to be in 1877; a time in which the government withdrew troops from the South. Redemption was considered as “the quest by dominant whites for a new racial equilibrium, a racial order that would protect their economic, political, and social interests in a world without slavery” (2). The start of Jim Crow was a reaction to Reconstruction. Since many of troops were withdrawn to the North, African Americans were left defenseless from white supremacists who enacted their own social laws. Many historians believe that Jim Crow ended when the Brown v. Board of Education trial commenced. The Civil Rights Movement began around the time when the White Citizens’ Council was formed after Brown v. Board of Education was decided; it encouraged violent behavior against African Americ…

Racial Bribe

The racial bribe was a deliberate attempt to drive a wedge between poor whites (English- speaking slaves from the West Indies) and black slaves (who were transported directly from Africa). The plantation owners believed that this "system of bond labor" would reduce the risk of creating an alliance between black slaves and poor whites. This term helped to construct the idea that black slaves were an uneducated and primitive group of individuals, and that whites were supreme and could own them as "chattel" or property. The United States was founded on the belief of equality, liberty, and justice for all; however, the government was also tolerating enslavement. They reconciled this by defining slaves as equal to 3/5th of a man, less than a whole human being. Therefore, American democracy did not apply to them, or so they claimed.