Once a crminial, always a criminal

Discuss the December 2015 book of the month Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery.
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Raju Chacko
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Once a crminial, always a criminal

Post by Raju Chacko » 11 Jul 2019, 05:05

Did you notice the anti-black bias highlighted in Burn Zones?

Nearly two-and-a-half centuries after independence, it hasn't gone. US Govt and law-enforcement agencies still view African Americans this way. "... whites may commit crimes, but African Americans are criminals ..." is a quote from the book (Chap 4, p.216 in my EPUB reader) that highlights racial bias.

This bias is reprehensible in my opinion, particularly for a country that prides itself as the world's "greatest" (country), professing the least racism, highest freedom, and so on. Why this strong, but illogical bias? Are African Americans born any different from people of other races? Does it run in their blood to spontaneously turn into criminals when they grow up? As best as I know, no one is a "born criminal", anywhere in the world, and no one ever willfully chooses to be a criminal either! Circumstances force individuals into crime and it is up to each person to choose or reject it. Offered a chance, most criminals want to quit crime for good and live clean. The Woodland Meadows project in Burn Zones proves it too. Due to this bias, many "clean and upright" African Americans are denied the opportunity to prove themselves as honest, law-abiding citizens of the country. In addition, blacks sometimes suffer punishment for crimes they haven't committed. They are suspected first and harassed.

No, this won't do for the world's greatest country! People in Govt and law-enforcement must sit up and take note!! Past prejudice must be dropped and each individual must be given an unbiased chance to prove his/her character, regardless of his/her race or the past associated with it.

What do you think?
The highest purpose of art is to inspire. What else can you do? What else can you do for anyone but inspire them? -Bob Dylan

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Post by dorebri2020 » 12 Jul 2019, 07:42

I agree wholeheartedly. Too often people are continually prejudiced against in America today, and it is truly depressing that a country that prides itself on freedom and equality is so often unequal. Something must be done in order to address this issue, and I think a transition within the government system would be a start.
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Post by Florence Nalianya » 13 Jul 2019, 14:31

Mmmmh, it's ridiculous that a country positions herself with pride still has traces of anti-black business. Maybe this will continue as long as the earth exists.

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Post by Noosh » 17 Jul 2019, 22:54

Sad, yeah, but true.
You'd think in this time, the present day, with all these books around to learn from, people know better, but they don't.
We still have hate crimes, discrimination, racism, sexism, ....
and it's all just sad.
But people like Newbery make the world a better place, don't you think? Even if it's just a little bit, by believing in people, by not judging them, by giving them a chance....
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Post by LyorBoone » 28 Aug 2019, 12:37

Schools need to have an honest discussion in the classroom to get past this issue. Sure we have the Black History month to celebrate historical figures and we learn about what went on then, but people often see that as distant. We don't think about it until somebody on the spectrum gets wronged. There are stories where big businesses are afraid to fire a minority person because of a lawsuit, even if the employee in question is a truck driver that shops on the job. But then there are the more popular stories. Sometimes the discussion is around things that meaningless to some like actors to play a certain role. In the world of constant remakes, this gets a lot of discussion on the internet when everyone talking is an adult that seems to have forgotten how to listen and civilly debate points. Give and take in information for a unified conclusion. But instead, these issues get categorized into the unspeakable topics like religion and politics that can "ruin friendships if simply brought up."
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme” - Mark Twain. Dare we say the same thing about every story that gets told in the world?

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Post by Kishor Rao » 27 Sep 2019, 10:44

Yes. I very much agree with you. I'm an Indian resident and we have a different version of racism here. But on the basis of all the American literature that I have read and the TV shows and the movies that I watch, I can see what you are trying to convey. That is the reason the Woodlan Meadows Chapter of Jorgie's life is my favorite in the entire book. It was inspirational and hopefully nudged a lot of people who read it in the right direction.

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