Just Mercy' Thesis Statement Essay

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We the people core our society, policies, and laws to ensure protection and safety for residents in our governed body. We implement systems to keep peace and order. Yet what about the injustices within these laws? Individuals have the ability to find peace amidst the storms that threaten us during the journey of life. In this world, there is not one living being that can better interpret our personal experience than the individual themself. More specifically, the experience of living in American society. For about two centuries in history, this nation has witnessed the normalization of separatism, exploitation of privilege, and lack of consideration for lives not categorized by European qualifications. During the later centuries of racial practicing, we observed and advocated the right for civil rights, equality, education, laws of protection, and ultimately humanization of the black citizen. Much progress was made, segregation was outlawed, and civil rights laws were revised and revisited. However, progress over the course of history is relentlessly suppressed and has begun gradually rewinding. In the writings of Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, we have immediately met with the answer to past and current abate progression in this country’s social construct: the blindness of the nation. Stevenson dedicates an opening page of the novel with a quote reading “Love is the motive, but justice is the instrument” representing and instilling the peace that is to be found in fighting for equality within the justice system; that the disreadgation of black people in American society is an ever-reoccurring act that has taken place far too long. This drive to change enacted systems of inequality Stevenson divulges in the writings of his personal journey of perseverance, addresses the denial of a corrupt justice system. With the asset of utilizing the suppression of African and brown Americans, the privilege of white Americans is rooted and thriving while celebration and accreditation are drying out and dying; its essence is being stolen. With the exemplification of Walter McMillian, an African American man wrongfully accused of murder and sentenced to the death penalty, Stevenson engages us on a thought-proving journey pushing the ideology of empathic correction over the condemnation and punishment utilized in America. The purpose of this essay is to analyze the order of events in the U.S. Criminal Justice system and to expose the manipulation of said laws and proceedings to the advantages and disadvantages of classified counterparts in our nation by way of correcting misconceptions of Black Nationalism, exposing the existence of the empathic gap, and covering the impact of racial profiling.

The undeniable difference between the separations in motives of American political movements is quite frankly summarized as either enforcing suppression or denying it. As history shows, Black Nationalism, unity, and the creation of endorsed, and facilitated, structures were a necessity to gain resources due to their denial in organizations that their white counterparts endorsed. The ideology of chauvinism is, to my understanding, the belief or an attitude held by a specifically classified person or persons of superiority or higher importance over groups not included in this specifically classified order. One of the largest themes visited frequently throughout Stevenson’s is humanization and advocacy, the very polar opposite of every meaning chauvinism represents. Stevenson states “We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent” (Chapter 10. 293) Contrary to white nationalism, which finds solace in riots, discrimination, separation, bigotry, and mass murder, this theory of black nationalism, enacts by education. Education of our rights, education on our history, and education to ensure the act of physical attributes solidifying judgment on a person’s character does not further continue in future generations.

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To understand, how socially made constructs, such as race and class affect the rulings of the minoritized in the nation, separations need to be made. Race and racism are differentiated constructs. Race can be seen as lacking a concrete meaning, however purposely constructed and transformed through competing political lenses through links between structural and cultural aspects of race in American society. Yet, we are in a time where race has been utilized as a tool for racism; the gateway to oppression. In Chapter One we find that “fears of interracial sex was a powerful force in dismantling Reconstruction after the Civil War, sustaining Jim Crow laws for a century and fueling divisive racial politics throughout the twentieth century” (Stevenson 27) we see how race has been transcribed from a sense of identity to the driving mechanism behind dominance and trounce over those seen as lesser.

American advances can currently and accurately be represented by the image of an unbalanced beam. With improvements furthering our knowledge, in sciences, forms of communications, and many other barriers that stood in society’s way being triumphed, the nation fails to pursue the advancements to be made regarding equality. Due to the lack of citizen grounding in the reality of racism, there is a lack of a set agreement on the basic facts that establish racial tendencies. Therefore, the only logistical solution would be the discovery of racism as an individual task and not one on the scale of national level, due to the imperial powers of influence from corrupt minds and negligent sources of correct information. Being a segregated society,

Racial profiling and racial empathic disparities are contentious issues in U.S. law enforcement policy. The practice of using race as a part of a profile when attempting to identify criminal activity has been used in various ways, such as pulling individuals over on highways and the in-depth questioning of airline passengers of a certain race and at border crossings. Profiling has been used to justify and create automatic assumptions on the finding of drug smugglers, terrorists, and undocumented immigrants. Racial profiling is a problem that is gaining widespread notoriety in the United States. With its continuous growth, profiling is beginning to be demonstrated, not only in interactions with law enforcement, projecting out to younger individuals, by appearing in schools, workplaces, and disgustingly in neighborhood communities. Does being African American in America cause individuals to be targeted? This additionally applies to the belief of lacking the ability to feel, experience, or resonate with basic emotions all civilians have, regardless of race, yet this ideology of African Americans lacking it has caused harsher punishment in our system, especially regarding our juvenile justice.

The correlation of attributes possessed by influence and manipulation can be represented in a simple illustration of the distinction of conflict known as the Lock and Key theory. A lock is designed to be passable by a singular, creatively crafted key, however, the utilization of advances in society allows the lock unbarred by inventions such as master keys, production of multiple copies, etc.; metaphorically elaborating on the unrestricted ingress to inquire material (society’s “lock”). Advancing the use of this publicly obtained information inevitably will express similar characteristics to its predecessor. “We’ve become so fearful and vengeful that we’ve thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and weak” (Stevenson 69). Contrariety configures phenomenally between the two categorial terms in the methods of how these commons are developed. Commons through the perception of manipulation requires precision, and tactful measures to obtain permission for content necessitating manipulative actions and achieving a “trustworthy” relationship with the provider of the resources. The installment of automation and its functionality, as expressed in the novel’s writings as algorithms serve as a pivotal element benefiting the suited classification of manipulation.

Relatively, social change defines the development of global capitalism with a focus on changing relationships between markets, states, and civil societies. By this definition, the question arises, Where is the line of separation between power and inequality created? What constitutes justified oppression from the unjust? According to Stevenson, the answer lies within the culture promoting gentrified tendencies. The commonality exposed to the white race and their domineering leverage connects with the historical arguments of leaders promoting inequality, particularly “Mercy is most empowering, liberating, and transformative when it is directed at the undeserving. The people who have earned it, who haven’t even sought it, are most meaningful recipients of our compassion” (Stevenson 189). However, in the present day, the oppression of the masses to benefit the few has broadened out of strictly black under white.

An institution or social change that is not mercenary to one audience must initiate the recognition of some oppression that is contributing to the sum of suffering and or diminishing the ideal importance and happiness of the mass audience. Raceless antiracism and enforcements of socially constructed survival of the fittest are self-absorbed structures, belligerently habituating ignorance in addressing public executions and proclaiming black and brown lives lack importance because all lives possess importance, is a band-aid solution to a bullet hole problem. Issues must be addressed head-on to properly resolve them. The strive for social change unempathetically lacks morality and consideration of precedents. Society has band-aided poverty, homelessness, and low-income areas creating a normality that the reality is, that we live in a free market society. The wealthy have earned their right to live in the city. Ironically it resembles the solution to American racism. By not acknowledging the importance of historically oppressed races, the advantage and power still remain in the “hardworking, rightfully earned” wealthy to declare indeed all lives matter….to an extent of course. This inappropriate disruptive justification for the eviction of longtime residents, landmarks of small businesses, historical buildings, parks, and rituals spearheads the social change movement, and has created a division in once unified communities.

Ultimately, Perception is influenced by an individual’s subconsciousness. What is perceived is dependent on developed apprehensions the mind makes. When we are born, our mind is a blank slate, and each day of life we gain and perceive the environment we are placed in by hearing, seeing, and feeling our experiences. Concepts, ideologies, and theories all stem from and remain unrecognizable to the mind until it is learned to give meaning. This ability for individuals to hold unique discernments permits society, to be ever-growing, learning, and, however, conflicting. While it is recognized our technological advances and evolution, derive from different aspects of focus because of varying perceptions, it would be unjust to additionally recognize the social distribution of equality, and the contrastive definitions of justice versus injustice. the issue of how an individual’s perception of their being is not the definition of self and directly affects the consideration and perspectives of others and society as a whole Individuals have the ability to find peace amidst the storms that threaten us during the journey of life. In this world, there is not one living being that can better interpret our personal experience than the individual themself. More specifically, the experience of living in American society. For about two centuries in history, this nation has witnessed the normalization of separatism, exploitation of privilege, and lack of consideration for lives not categorized by European, higher-class qualifications. During the later centuries of class practicing, we observed and advocated the right for civil rights, equality, education, laws of protection, and ultimately freedom of speech and humanization of every citizen.


    1. Stevenson, Bryan Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. New York Spiel & Grau Trade 2014
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Just Mercy’ Thesis Statement Essay. (2023, December 13). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/just-mercy-thesis-statement-essay/
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