Law and Order: SVU

During one of the many SVU marathons on theUSA network, there was one episode in particular that I thought was quite relevant to this class and forced me to do a little critical thinking. A young Japanese woman was murdered while visiting New York; it was staged to look like a robbery gone bad. Due to an “eye witness” account, a young black man was fingered as the suspect. This just reinforces that young, minority, males are the most likely to be harassed and seen as criminals. Later in the episode viewers found out that her husband had a gambling problem and was in a great deal of debt to the Yakuza. He had taken out a large life insurance policy then hired someone to kill his wife in hopes of paying off his debt with the insurance money. When asked why he tried to frame a black man for his wife’s murder he answered, because black men commit so much crime in America that he didn’t think police would question it. For anyone who was wondering, the husband did go to trial and was found guilty.

As much as I wish Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler were real, I understand that Law and Order is a fictional show. However, the premise of each episode is, as a rule, not very far fetched. Which leads to the question; is this really what other countries think of theUnited States, its African American citizens, and our police force? Being that I am a native bornUnited Statescitizen I cannot comment on what other nations think of theU.S.with much authority. If any one else can and would like to share, please do. Secondly, statistics show that black men are less likely to commit a crime, but more likely to be incarcerated. If this statistic is true, then why do people seem to believe that black men commit the majority of crimes? Are we, as humans, really that blindly racist? Police officers will deny, deny, and then deny again that race plays any part in how they do their job. I guess all we can hope for is that there are at least some decent people “protecting and serving” our communities, like Benson and Stabler. Obviously the thoughts and actions of every single person cannot be studied or lumped together under one assumption, but this is something each person should think about and decide for themselves. Was there any real reason for the racism set in motion by our ancestors? The answer is no; the horrific treatment of Africans that were brought to this country was strictly for personal gain. Do you want to be a part in a continuing that “tradition”?

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