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Taylor Tilles

Travis Maynard
12/3/14

Does justice truly mean what it stands for in this country? In many cases there are
reasons to believe that it does not. Throughout time, America has struggled with the concept of
racism and treating all people as equals. This exigence appears prevalent when taking a look
into the criminal justice system of the United States of America.
In my rhetorical assemblage I chose to target a group who is directly involved in this
issue: law enforcement officers are the ones we trust to keep us and our community safe. In my
project, I incorporated many facts and statistics to prove the unjust system in America because
facts cannot be argued or refuted. Statistics blatantly prove that non-whites are still victims of
discrimination in todays criminal justice system. Racism has been a problem in this country
since it was first discovered: from the mistreatment of Indians when Columbus came to
America, to the detainment of Japanese people in internment camps, people of color have
never been given a fair chance at equal justice.
I used a project board to display the assemblage of the exigence of the racism that
continually happens in our justice system. By using this type of medium, I can appeal to a wide
range of people. The simple layout of the facts and graphs of statistics make it clear to see the
problem with our system. I used red, white, and blue as the color scheme for my project. This
decision was made as an ironic choice because these colors are supposed to represent freedom
in this country, but end up flashing behind you when you are stopped by a police officer. By
using these colors behind the surprising statistics of the unequal treatment of people of color, it
brings out the true racist roots of this country.
By including cold, hard facts about the rates of whites versus people of color who are
stopped, arrested, and put behind bars shows that the problem starts with the law
enforcement personnel in this country. Although racism continues to the top level of

authorities, by presenting my exigence to a group of law enforcement officers I will be able to


explain the importance of being biased against different races in this profession and the
consequences that they are forced to deal with in the long-run.
I added pictures of inmates, one from today and one from fifty years ago, illustrating
how people of color in prison are used to complete labor. By including these images, policemen
will be able to recognize that people of color are repeatedly mistreated and used to the
advantage of white folks. Police men need to patrol the roads for danger, not on the lookout for
people of color.
The Sentencing Project is one way that the community can get involved in revising the
law. By incorporating ways for the public to get involved, my audience begins to stretch over a
larger range of people. This group would include anyone who has a voice or a right to vote on
the matter. After viewing my assemblage, one would begin to feel angry at the system and will
inspire them to do anything that may help. This would be especially true for those who have
family or friends who are locked up because of criminal assumptions based on the color of their
skin.
In an article called One Troubling Statistic Shows Just How Racist Americas Police
Brutality Problem Is, the author, Tom McKay, discusses not only the fact that minorities are
almost always immediately judged when seen by police officers, but also what takes place after
the officer stops and confronts a minority in question. This article includes many statistics and
claims about the relationship with racism and our law enforcement. This common occurrence
provides a possible explanation for the actions that took place during the case regarding
Michael Brown and a white officer from Ferguson, Missouri.

I want this assemblage to open the eyes of the public to this problem that has continued
to follow civilians through the history of this country. Efforts have been made, since slaves were
outlawed, to end discrimination of people based on race. It is a tragedy to think that it is the
twenty first century and we still accept racism and stand by watching it happen. Police officers

need to realize how important it is for them to remain race-neutral when on duty. For example,
instead of stopping someone because of what color they are, stop them for the crime that they
have committedno matter what color they may be.My project is intended to spark feelings of
anger and frustration toward the government for letting injustice like this continue in todays
advanced and educated world. By including the example of Michael Brown, people will be able
to connect the issue I discuss to an incident that happened recently and has affected the whole
country. After an unarmed black man was shot to death by a white officer for not complying to
demands, disputes about whether Brown was surrendering at the time of the shots or not is
still up to the readers discretion. Either way, America was not impressed with the white
Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson. This situation caused an uproar of anger from the
public along with new tension between African Americans and law enforcement.
This assemblage could also be shown to anyone involved in law enforcement. Police
officers are the ones who decide who gets arrested and who gets to go home. Judges and other
authorities in the criminal justice system are the people who convict or acquit a suspect of a
crime and also are the ones imposing how harsh of a sentence will be made. These people have
a heavy influence on the future of people who stand before them in the courts. By including
how non whites are affected by these decisions, even after serving their time, it is more likely
to resonate with the ones who hold this power.
Using facts from the New York Police Department gives this assemblage ethos in that
what is said is true. To show that this problem is evident today, I pulled facts from New York
alone, proving that although black people make up only thirteen percent of the population,
they are thirty seven percent of the people arrested. New York is known as a prestigious city
and represents the greatness of Americabut when there are blatant acts of discrimination in
some of the top cities in this country, it becomes obvious that there are changes to be made.
America is supposed to represent land of the free, home of the brave, but this feeling of
pride for ones country should diminish when not everyone is treated equally and given a fair
chance at justice. The Constitution was written in a way that every American would be given
freedom, the chance to succeed, and equality among all. However, centuries after our Founding

Fathers wrote these inspiring words, non-white citizens are discriminated against and treated
unfairly: because this is most evident in our legal system, these citizens suffer harsh
consequences, such as jail time and criminal records. Our system makes it nearly impossible for
anyone who isnt white to live a normal life.