Racial discrimination in the United States of America dates back to the slavery era. However, different civil and human groups have emerged to fight racism; unfortunately, the rate of discrimination especially of minority groups like the Blacks is still high in different American states.
The violation of human rights in learning institutions among other places is still rampant. Different people have voiced their concerns through writing articles or books to highlight the issue of racism but the American administration simply lacks the drive to deal with racism head on. Different theories such as those regarding liberal theory and minority group rights have been established to fight racism and promote equal rights to all American citizens.
Natta’s article, “Race issue rise for Miami police” in the New York Times, addresses the issue on racism, which has arguably led to gunning down of black men in the city of Miami. According to law enforcers, the young men who were victims were in possession of arms, therefore, their action was for personal defense. On the contrary, the families of the dead victims claimed that their relatives did not own any form of weapon but the police officers killed them.
Ironically, most of the police officers are either black or Hispanic including their chief officer who shamelessly defends the action of his officers. Additionally, the elimination of the African culture in the American education system might be the reason why non-Africans communities do not appreciate the Blacks skin but view them as criminals. Therefore, in eight months, about seven men have died in the hands of police officers but the law has not taken its course.
According to a video recording, the Miami police officers forcefully enter the houses of Blacks they suspect to be criminals breaking down the doors before handcuffing them. Furthermore, one officer says, “we hunt…. I like to hunt” (Natta, 2011, p.A16).
For instance, one of the victims, Mr. McNeil met his death while in his car; he was neither armed nor on the street, and this fact underscores how the innocent die in the hands of law partisan law enforcers. The strained relationship between the police officers and the black community in the city of Miami is creating tension among the residents and the law enforcers.
Historically, the city of Miami has experienced racial discrimination, which has led to the imprisonment of some police officers. Therefore, the recent shooting cases between the Blacks and the Hispanic police officers are not new in the community. On the other hand, there is poor communication between the police officers and the residents on the incidences leading to the death of the victims.
Although the chief police officer is fully defending his junior officers, the African-American leaders doubt his leadership qualities. Due to lack of faith in him, the Black leaders and the protesting families are calling for him to step down for the justice department to carry out investigations on the murder cases. In addition, the president of civil rights group, Anthony Tate, questions the professionalism of the officers including their chief officer.
Reverend Tate is against officer Martinez, who besides being a thief of phones, he kills two men, and surprisingly the chief officer assigns him the role of investigating the killings. Finally, although the chief police officer is in full defense for his juniors, the city manager, Crapp, has contracted the FBI to investigate the police department and the shootings to establish the solid reason behind the killings.
The reporter presents a negative picture of the police department and justice system in Miami and the United States of America as a developed country.
The inhumane acts and the lack of protection the police officers provides Black citizens of Miami confirm that, racial discrimination still prevails in America especially between the Blacks and the Hispanic. In spite the fact that the reporting underscores the views and pains of the parents and the relatives of the victims of such extrajudicial killings, it also points out the inefficiency of the police department.
The decision of the affected families to take on streets with placards raising their issues is to push for immediate justice; if anything, justice delayed is justice denied as the old adage goes. Natta’s article is seeking to assist in raising the awareness of the issue of oppression of the Black community as one of the minority group in Miami.
It was reported that the Chief Officer has decided to set up a commission of inquiry to help resolve the matter; however, the officer’s primary aim is to calm down the angry community and other human rights activist who may be interested in the case. In addition, the action of the chief officer is to establish a protective wall around his officers.
Oestreich’s theory on liberal and minority group rights successfully applies to the article on racism and extrajudicial killings in Miami. The current laws on human rights in the western world only consider the culture and history Caucasians and not those of other racial minority groups.
Additionally, those that tend to be in the position to draft laws into policy are singularly representatives of White America; therefore, major issues on the non-represented groups are left out. Furthermore, the liberal theory claims that, “the inability to include other races in the development of human rights has led to oppression of the minor races especially the black people” (Oestreich, 1999, p.108).
The laws force the minority groups to adapt White culture resulting in prevalent discrimination against the Blacks and other racial/ethnic groups that can be perceived as different. Additionally, the human rights law focuses on protection of an individual right and not a group as a whole like Black American citizens.
Finally, the liberal theory asserts that, the political, social, and economic rights among others only apply when an individual belongs to a certain group in the society and this phenomenon leads to violation of individual rights. Ostrechi’s assertion is similar to violation of human rights in Miami because of the police killings, which the relatives claim are aimless.
The liberal and minority group rights theory relates to the article on rampant police killings in Miami. Although the police department consists of Black and Hispanic men, the law has been structured in such away to identify the blacks as criminals and evil hence a higher likelihood for being involved in police related shootings.
Similarly, the police force does not protect individual rights but rather groups as reflected in this case where they only established an inquiry after the demonstration of the Black community in Miami. Only Black individuals in Miami suspected to be criminals die while the justice department does not convict the police officers who carry out the killings. Before the death of the victims, the police officer torture and manhandle then shoots, which violates their rights to live.
In summary, the American society and political administration have to continue to work extra hard in the fight against racism which, will impact law enforcement regarding America’s various citizens.
Unfortunately, the education system and some laws that govern the society tend to promote racial discrimination especially against the Black men in most American states. Natta as one of the reporters of the New York Times highlights the violation of human rights in Miami. Moreover, Oestreich’s theory on liberal and minority groups’ rights helps to explain the situation presented in Natta’s article about the extrajudicial killings in Miami.
The theory criticizes the exclusion of the minority groups when drafting important laws in America. Similarly, the cultural laws relating to the various minority groups are absent in the laws especially regards to human rights laws. The impact of sidelining the minority groups leads to violation of their social, political, and economic rights, as the Miami case exemplifies.
Natta, D. (2011 March 23). Race issues rise for Miami police. The New York Times. Retrieved 12 April, 2011, from
Oestreich, J. E. (1999). Liberal Theory and Minority Group Rights. Human Rights Quarterly, 21(1), 108-132.