Target: United States Congress
Goal: Reform the current criminal justice system to combat racial discrimination
Today, people of color make up 60 percent of inmates while comprising only 30 percent of U.S. population. This absurdity is not the result of behavioral disparities, contrary to the sadly common belief that black people are more prone to serious crime than other races, specifically whites.
In a recent study published by professors of Harvard, the University of Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania, the criminal justice system is racially biased. In almost all courtrooms across the country, bias occurs whether or not the judge is admittedly affected by racial prejudice, and therefore a system must be enacted to protect the rights of minority citizens who suffer consistently worse punishments for committing the same crimes as whites.
The study was conducted using two controlled groups – one consisted of judges that displayed a low propensity towards racial bias, while the other group of judges was more likely to make sentences based on a racial stereotype. What resulted from the study was shocking. In situations where a white defendant and a black defendant had committed the same crime, the black defendant was 30 percent more likely to be imprisoned, and this was only among the first group of judges. For black defendants that were sentenced by judges who were more affected by racial bias, the rate doubled.
Because many white people believe that they do not benefit from their race, they are often blind to the covert means of racism that permeate our culture today. American media and society still tells its citizens, in the most subtle of ways, that there are significant behavioral differences between people of color and the “white majority” that sets the supposed standard of living.
Covert racism has infiltrated culture to the point that many do not realize that they themselves are the proponents of it. Racial bias is undoubtedly at work in society today, and when it results in unfair imprisonment for millions of black Americans, reform is mandatory.
Ask the United States Congress to push for reform that will make courtrooms take racial bias into consideration. It is unjust for black citizens of this country to be discriminated in the courtroom because of the color of their skin.
Dear United States Congress,
Racial bias affects this country in many negative ways. A recent study has proven that it even affects a judge’s decision to imprison a defendant or not. When the defendant is black, the likelihood that he or she will end up imprisoned is more than twice that of a white defendant. This truth speaks negatively about our culture’s perception of diversity, and it shows that we have allowed racial stereotypes to dictate what should be a fair and lawful place of practice: the courtroom.
I urge you to push for court reform across the nation and defend the millions of minority people that are wrongly imprisoned every year due to racial bias. Because racism and bias are often covert, many do not realize that their decisions incorporate false ideas about race, which American society has subjected to them from a young age. Judges do not possess the ability to make fair decisions when racial bias is at work, and therefore reform is mandatory. Please make the courtroom a place of justice, not a place to cultivate covert racism.
[Your Name Here]
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