Throughout the book it talks about cruel and unfair punishment that is enforced and maintained throughout the streets of Oakland. Mainly focusing on and concentrating on the minorities in the community. Exampled displayed throughout the entire book mainly focuses on trying to use law enforcement as somewhat a threat but at the same time they try to use it to provoke them to do any little thing that will give them “probable cause” to lock the students up and put them away even when they don’t necessarily do anything wrong.  For example one young man was not allowed to hang around his friends that lived in the same building or they would arrest him but they knew deep down that wasn’t going to be much of a possibility.


This book reminded me of a certain instant that occurred which we discussed in class when it comes to cruel and unusual punishment for small petty crimes. They were referred to as the Jena six, they were six African American high school students accused of beating and “seriously injuring” a fellow Caucasian classmate and the charges bought up against them would have had them in jail for the rest of their lives if they had in fact been charged by the justice system for the charges bought up against them.


Consequences by the justice system are in a way set up to negatively impact minorities in my opinion simply because they are the ones that make up the majority of the incarceration rates which are breaking up homes and splitting up families.  If a child grows up with a parent in jail and no one to raise and teach them right from wrong then that child themselves is going to sooner or later follow the pattern because they weren’t taught what to do in order to maintain their freedom from behind bars and be successful, most of the parents by parents I mostly mean the fathers of African American and even Latino families are in jail  and not able to be the father figure they’re meant to be and most of them are in jail just because of a petty crime or drug related crimes.


Also majority of minority families are poor, which causes them to work a lot more than other families and the end result of that being that the children basically have to raise themselves and even in some cases they have to raise their younger brothers and sisters, that usually causes them to find a parent figure by an adult in a gang or something amongst those lines for guidance leading them to jail and/or juvenile detention centers at an early age and the behavior from them start to become repetitive. All in all the parents not being around to help raise these children causes severe long term consequences for them to overcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *