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Alex King

UWRT 1202

Professor Steele

February 15th, 2017

Criminality Evaluation

What is being a Criminal? Is it determined by your state, by your government, by your

family, or even your community? Who decides whether or not a person is a criminal? And

furthermore what authority do they have to make such a decision? Unjust people make unjust

laws. Whoever is in power will thereby subjugate the people to follow these laws. But this leads

to dictators, monarchs, and presidents creating laws that do not always have the people's best

interest in heart. When leaders try to run countries not all of the people needs are met, not every

religion is acknowledged, and not every race equal. From this unequal treatment of certain

groups of people comes the spread of prejudice beliefs and subjugation. This has been seen

throughout history, enslavement, both enforced based on race and religion.

One group of people who have been segregated against for hundreds of years are African

Americans. Racism has been a very common problem throughout history, especially for African

Americans. It is common when segregation occurs that prosecution occurs. This prosecution has

lead to the overwhelming fluctuation of jails to imprison criminals. It at a time became the

social norm for African Americans to be seen as theifs, to be rapists, to be criminals. This view of

the African American community spurred hatred and abuse. Just laws were put in place with

unjust motives. This is also seen in MLKs, A Letter to Birmingham Jail. In this he depicts the

use of laws put in place to subjugate African Americans. With the power given to the law makers

it is easy to subjugate a group of people when it is beneficial for them to stay on top. This really
pushes the idea that laws are not always put in place through good motives, but more so to

benefit and keep those who have power in charge.

Being a criminal is not as black in white as it may seem on paper. The laws set in place

have many exceptions that allow people to serve different times for the same crime. For example,

recently there were two different rape cases in which one person a caucasian male only got 3

months of prison and an african american with the same case got 12 years with no probation.

This proves that the laws put in place are not always put in place correctly. One issue with the

laws is the use of a jury. Although personally I believe that a jury is for the most part a fair way

of determining a persons guilt. However, peoples ideas of who or what a guilty person may

look like or act like may be altered to favor certain people. The media may have a huge part to

play in how a person sees race or religion. For example, african americans are more likely to be

convicted for the same crime as a caucasian person just because of their race. The same goes for

a person with a different religion. The person's religion may even be used by the prosecutor

against them to convict them for a crime. An example of this I learned from the Serial podcasts,

describing how Ahmed Sayed was prosecuted and how his religion was used to convict him and

make him guilty.

Although in certain cases religious or race related crimes may be committed, I believe

that in a lot of these cases people's viewpoints may be bias. Especially with the ideas people have

towards Islam. It may be argued that these people are discriminated against just as much today as

African Americans were during the Civil Rights movement. So using religion or race to convict

individuals is unfair and unjust. This furthers the argument that criminals are both influenced by

race and religion, as well as enforced by the medias interpretation of who or what a criminal is.

To move forward as a society we need to treat individuals equal regardless of faith and/or race.