Part 177- Police Brutality and Social Injustice

There’s a line between ‘enforcing the law’, and ‘police brutality’. Enforcing the law is making sure the law is obeyed and punishing people who do not do so, while police brutality is the excessive and unwarranted use of force by law enforcement against an individual or group. We’ve seen these cases with the BLM movement in 2020 and now the recent one with Tyre Nichols. Back in 2020 we tried to come up with ways to end the police violence that caused these problems, yet we’re here once again, fighting. 

The reality is, we can’t just stop something like this by taking away power or certain methods. People will always find a different way to take a course of action. The way we can do something about this is something psychologically. We, as a society, need to change our mindset. We need to stop stereotyping and having a set prejudice about people. 
Stereotypes/prejudice is something set and rooted in our minds and our thoughts that is difficult to change. We may not see or realize it at first, but there are certain actions we do that shows it. Sometimes it’s a minor thing that isn’t a problem, while other times it’s a major issue. Let’s take a stereotype we are familiar with in the past year. Asian discrimination. Now, the stereotype towards Asians could be at a minor or a major scale. 
For me, I’m a fan of Korean groups like Seventeen and TXT, so whenever I see someone Korean or Asian, my mind goes back to that. I unknowingly associate the two together, leading to a stereotype. On a major scale, there’s Asian hate. Due to the fact that COVID came from China, people have started to discriminate against Asians and Asian-Americans. This has lead to Asian violence, hate crimes, and many other terrible incidences. The fact whether that person was actually the “cause” of a problem or whether they were actually Chinese or not didn’t matter. Violence/ hate was the immediate though towards an Asian because of the pandemic origins. 
Now, with the police, stereotyping can be seen with police brutality. People say police brutality is the human rights violations by the police, when reality, it’s more of a racism/stereotyping issue. It’s a social injustice issue. The police could be given less power, given fewer weapons, or something of the kind. But that won’t change the mindset. The given mindset is that people of color like black people are dangerous. They cause trouble. They commit crimes. This reasoning causes a stereotype to think that all people of the same color or ethnicity are the same- just as dangerous and troublesome. This, deeply engraved in the mind, causes one to act wary or take extra precaution around them. This ‘extra precaution’ could mean using more force than necessary in certain situations. This leads to police brutality. Here’s another example. After 9/11 Muslim-Americans or even people with brown skin- like Indians- were discriminated against. There are reports of increased police attacks against Muslim-Americans after the attacks, despite them being innocent. Today, in airports, people of brown skin are watched with extra caution, simply because of the stereotype they could be a terrorist. The brown skin color is what causes this stereotype. That’s racism.
In America, black people are more strongly discriminated against because of our history. Relating to what I said earlier, the discrimination comes from the perception they- black people- cause trouble. The bleak history of slavery and segregation in the United States is still faintly present in today’s laws, mindsets, and thoughts. Policies and laws are made ever so cautiously in a way to be against black people because of how we thought in the past. Although it’s not directly pointed out, it still exists. 
History and experiences cause these stereotypes, and they as a result get rooted in our inns over time until they become an unconscious perception or even mindset. It alters how we act, how we think, and how we react, leading to problems. Like I said before, this is not a simple issue that can be fixed by taking away power or access to things. It’s a psychological matter. It’s a matter of removing that stereotype from policies, laws, and even minds in order to prevent violence, racism, and discrimination against different races, genders, or ethnicities. Without this, we’ll never be able to change and actually make an impact. 

Part 140- Society

I honestly don’t know why society is more strict towards a woman than a man. So many rules are put in place for a woman that it’s almost like she has no control over what she can or cannot do. It’s like society doesn’t want her to be who she wants and instead forces her to be someone else just for everyone else.

 To a woman, they’ll tell her to change her dress or cover-up, but won’t say anything to a man even when they don’t tuck in their pants? What’s up with that?  Then, women are expected to reach or be at this unattainable beauty standard, but when they use surgery to meet the standard they get judged? Why is that? Society wants us to fit in a specific category and continuously stay in, but it becomes overwhelming and almost a weight, to keep complying and keep changing ourselves to fit in. It’s almost like we can’t be who we want anymore simply because we’re too afraid that we’ll be judged or criticized if we don’t.

After that, there are gender norms in clothing. Sneakers or shirts are gender-neutral but a dress or heels are not. This is simply because society considers ‘men’ as the default. Something ‘girly’ or feminine is inferior, causing ‘neutral’ to be biased towards most ‘boyish’ or masculine things. Because of this, young girls are to not be like the others, while young boys are afraid of being considered feminine if not boyish enough. Who makes something like this? Why is almost everything, even the simplest things like clothing, categorized by man or woman? Why is it that when things are not categorized it is immediately criticized? Why? Is it wrong if a woman prefers to wear a suit or pants rather than a dress? Is it wrong if a man likes to wear jewelry or wear makeup? Who says makeup is just for girls? Even though girls use makeup more than men, is it immediately labeled as a girl thing and boys shouldn’t wear makeup? 

Not to forget Abortion. I may be a little late to speak about this but I now will. High School Valedictorian Paxton Smith spoke out about Texas’s new abortion law, the Heartbeat Bill, during her graduation. Abortion in Texas is prohibited as early as six weeks a woman is pregnant. 6 weeks. Most women don’t realize they are pregnant within 6 weeks. Who knows if bringing another being into the world is something they are willing to do. The pregnancy could be a result of rape or even be something they are not able to do, mentally, physically, emotionally, or even financially. If it is something they are not ready for, yet have to comply with because of this law, wouldn’t it be a burden upon them? Wouldn’t it be something they would be pressured and forced to do by a stranger even though they are not ready for it? It’s like taking away a woman’s rights. Taking away something that is her decision. Something that will affect her life and is up to her whether she wants it or not.