Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Rule of Law

When it comes to the rule of law conservatives will fight hard to ensure that this concept is enforced. But In the criminal justice system, blacks, Latinos, and the working poor are criminalized. Those who disagree with this premise, will simply state that these individuals have choices in which they can either choose to commit a crime or obey the rule of law. The problem with this notion is that it blatantly ignores the root of the issue that continue to effect lower level people on a daily basis. For example, Jim Crow was a popular law that was enacted by the ruling class, representing those who are not black. Since blacks had no say in the political process in America up until the 1960’s, they were bound to the laws that oppressed them. Therefore any morally sound person would reject Jim Crow laws, and agree that they were far from equal. It has been decades since these laws have been ousted, but today poor people still suffer from an institutionalized racism from the ruling power.

In inner cities in America young Black and Latino kids share a strong culture and style that is not understood or looked down upon by society. If they were part of a ruling class, their culture would be considered an ideal example to follow. But since they lack the privilege of the ruling class they are considered thugs, and labeled as criminals. These individuals are then alienated by society and forced to form close bonds to those whom are similar to themselves. In order for the ruling class to maintain their power, strict laws and policies are enforced to ensure that the chances of improvement for these people are slim to none. In addition, statistics are created which further enforce the notion that people of color are nothing more than savages and criminals who need to be incarcerated, to maintain a civil society. When one doesn’t have the economical power to better their own situation they fall victim to the systems laws, which were created by a dominate group; using the dominate groups beliefs, to benefit the dominate group. Blacks defiantly do not benefit from these laws since they are the highest in number of those incarcerated. Whites do benefit from these laws since their incarceration numbers are a lot lower than black incarceration numbers.

The rule of law debate is interchangeable. When a poor person steals something from a grocery store to satisfy their hunger, this action is looked upon as a crime. But, when a police officer murders a suspect their actions are looked upon as heroic. If the police officer can be spared by the rule of law, how come the hungry man cannot? This example only proves that the law is set to benefit those with some sort of political or economic power. When Oscar Grant, was assassinated in Cold blood in the streets of Oakland; the officer who shot him in the back was charged with murder. Similar to the Rodney King Trial in Los Angeles, the officer’s defense attorney plans to relocate the trial so he can face a jury in a whiter jurisdiction. The officers’ in the Rodney King trial evaded conviction by receiving a convenient change of venue. The officers’ political power allowed them to escape justice, even though they were clearly guilty. The Oscar Grant trial is still underway, but if the officer who killed him gets acquitted, this will only prove that those with political or economic power benefit from the criminal justice system. The rule of law is the rule of law, murder is murder, but when it apply to those whom are apart of the majority, exceptions are granted.

Capitalism creates a system of classism and racism that leaves the oppressed powerless. The criminalization of these people, are justified by the laws that they are bound to. Since they lack the political power to change these laws they will continue to be victimized. Black communities like Rosewood Florida, were self sufficient communities until they were destroyed by racist whites, who faced no repercussions from the law. It is no different today, a poor person can only get ahead so much until it is revealed to them who they really are. The rule of law only protects those with elite status, and criminalizes those who cannot protect themselves from the ruling power.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

College Educated Idiots

Community Colleges are a stepping ground for students who struggled in high school, and students who can not afford the expensive tuition of public and private Universities. However, not all students understand the full entirety of the Community College system. Associate degrees are an accomplishment to be proud of, but when it comes time to transfer to a four year university, it is up to the University to decide which credits they will accept, and if your credits are accepted. Your grades from your Community College may not always be transferred. What good is it to have 60 credits transferred to a University without a grade attached to them? One may have the necessary credits to graduate, but may also lack the core classes needed to graduate. Therefore, your 60 credits completed at a Community College were used just to get you in the door of a University. As stated earlier, community colleges are a stepping stone to get into a University, but it is not fair to make students pay for courses that may not always be accredited at Universities.

Proponents to Community colleges argue that dummies are being passed on to university's funded by the government. I agree to an extent, however I believe that everyone deserves a chance to receive a quality education. At the same time, everyone should be able to receive some sort of federal assistance. Free money is out there but sometimes the wrong people are given the free money. I have an acquaintance who does not take his Community College education seriously. He often brags about what he is going to buy with his financial aid money, and tends to take the minimum amount of classes each semester. To continue receiving financial aid money a student only has to maintain a 2.0 grade point average. Students like the one mentioned earlier, then proceed to acquire associate degrees, and head on to four year universities to receive bachelor degrees. When they reach Universities their skills needed to succeed are below average, and they get pushed through bachelor programs with sub par skills. In today's day and age students who should not receive degrees are being handed degrees, and passed along to grad school, which produces College educated Idiots. These people then proceed to wear their college degrees on their sleeves even though their skills a far below a college graduate level.

Schools need to stop worrying about making money , and make sure students who cant perform at a college level be educated properly.