In the Merriam Webster dictionary (2020), the definition of systemic racism is broken down into two words. Systemic meaning “fundamental to a predominant social, economic, or political practice”. Racism also defined by Merriam Webster definition (2020) means, “the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another”. I believe systemic racism occurs today. People treat people differently due to the color of their skin, and that is the sad, disappointing truth.
At the start of Covid-19, people were treating those of the Asian descent differently. They treated them differently due to the coronavirus starting in China. “Governments should take urgent steps to prevent racist and xenophobic violence and discrimination linked to the Covid-19 pandemic while prosecuting racial attacks against Asians and people of Asian descent, Human Rights Watch said today” (Human Rights Watch, 2020).
Civil liberties is defined as, “freedom from arbitrary governmental interference (as with the right of free speech) specifically by denial of governmental power and in the U.S. especially as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights —usually used in plural” (Merriam Webster, 2020). “Civil liberties are protections against government actions. For example, the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights guarantees citizens the right to practice whatever religion they please. Government, then, cannot interfere in an individual’s freedom of worship. Amendment I give the individuals ‘liberty’ from the actions of the government” (US History, 2019).
I believe that the way the government has handled the rights of Americans regarding their civil liberties, is dependent upon who is in office, and whether they are democratic or republican. Yes, I do believe that the Constitution should be the last word when it comes to what the government can and cannot do to US citizens. The Constitution was “written in 1787, ratified in 1788, and in operation since 1789, the United States Constitution is the world’s longest surviving written charter of government” (Senate, 2020). The Constitution has been in the charter of the government for two hundred and thirty-one years now. I feel that the protests were in order given to the notion of civil liberties.
“Gov. Brian Kemp warned Tuesday state authorities are prepared to do “whatever is necessary to keep the peace” (Augusta Chronicle, 2020). If people were having peaceful protests, the police did not get involved, but if rioting were to happen that is when the police started to arrest people. I believe that the police are just trying to do their jobs. Does abuse of power happen in the police? Of course, it does, but I think a way to fix that is to have the deputies and sheriffs move around, like the military does. That way no one person could be in charge. Governor Kemp has signed a law to protect the police, and other first responders. Governor Kemp stated. “a step forward as we work to protect those who are risking their lives to protect us. While some vilify, target and attack our men and women in uniform for personal or political gain, this legislation is a clear reminder that Georgia is a state that unapologetically backs the blue” (Fox News, 2020).
President Donald Trump does not want to defund the police, but instead wants to change the system. He states, “We’re going to talk about ideas how we can do it better and how we can do it if possible, in a much more gentle fashion” (NPR, 2020). I agree with President Trump. He wants to change the police system, but not defund the police. I do not want the police defunded, they have trained to protect those and sometimes risk their own lives to protect strangers. I think that America has woken up. We have all realized that there is a problem with abuse of power, and Donald Trump wants to change that.
- Beau Evans, C. B. (2020, June 02). Georgia Gov. Kemp: Keep protests peaceful or face force. Retrieved from https://www.augustachronicle.com/news/20200602/georgia-gov-kemp-keep-protests-peaceful-or-face-force
- Casiano, L. (2020, August 06). Georgia Gov. Kemp signs new law to protect police, other first responders. Retrieved from https://www.foxnews.com/us/georgia-governor-law-protect-police
- Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ushistory.org/gov/10.asp
- Civil Liberty. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/civil liberty
- Constitution of the United States. (2020, January 21). Retrieved from https://www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm
- Covid-19 Fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide. (2020, September 20). Retrieved from https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/05/12/covid-19-fueling-anti-asian-racism-and-xenophobia-worldwide
- Racism. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism
- Rampton, R. (2020, June 08). Trump Says He’s Considering Ideas For Policing ‘In A Much More Gentle Fashion’. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/06/08/872473799/trump-says-hes-considering-ideas-for-policing-in-a-much-more-gentle-fashion
- Systemic. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/systemic