Scenario 1: Black man
Scenario 2: White man
(Read the scenarios again in Part 1!)
“Abolish the police,” became a rallying cry around 1988. Prior to this, the creation of the police was to maintain law and order. The word comes from polis. As seen in the article The Invention of the Police, polis means that “everything was decided through words and persuasion and not through force and violence.” In addition, Jill Lepore’s article alludes to how, even outside of polis, men dominated servants, slaves, and their own women and children. Those groups of people were all under the man’s thumb. The creation of the police further emphasized it, giving more and more reason for White men to rule over these groups of people.
The scenarios we created are based on actual data. Here are some pieces of evidence that we found in regards to racial disparities infiltrating the criminal justice system. We used the example of marijuana because it is evident that there are racial disparities in marijuana arrests, leading to high incarceration rates for BIPOC, specifically Black men. It is not a coincidence that Black people are 3.64 times more likely than white people to be arrested and charged for marijuana possession compared to White people. This is a way for officers to justify arresting BIPOC.
Here are some statistics that were found that were used to create our scenarios:
- “Black people are 3.64 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession, notwithstanding comparable usage rates.”
- “In every single state, Black people were more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, and in some states, Black people were up to six, eight, or almost ten times more likely to be arrested. In 31 states, racial disparities were actually larger in 2018 than they were in 2010.”
- “When people are arrested for possessing even tiny amounts of marijuana, it can have dire collateral consequences that affect their eligibility for public housing and student financial aid, employment opportunities, child custody determinations, and immigration status.”
- “Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.”
- Under New York State law, the penalty for possession of 16 ounces of marijuana is equivalent to that for illegally selling a firearm, or for possession an explosive bomb or machine gun: a minimum jail sentence of one to three years (and a maximum of seven). The penalty for selling 16 ounces of marijuana is equivalent to that for illegally selling 10 firearms: 3 to 15 years in jail. The absurd message: Cannabis is as or more harmful than guns.
- “A Black person is five times more likely to be stopped without just cause than a white person.”
- “A Black man is twice as likely to be stopped without just cause than a Black woman.”
- “65% of Black adults have felt targeted because of their race. Similarly, approximately 35% of Latino and Asian adults have felt targeted because of race.”