Case Study

  1. Type of oppression

The history and life experiences of African Americans have been neglected for a long time leaving a lot of ground for research. The Maryland’s Eastern shore historically was inhabited by African Americans who were slaves formerly. These slaves are believed to have been freed by their slave owners or even by a sea captain out of his free will. The freed slaves settled on the Maryland Eastern Shores, which is now believed to be the oldest black neighborhood in the country, (Ruane Michael, 2013). Years later the Eastern Shore is still home to most of the African American community.

Throughout history there have been reports on how African American community experienced racial discrimination because of their skin color. Most of the slaves that were used to work in the cotton plantations were black. This is because they were believed to provide cheap labor. The people of Maryland are therefore looked down upon because of their skin color. They are seen as inferior beings as compared to the white population. The population of the black community is still segregated with majority of the rich millionaires in Maryland being white. This has led to racial discrimination against the black people.

  1. Historical and current factors place the population at risk

Racism against the African America community came from the permanent and inhumane enslavement of people of that community. The slavery was as a result of the American colonies wanting economic and social stability. Before the colonies, the white and free black men were treated equally. With the coming of the colonies, the black people started being treated poorly and being stripped off their rights. The white masters especially in southern America realized that the African Americans could offer cheap labor and they took full advantage of this.  The black community has always been seen as the inferior race. People with a lighter skin color are seen as superior, smarter, and wealthier. According to Anderson Margaret (1997), in Kent County the median income for the white community is placed at $31,382 while for the black community it is placed at $19,850, which shows major inequalities among the residents of the area. Maryland was the first state to create formal laws distinguishing indentured servants and slaves, (Anderson, 1997).

  • Community Issue: racial discrimination

Racial discrimination can be defined as the unfavorable treatment that one receives because they belong a particular race, ethnic group or nationality. This kind of discrimination has always been there since age of slavery. The racial discrimination has continued through from the early America to today. Black people who live in the Maryland’s Eastern Shore experience discrimination every day. In an article in the Washington Post by DeNeen Brown (2015), there has been racial discrimination in the area for the longest time. According to Brown, many black people were lynched in cities and towns across the country from the late 1800s to the 1960s.

Brown narrates about the lynching of one Mathew Williams in 1931. Williams who was a 23-year-old black man had been accused of killing his white employer. The mob followed him into the hospital where he lay with gunshot wounds and they were met with little resistance on part of the hospital. Williams was taken through a lot of torture before he was finally hanged. According to the Maryland Historical Society Library, this was the 32nd Lynching that was recorded in Maryland since 1882. Just last year a black chief of police named Kevin Sewell was fired by a white city council because he refused to fire two black police officers who had filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints, (Brown, 2015).  The officer was fired despite him clearing the streets of drug dealers, reducing the crime rates and bettering the relations between the officers and the residents, (Zenitha Prince, 2016). Even today people of color are still discriminate against because they are seen as inferior.

  1. How affected community perceive Racial Discrimination

Sewell the chief of police who was fired went ahead and filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges the racial discrimination against African-American police officers in the Maryland community. The community believes that in the 21st century no one is supposed to suffer from racial discrimination. The African American community has complained for long enough about being targeted by the police officers and being the center of criminal justice. There have been many cases in which unarmed black American men have been shot by police even when they were not armed. The question on most people lips is, if the police themselves can suffer from racial discrimination, what is the probability of the local citizens suffering the same? People in Maryland have come together to show their togetherness with the fired officers. This means that they are tired of being discriminated against because of their skin color. They also know that it will be only them who will save themselves from the racial discriminations.

  1. Effects of racial discrimination to the community at large

Racial discrimination can lead to many negative results in any community. There can be cases of violence within a community or even the rise in crime rates because a particular community is viewed as less important. On a personal level racial discrimination can cause one to have mental illnesses while others might suffer from low self esteem. The African American people feel that there is continued racial discrimination not only in Maryland but also in the rest of America. The American community agrees that there is racial discrimination of the black people and the racial division has continued to expand as the days go by. In the United States of American, the community says that there is continued racial discrimination against the African American people. The government has come up with bills that warn against the discrimination of any type.

People have tried to come up with ideas and groups that fight against racial segregation. There are so many groups in America and the rest of the world that have come to fight racial discrimination. This however has not been so fruitful because the racial division is still rampant in the states. The African American community has found a way to live with this discrimination. They believe that they are the most targeted group especially when it comes to criminal justice. More and more people are becoming enlightened on the issue of racial discrimination and its consequences.

Conclusion

Racial discrimination has been there since the earlier days when the African Americans were used by the whites as slaves. Their skin color made them less attractive and more prone to violence. In Maryland’s of Eastern Shore, which was among the first African American neighborhoods, they still experience racial discrimination and they are at the risk of being discriminated against because of their skin color. With the election of the first African American president, the Americans citizens thought that the racial discrimination would be less. However, there are still many cases of racial discrimination against the black community especially when it comes to the police. The police are said to be targeting black people and killing them even when one is innocent. The police have also been known to use excessive force when arresting a black man even if they are not resisting arrest.

References

Anderson M. L. (1997) Discovering the Past/Considering the Future: Lessons From the Eastern Shore University of Delaware

Brown D. L. (2015) History of Lynching on Maryland’s Eastern Shore The Washington Post retrieved from www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/07/20/history-of-lynchings-in-md-s-eastern-shore/ accessed on 22 Feb 2016

Prince Z. (2016) Black Police Officers Allege discrimination in Md. Eastern Shore Community Afro News

Ruane M. L. (2013) Experts Probe an Eastern Shore Site, Built by Freed Slaves, for the Nation’s Oldest Black Neighborhood The Washington Post retrieved from www.washingtonpost.com/local/Experts-Probe-an-Eastern-Shore-Site-Built-by-Freed-Slaves-for-the-Nations-Oldest-Black-Neighborhood/2013/07/25/1303cd58-f530-11e2-a2f1-a7acf9bd5d3a_story.htm accessed on 22 Feb 2016

 

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