It’s become as American as apple pie

Sierra, Peter



It's become as American as apple pie. We catch glimpses of it on our favorite-shows; in our theaters and in our music. Yet it's a conversation most Americans feel uncomfortable having, and when we do have the conversation, it is so riddled with one sided union propaganda we can never get to the core of it or grasp the depth to which it touches so many of our fellow citizen's lives. Police corruption is an existent component of the penal system, rooted in the propaganda that propelled mass incarceration: the ideology that criminals are sub-human. Under that thought, police corruption flourishes. It is justified, covered up and dismissed. Does crime on the criminal part justify brutalities undeserving of humanity? Should we concern ourselves with not over generalizing 'police corruption' rather than grappling with the indifference and complacency required for depraved law enforcement agencies to persist? Are we doing a disservice to communities of color, and other marginalized communities, by refusing to accept the premise that there is something fundamentally wrong with some of the ideas law enforcement agencies foster amongst their employees? How many times has brutalities and even murders gone unaccounted for by law enforcement because control of the conversation around these atrocities are preposterously over-arching on the side of police? Do certain ideologies contribute to policies that maintain a systematic repression and vilification of victims of police brutalities? The Prison Litigation Reform Act ensured many inmates and prisoner's experiences with law enforcement, bent on dehumanizing them, go unheard. The P.L.R.A. made cover-ups as easy as losing complaints, filing them too late as to not meet time restraints and/or harassing prisoners into withdrawing their complaint. The P.L.R.A is a prisoner-only (inclusive) list of demands that require inmates to all but jump through a hoop engulfed in flames to file a 1983 civil law suit or a writ of Habeas Corpus to protest staff misconduct or prison conditions. Whether or not the P.L.R.A was implemented by Bill Clinton to show he can be tough on criminals or merely a manifest of his upside down views on poverty and its relation to crime as reflected in his rhetoric, is up for debate. What is not up for debate is that the Prison Litigation Reform Act is repressive in nature and maintains a system of normalized police brutality and staff misconduct. We live in an awaken society reaching toward equality and justice for all. We seek to understand the conditions that foster crime and seek to unravel that which maintains a society of exclusion, unfairness and xenophobia. But we are only aware to the politics and issues we wish to address. Mass Incarceration, the Prison Litigation Reform Act and other such results of ideologies that are spewed into the culture and policies of state must be up rooted not by merely reforming the conditions and policies that resulted from these ideologies but the ideologies themselves. We can't continue to allow criminals to be the escape goat to police brutalities and murder. We can not allow a discourse to take place that blames atrocities on the stresses of the job or diverts human beings from being held accountable for their treatment of other human beings. Only by engaging conversations about matters that encumber our progress can we move on toward a society consciousness that values all human life and sees the potential contribution of even those at the bottom of the stratem.

Author: Sierra, Peter

Author Location: California

Date: November 14, 2019

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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