Questions on Hidden Histories in Criminal Justice - Paper Example

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Boston College
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Why is it important to document hidden histories?

Hidden history refers to events that are hidden from exposure, and they are forgotten with time despite their happening. Most of these events have long lasting implications for people and can cause long term suffering like the suffering of the African-Americans in the Southern states after slavery. In this case, the proclamation of emancipation by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 it was not implemented in the southern states which continued to exploit the African American through forced labor and debt servitude. These events if they were not documented they could have been forgotten if they ever happened over time. Today, many people believe that slavery ended with the proclamation of emancipation by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The suffering of the African-Americans in the southern states led to bitterness and estranged relationships between the African Americans a situation that could result in long-term social implications in the southern states (Sinha, 2015).

Documentation of hidden histories provides the future generations with important lessons that can enrich their knowledge and promote informed decisions. The future generations and the current leaders can use lessons from the hidden history to create reconciliation and healing amongst the people and to quell animosity and racial biases that continue to haunt Americans. The hidden history in this case of the "slavery with another name" shows the importance of strict implementation of government policies and the need for oversight and democracy. Through the documentation of the hidden histories, Americans can remember where they have been from and make informed future decisions to promote equality and coexistence of the people in a multi-racial community.

Why are certain histories hidden or difficult to uncover?

Some histories are hidden and difficult to uncover with the aim of protecting community views against each other. Most histories are hidden with the aim of creating falsehood regarding activities of the past and aims at reducing negative sentiments amongst people who suffered especially during slavery. Hidden history serves the interests of the individuals who would like to continue to exploit people who are not enlightened. Some hidden histories are protected by the government institutions because they were perpetrated with the help of the government and the people who suffered through these events are liable to compensation from the government and can further create inter racial conflicts amongst the people.

9. What current events do you believe should be documented so that they are not hidden from future generations? Why?

Police brutality against the African Americans

Police brutality and negative sentiments against the African Americans are amongst events today that can be considered as hidden history. Despite the acknowledgment of police brutality by manyAmericans many African Americans continue to suffer in silence due to lack of policies that can protect them or grant them any justice. Racial supremacy in government institutions such as the police department plays a significant role in the suffering and incarceration of many African Americans without significant charges. Most of arrests and violence perpetrated by the police against the African Americans and Mexican communities goes unnoticed due to protection from their peers and other government institutions that are dominated by white extremists. There is need to document the events of police brutality and extra-judicial killings against African Americans with the aim of advancing police reforms and acting as a lesson to future generations and servicemen and women in the police department (Sinha, 2015).

The suffering of Mexican Americans due to trump immigration policies

There is need to document the suffering of the Mexican American families across America and especially in Texas State who continue to suffer due to the deportation of their bread winners. Many Mexican American families are today suffering in silence after the implementation of the trump immigration policies that aims at reducing the number of illegal immigrants in the United States of America. The Mexican American wall, on the other hand, has played a significant role in causing separation of communities and families along the border and in the states of Texas which has divided many families. There is need to document these events with the aim of informing the future generations of the need for better policies and approaches to curtail illegal immigration without causing further suffering to the people.

10. After viewing the documentary, do you believe that racism is inherent or taught? Explain.

Racism is the discrimination and prejudice against a particular group of people or race as a result of the ideology and belief of the superiority of one`s race. Racism in the United States of America continues to be exercised in open even after the abolition of slavery in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln. Racism has caused untold suffering and prejudice against the African Americans an act that has been perpetrated mainly by the white supremacists. After watching the documentary film "slavery by another name" I am convinced beyond doubt that racism is not inherent but taught over time through racial labeling. Racism was perpetrated mainly in the southern states through government institutions such as the courts which executed vagrancy arrests against African Americans. The legislation organs in the southern states passed "Black Code" laws that led to the incarceration and sentencing of African American to work in factories, mines, and farms. Racial labeling today continue to shape different forms of racism such as police brutality against blacks due to the belief that most African Americans are criminals. The labelling of the African Americans by the southern states government institutions for the benefit of the white farm owners led to the belief that African Americans are best suited to work in such environments which are a belief that continues to be observed through denying African Americans white collar jobs in favor of the white people (Sinha, 2015).

Assignment 2

Normani Kordei Twitter

Normani Kordei is a singer with the group the "Harmony," I chose to follow Normani Kordei because of her recent cases of abuse on social media. Being the only African American in the group the Harmony. Normani Kordei faces significance ridicule occasionally in her social media account which has recently led to her attempt to leave Twitter. The disadvantage of being the only African American woman in the group that is dominated by white group members attracts ridicule from both the African Americans and white extremists who view Normani Kordei as an outsider. Despite her ability to camouflage and support from her band members Normani Kordei continues to experience anonymous abusive messages on her Twitter account which has led to her numerous threats to delete the account. However, it is evident that not everybody is a racist since Normani Kordei can receive supportive tweets from her band members such as Dinner Jane.

The commonly held misconception held against Normani Kordei is that she is selfish and only seeks to get herself noticed. However, this is not true but a misconception held by racial extremists who have to compare amongst the group members despite their equal contribution to the group. This society response towards Normani Kordei is a normal social labeling that is indicted to every African American in the limelight and especially the celebrities who are blamed for their aggressiveness and hard work. In most cases, Normani Kordei does not respond to hate comments, but her band members and supportive fans continue to tweet in her defense which culminates to escalated social media abuses that negatively can harm Normani Kordei psychologically and affect her performance in the group.

Experience reflection

Social media abuse is a significant problem that is being faced by many celebrities especially the African American celebrities in the limelight. Some people believe that performance and artistry are about the competition between the races which results in abuses amongst the fans and artists who have different agendas. From my experience, the best approach to respond to such abuse is through the use of supportive social media messages and ignoring the negative tweets. 3

Key concept #1: direct causality versus non linear causality

Simple systems Complex systems

Course example Living in skilled nursing facilities causes depression. Loss of physical health in later life can lead to feelings of depression. Feelings of depression, in combination with the loss of physical health, can contribute to older adults being placed in a skilled nursing facility. This placement can further exacerbate any existing symptoms of depression.

Your example Skilled nurses in nursing facilities causes depression amongst the seniors living in nursing facilities. Seniors with underlying health problems losses physical health which causes depression. The dependence of the old people on other people together with their health needs, can contribute to their placement in skilled nursing facilities. This placement of the seniors in skilled nursing facilities causes the growth of depression due to lack of interaction with other family members (Damian et al., 2017).

Key concept #2: reductionism versus non reductionism

Simple systems Complex systems

Course example Depression amongst older adults in skilled nursing facilities can be reduced to biological processes in the brain. Depression among older adults in skilled nursing facilities results from complex interplay of person-environment factors that cannot be reduced to any one or one set of contributing factors, such as the brain, genetics, social relationships, or one`s sense of self.

Your example Depression amongst the seniors can be reduced to psychological processes that are occurs due to loneliness. Depression amongst old patients in skilled nursing facilities is caused by a combination of environmental and psychological factors. The interplay of loneliness and poor association between the old people in skilled nursing facilities is the major cause of depression (Damian et al., 2017).

Key concept #3: Determinism versus probabilism

Simple systems Complex systems

Course example Older adults who live in skilled nursing facilities inevitably will experience depression. Older adults in skilled nursing facilities are at greater risk for depression than older adults who do not live in such facilities.

Your example Due to the poor association relationships in skilled nursing facilities old people in the facilities inevitably will experience depression. Old adults in skilled nursing facilities have a high probability of developing depression than old adults receiving care at home from family members (Damian et al., 2017).

Key concept #4: uniformity versus heterogeneity

Simple systems Complex systems

Course example All older adults in skilled nursing facilities are depressed. While some older adults in skilled nursing facilities are depressed, many older adults in skilled nursing facilities function quite well and are clearly not depressed.

Your example Most of adults in skilled nursing facilities regardless of gender suffer from depression. Most of old adults in skilled nursing facilities suffer from depression except those that get regular visitation from their family members.


Damian, J., Pastor-Barriuso, R., Valderrama-Gama, E., & de Pedro-Cuesta, J. (2017). Association of detected depression and undetected depressive symptoms with long-term mortality in a cohort of institutionalised older people. Epidemiology a...

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