The 1% Campaign is Changing the Legacy of How Police De-humanize Low Income Communities
Police have a history of harming low income communities of color in the U.S. as early as the 1500’s. This problem persists now in the 21st century. Since the 1500’s, police would enslave people who lived in poor colonial Presently, police use racial typification to criminalize people based on the color of their skin, where they live, and how they dress. As a result, a group called the LA for Youth Campaign is trying to get 1% from the county and city law enforcement budgets – which include sheriffs, police, probation, jails and district attorneys – to build 50 youth centers and fund 25,000 youth jobs. The 1% campaign could challenge the legacy of dehumanizing policing.
History of De-humanizing Policing
Police have harmed low income communities of color as early as the 1500’s. Police enslaved people of color and criminal white christians. Some slaves rebelled so the police made a special police unit for chasing fugitive slaves. In his book, A People’s History of the United States , Howard Zinn states, “In the 1520’s and 1530’s there were slave revolts in Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic), Puerto Rico, Santa Clara Island and what is now Panama. Shortly after those rebellions, the Spanish established a special police for chasing fugitive slaves” (32). The slaves usually lived together in a poor colonial community. These colonial communities located in the regions, that would later became Mexico, South America, and the United States. But they were controlled by the Spanish who took over by using military force. These people were enslaved to either be sold or work for their master. Police have had this mad image since back in the 1500’s and even though slavery isn’t comparable to now, the hate and fear people have for police is possibly the same feelings from back then.
Current De-humanizing policing practices
Society is either misinformed or just plain ignorant about crime in America. Racial typification is when people are associated with crime because of their race. Racial typification is based on common stereotypes. Police use racial typification when patrolling low income communities and are more likely to consider race and style of dress when assuming that they are carrying something illegal. Jamie Fellner, in the article “Race, Drugs,and Law Enforcement in the United States,”states “Although the majority of those who shared, sold, or transferred serious drugs in Seattle are white (indeed seventy percent of the general Seattle population is white), almost two-thirds (64.2%) of drug arrestees are black.” This is an example of racial typification because it shows how police assumed that the black people have drugs. However in reality it’s proven that the people who do have the drugs are white.
Conclusion: Specifics about 1% Campaign and how it can challenge the legacy of de-humanizing policing.
Los Angeles County needs to approve the 1% Campaign to get our youth out of prisons and give them more of an opportunity to go to college. According to information provided by the organization LA for Youth, California went from #1 in education spending to 33rd place., yet we are #1 in prison spending. Harassing kids by having a routine stop and frisk based on how they are dressed is not keeping kids safe. Rather, it is causing them to feel anger. LA for Youth states, “In California, 30,000 young people were incarcerated for minor incidents”. Recently, graduation rates have risen yet California is planning to build more prisons indicating that our kids will end up in jail and not in a college.As of now there’s 33 state prisons and only 29 universities here in California (LA for Youth). For only 1% of LA law enforcement budget can build a better community where kids can stay out of trouble. Across the United States and around the world many countries and cities invest into positive youth development (LA for Youth). While LA County is the nation’s richest municipal region and has the largest youth population, it does not have a department of youth development (LA for Youth). With us pressuring the county to pass changing the budget, we can help the future generation have a more safe community to live and to have a better life than we did. A way LA for Youth is trying to raise awareness is by having a 50 mile walk from December 13-16, location to be announced. Come support and raise awareness about this cause.If you can’t make it, but support this cause, help by spreading it across social media and telling your friends.
LA for Youth. “LA for Youth.” Flier. Los Angeles, 2015. Print.
Feller, Jamie. “Race, Drugs, and Law enforcement in the United States.” Stanford law and review. (2009): n;pag.Web.19 June 2009.
Zinn, Howard.”A people’s history of the United States.” HarperCollins Publishers.(2005) :32.