What Creates Two Americas

By Molly Mieske

When the words or subjects of police brutality and or terrorism are spoken, what comes to mind are two separate issues. Even when these issues are being talked about, they are discussed as two separate matters, and often people do not draw out the similarities between police brutality and terrorism. The patterns that connect these two matters are racism, religion, and ethnicity. Both terrorism and police brutality are to blame for creating two Americas.

Mother Jones magazine reports that Police shoot and kill African Americans almost twice as frequently as any other racial group. Because of the Ferguson case it has created an even larger divide, to which stemmed from poor police work or reasonable police work, that is up to the readers personal opinions and the research they did on this matter to decide. According to the Leadership Conference article , African Americans were twice as likely as white drivers to being arrested during a traffic stop. While Hispanic drivers were sixty-five percent more likely to be arrested during a traffic stop. These statistics prove that racial profiling is occurring in our country. However, for some it may come to mind that arrests during traffic stops should not be considered police brutality. Although the definition of police brutality is, police brutality is the use of any force exceeding that reasonably necessary to accomplish a lawful police purpose.

Therefore, any abuse of police power should be considered brutality.

Unfortunately, terrorism has been a long time issue in America, to which we as a country will probably never escape. As soon as we eliminate one terrorist group, another will rise disagreeing with something else we are doing or a decision we make. Terrorism will always occur as long as there are humans on our planet. Terrorism is also to blame for creating two Americas. If one is to get on any form of social media right now they will see people arguing over letting Syrian refugees into the United States, this issue also resulting from terrorist attacks. People are talking about how not all Muslims are terrorists, and you have the occasional story about the “good” Muslim, trying to prove that some are still good people after terrorist attacks happen. I recently saw a story online about a taxi driver in New York City who was a Muslim. He was talking about the night of the Paris terrorist attacks and the night after he was not able to get any bystanders in his car because of this stereotype and discrimination that is currently in our country, all of this resulting from terrorism. It seems to be with the current ISIS terrorist extremist group that one of their targets is Christians or Catholics. According to the CNN News Room website The Colorado Community College shooter was making a request, for every Christian to stand up in the classroom, and then proceeded to open fire in the classroom.

The FBI’s definition of terrorist attacks is,

Terrorism is the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

While I can understand that some may not think that the Colorado Community College shooting should be considered a terrorist attack, because it was only one shooter and the causality numbers were not high. It was still an unaffiliated person planning and attack to which could be inspired by major terrorist organizations, however conducted on a individual basis, and American lives were lost on American soil.

The question that needs to have an answer is where does terrorism and discrimination start? And where will it end? Police brutality has brought a dark light back into America, the issue of racism is currently resurfacing, although now seeing this issue, it seems it may have never left. There are reasons as to why there are still problems in Ferguson, and still racial tensions in Missouri. I think a good portion of the problem starts with politicians. However, I am still unsure of the problems politicians add to racism. There could be several problems, are politicians not doing their jobs in bringing change? Are they failing to create economic opportunity in which would result in giving the average American hope? How can we eliminate this problem as a whole? There is a good chance it starts with the politicians, but what can we do from a civilian level? We can be good people, it costs us nothing to be a decent human being, and help other people out while also cooperating with the police.

Unfortunately, the matters of police brutality are bringing out the same type of discrimination that terrorism is. Police brutality is dividing us by race with white cops killing African American boys or men. But it is also discriminating us by jobs, a big movement now seems to be “cops vs. everybody” and that is just the same as discriminating against race. Terrorism brings out the discrimination against Muslims. However, terrorist attacks themselves are not bringing the discrimination, it is the aftermath, once people find out and watch the news and learn it was someone from a Muslim decent or middle eastern decent. That is when the discrimination occurs, and now it seems that everyone is afraid of people who appear to be from the middle eastern decent. These both are real problems in today’s society, the change can start at the civilian level. However that can not be the only level to try and make the change, we as people need to see there is an issue and do something about it.


2 thoughts on “What Creates Two Americas

  1. Socrates Nyongobela

    I agree that police brutality and how we perceive the whole issue of terrorism in America share something in common, both are based on stereotype. However, it does look unfair to say the two cases correlate because there is no way we can compare our police officers who work for our safety to barbarous who pose a threat to our lives. Brutal cops are not terrorists just because their reactions are based on stereotype. After all, to stereotype is not a problem. According to Social psychologists, the stereotype is the way we think about other people, and everyone has different thinkings about different people. But the whole deal is about to prejudge someone because of that stereotype, which is prejudice; just like some of U.S governors, such as Michigan’s, have become pessimistic and start prejudging suffering Syrian refugees. To welcome Syrian refugees is our moral responsibility, and I do not see any reason we should stop them from coming in. Terrorists are after their lives just like they are threatening us. I agree that incoming of Syrian will increase more terrorist threat, but we should not let thousands of people suffer because there is a chance of few terrorists to sneak in.
    We have had many cases of mass killing in the U.S where suspects are of different religion and background, but we have never attributed their cruelty to their religion or race. However, if a suspect shouts “Allahu Akbar,” we directly assume that he or she is a Muslim terrorist. Islamism is not equivalent to terrorism although most terrorist groups today claim to be Muslim. Therefore, we should not discriminate Syrian refugees because of their religion.

  2. Chelsea Hengesbach

    For someone that never really watches the news, even I know that racism and police brutality is still a huge issue in today’s society. I remember catching a glimpse of the news while flipping through channels of an African American teenager getting shot to death by police officers even when he did not have a gun on him. I completely understand that police officers have to save themselves in situations like that. Meaning if they have any suspicions to someone having a gun that they should be able to protect themselves without any question. I believe that it is becoming an issue and that police officers will use that excuse frequently, especially dealing with citizens of the opposite color. But I also see it happening between police officers and citizens of the same color. So, in that case, I also believe that any form of abuse of police power should be considered brutality. I feel like this year alone we have had many problems with terrorism. Thinking about the bombings and such in Paris recently. I also firmly believe that terrorism will always be a problem because many countries in the world cannot see eye-to-eye on issues and it seems to be that some countries believe that violence is the only way to solve the issue. I can see how you would correlate terrorism and police brutality because both are often taken to the extreme. But then on the other hand, I do not believe that all police involved in police brutality cases should be compared to a terrorist only because some police do not go to a call with the intentions of doing that to someone. Sometimes it just happens because the police officer really does think that the citizen would cause harm to the police officers or their partners. I think this was a really interesting blog post to read and I think you did a good job with explaining yourself!

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