Diary of Systemic Injustice Showcase

For my Systemic Injustice showcase I chose an example of racial discrimination due to policies that were incorporated in the 1950’s that were still in effect until this event. Darrell Semien (picture below) was a black police officer in Louisiana that passed away due to cancer. His wife, Karla, attempted to have him buried at a local cemetery in which they denied her. According to the cemetery’s policy, it stated that only white people were able to purchase plots and be buried there. After this incident went viral on the social media, many demanded justices for this mistreatment. When questioned about the policy they claimed that they simply forgot that it was in there since it was made so long ago. The only reason the policy does not exist anymore is due to the media attention and exposure that it received so this brings to question how many other families were denied because of this and just how many other policies are there that still exist that are discriminatory.

News article covering the story (includes video):


Unfortunately, many of these policies that were created during the period of slavery and afterwards where discrimination was a big issue still exist and go unnoticed. The fact that policies like these can exist that have such an effect against these unfortunate citizens shows that discrimination is still an issue and there has not been a proper reform. Especially since Louisiana was a major southern state that was a massive supporter of slavery and was a main enforcer of the Jim Crow laws, these discriminatory policies are difficult to remove due to lingering resentments among the population. Recently many other examples of discriminatory actions have been receiving attention on social media which results in public out roar and backlash against it. I believe when the backlash from the public causes there to be change and reforms whatever wrong was committed, it can be beneficial for many other ‘hidden’ policies and rules to be removed. I believe this story ties with the readings during week 4. John Lewis’ March was a good example of discriminatory actions and how those injustices affect people.

4 thoughts on “Diary of Systemic Injustice Showcase

  1. I have never heard about this case and I am very glad you were able to inform your readers about it. This is beyond shocking to me that someone would be denied a place of burial because of their skin color. And for them to change the rule after it gets circulated all over social media makes the situation even more upsetting. These should not be rules anywhere. I understand they were made years ago, so end them! It is not acceptable in the world we live in to be racist towards anyone no matter what! It blows my mind that this is a situation we still need to inform people about because it is not tolerable any longer.

  2. I’m right there with you. There is a phenomenal amount of laws that are entirely outdated and not keeping with the changing climates of today’s America. It truly is grueling and heartbreaking that victims of these laws only find out about the injustices done to them by someone having to tell them the outdated law or statute that hasn’t changed since the country’s founding and then deny them recourse of action to their injustice. This is a huge underlying problem of most municipal shortcomings and continues to wreak havoc in the most peculiar of ways. Great showcase with an interesting angle

  3. Wow this showcase is eye opening. I think you did a great job of bringing to light things that may go unnoticed as I personally didn’t even see this story. It saddens me to know that discriminations like this, literally written in a policy still are in existence. I feel as though when the civil rights movement happened all states should have revised every single policy that segregated whites and blacks. I hope this story gained enough attention for everyone to realize this crap is the past and we have better for our people in the future and should respect that.

  4. This story was really shocking, I was surprised to see that such a thing would still be an issue in the recent years. I think that this also shows one of the benefits of social media, people are able to see the discriminatory actions that otherwise would go unseen. I agree that there has not been a proper reform, although I’m sure the government doesn’t back any racist policies anymore, there are private businesses and certain people that do. This needs to be changed wherever it occurs.

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