A Call for Equality

by Jennifer Garcia

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Dehumanization is modernly associated with the racial discrimination in our justice system. The rise in fatal racial profiling cases have created a movement known as Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter is a movement working to validate Black lives in American society, along with commemorating the lives that have been lost at the hands of the police. Cases life that of Philando Castile who was fatally shot by a Minnesota police officer who was later acquitted of two counts of intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety and was found not guilty of second degree manslaughter have helped the movement grow.

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With the growing importance of the social issue of race, Black Lives Matter has tried to make its purpose clear. It is essentially a civil rights movement, not an anti-police movement, taking place in the U.S. and across the world. The movement is about reminding people of the racism that still exists in the country today. Black Lives Matter is transitioning from street protests to policy. Many of the BLM’s priorities are being realized such as raising more than $33,000 to bail black mothers out of jail, harsh punishments being lowered to a ticket for smaller crimes, and officers wearing body cameras. 

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Currently, the BLM movement has set its sights on increasing funding for education rather than the prison industrial complex. The prison industrial complex is an expression used to describe the interests of the government to surveille and imprison people in order to solve economic, political, and social problems.  BLM has made this one of their focal points due to the disproportionate amount of people of color making up the prison population. Although they make up 13% of the US population, 40% of the prison population is made up of black inmates and over 50% of minorities, according to the US Census Bureau. Also, according to multiple sources, including the LA Times, politifact.com, and the California legislative office, the cost of housing an inmate ranges from $70,000 – $75,000. However, California will only pay $8,000 on a student, according to the California department of education. That means California pays 10 times more to imprison someone, than educate a child! This is something BLM strives to undo.