The tv series, All American, takes place in California, mainly in the areas of Crenshaw and Beverly Hills. The show is based on a real story about the life of a football player, Spencer James, who is trying to make it professional, all while dealing with the issues with his home life and the issues of a black man. He grew up in the city of Crenshaw around a lot of gang violence and drug culture, all while his dad left him when he was a little kid. To make it big, he moved to a new high school in Beverly Hills, with a completely different atmosphere than what he was used to in Crenshaw. In Beverly, there is rarely ever gang relations and not a lot of struggle amongst those who live there. This is where Spencer began to experience some of the injustices that he was not always faced with in Crenshaw. A main example was when him, and a few of his teammates and friends went to a frozen yogurt shop. This shop was owned by a white woman, whom after Spencer and his little brother had a dispute then told him along with all his friends to get out. In this encounter, she called them all as “you people” became majority of them were black. Directly after this happened, police showed up to the shop and proceeded to tell them to show ID because an owner said there was a person loitering that fit their description. Along with this, one of the officers asked if Spencer was in a gang because there were gangs in the area. This entire encounter was a prime example of racially profiling. It shows two positions of power, a business owner along with the police system, using this power to profile and harass them because they fit the description of what they believe black people are, which in this scenario are troublemakers and gang members. This instance relates to a concept we previously reviewed of Martin Luther King jr. because even though he prided himself on non-violence he constantly faced profiling and discrimination from authorities and others who did not agree with him because he was black. This led to him facing assault from these positions of power and being thrown in jail because of the marches he held. I think the creator of All American, April Blair, wanted us to realize all the injustices that happen in the world even if they may not directly affect us. Along with this I believe Blair wanted us to question why these types of things happen so regularly and how can we work together as a nation to become educated and put an end to it? This show inspires conversation regarding identity, power, and injustice by showing how even in such a wealthy and well-regarded city as Beverly Hills has many of these issues, along with so many other places in the US, such as the place where the viewers are living.
All American, created by April Blair, season 2, Berlanti Productions, CBS Television Studios, Warner Bros. Television, 2019.
Sabrina: 00:23:30 Hi, I’m Sabrina Maghes I’m a first year undergrad student, and I’m joined on the podcast today by my co host.
Jacob: I’m Jacob Bolander, I’m a second year undergraduate student.
00:23:42 And this is our podcast on systemic racism regarding police brutality in America.
Sabrina: 00:23:50 Police Brutality has affected people of color in a variety of ways. A lot of the ones that we will be talking about today are irrational shootings, racial profiling, false assumptions, and the corrupt protection of police officers in the legal system.
00:24:06 There’s so many other things that we could be talking about today but these are the ones that we heavily focused on in our systemic injustices
Jacob: 00:24:31yeah I definitely agree there’s a lot of other things we could be talking about but these are the ones we decided to focus on for this podcast specifically.
00:24:43 I want to talk about the racially profiling that occurs in our society. Racially profiling happens all the time and I’m sure many of you guys listening have either witnessed it on TV or heard it on the radio or even seen it happen in person.
00:25:04 And this racial profiling occurs daily and it’s what contributes to many, like I said, news stories that we witness.
00:25:35 Some examples that you may have seen and that really show racially profiling, are people wearing their hoodies up and make thinking that that means something when it doesn’t.
00:25:48 Having a hand in pocket and thinking that there may be a gun in there whenever reality it’s a cell phone, or even broad enough to just someone’s skin color and thinking that, that means they’re going to do something which is never going to be the case.
00:26:04 a prime example of that I’ve personally seen of this.
00:26:17 I don’t know about you Sabrina but I’ve seen news stories about his name is Casey Goodson Jr.
Sabrina: 00:26:25 Yeah, so I did hear about this especially living in Columbus now that I’m an Ohio State student Casey Goodson Jr. was a Columbus resident who was leaving a dentist appointment and he was just driving home and an officer with the last name mead said
00:26:44 that Casey drove by him and waved a hand gun out the window which he took it as threatening . He followed Casey home and ended up shooting him three times in the back while Casye walked into the side door of his house.
00:27:00 It turns out that it was Subway sandwiches in Casey’s hands
00:27:07 What Mean saw was a black man wirh something in his hand and he assumed that this was a gun in the examples that Jacob gave your clothing a hoodie, something in your hand should not be a reason to be shot three times especially at your home.
00:27:26 The steps there should be like other steps in between that, it’s extremely disheartening to know that someone could just be trying to go home and take Subway sandwiches to his family and like his life is threatened just because of the color of his skin,
00:27:42 So it’s extremely wild to me that it’s happening in like the places that we live in, it’s becoming not only reoccurring across the country like we’ve seen throughout the past year, but now its Franklin County police the same
00:27:57 police that we see on campus are also responsible for something so horrifying.
Jacob: 00:28:07 Yeah, for sure, um, to go off of that. 100% agree with you. When you look into the case and you really see that you know he was shot, and it’s… shot because he was holding a sandwich is just, you know, mind baffling, and the fact of
00:28:28 that someone truly racially profiled Casey that much to believe that it was a weapon or, you know, I don’t really know what was going through the police officers mind but something that made him feel threatened when it’s a piece of food right.
00:28:44 Um, and then, you know, when you read the story you see that when he got to the door his grandma was there at the door, and she’s calling 911 saying I don’t know what to do I don’t know if he’s all right.
00:28:59 And, you know, she thought it was another normal day, you know he’s bringing home food coming from an appointment. And the next thing she knows is her grandson was just shot and later died
00:29:45 And to me, this is one of the prime examples that I’ve seen of racially profiling
00:30:11 And to move into the next subject.
00:30:17 that connects in a big way is irrational shootings and false assumptions.
00:30:20 And it kind of same thing but it’s also different in the sense you know racially profiling is based on the way someone looks but or what they’re wearing or like you said, but irrational shootings and false assumptions kind of fall into, you know, police officers
00:30:38 think one thing when in reality means something completely different, that they may have took you seriously
00:30:55 And two of these examples that I personally researched a lot and took interest in were Tyre King and Andre Hill
00:30:56 So to start off with Tyre King was a 13 year old teenager.
00:31:22 He was called upon by someone in neighborhood where the police officers ended up showing up and
00:31:14 basically King was apparently holding a guy trying to get money from him, which ended up being around $10, and Mason came to the scene, tried to take King into custody and when he was doing that.
00:31:28 He believed he saw King have a loaded handgun being pulled out of King’s waist and so Mason shot him three multiple times and King later died in the hospital but as evidence came out, it was shown that King in reality.
00:31:46 In reality, it was a BB gun or airsoft gun.
00:31:58 So this is, you know, a prime example of false, false assumptions and irrational shootings because he thought he was his, Mason, the police officer thought his life was in danger when in reality.
00:32:12 Nothing really would have happened that would have been anything substantial. And this led to a 13 year old boys teenage life was taken because of it.
00:32:23 I don’t know if you have anything touch on the subject or if you’ve done research yourself.
Sabrina: 00:32:28 His whole life like basically was ahead of him and it is mind boggling that as someone who is supposed to like protect the community.
00:32:38 Didn’t like think to really analyze the situation like is this actually a real gun or is this like a fake toy and it was a 13 year old so the odds of him having a real gun were almost like a lot less likely so if the police officer took
00:32:55 the time to really analyze like what was in his hand. His life probably wouldn’t have ended the way that it did and the situation could have been handled a lot differently.
00:33:05 his reaction cost someone a life and it wasn’t justified at all.
00:33:27 He sees someone of color, he assumes that that gun has to be real.
00:33:32 so again this is a grown man versus 13 year old. It’s another unfortunate situation
00:33:48 that is happening because of a system that isn’t being held accountable.
Jacob: 00:33:53 Yeah, for sure and to off that like you were saying, you know, its a man versus a boy right, so there could have been so many different ways that was taken instead of shooting them multiple times and he would still be here today, like you said, having his whole life ahead of him hes 13.
00:34:22 Another person that ties into the same type of concept is Andre Hill and Andre Hill was an unarmed black man, and he was killed by officer Adam Coy.
00:34:37 this really sparked my interest because, as I was reading through it
00:34:45 coy when he did the killing.
00:34:58 Um, he didn’t have his body came on, which, you know, as you probably know, as a police officer that’s kind of a substantial thing is that your body came on so people can see what went down, if it was justified.
00:35:08 So that not being on really sparks suspicion from me, everyone around Hill’s family.
00:35:25 It comes back to the point of he was unarmed. So,
00:35:24 it’s just really hard to see that his life got taken when he did not pose a threat.
00:35:45 And that seems like a lot of what’s happening in our world today with not just Coy but police officers all around the nation.
Sabrina: 00:35:59 This takes me at least into the next point which like these police officers that are committing these unlawful and horrible acts are now being protected to the furthest degree that they can be by the system.
00:36:14 In a lot of cases they’re either getting extra time to come up with a better case, they’re having the best attorneys to protect them so that they can get out of being punished
00:36:35 I mean, police officers are paid by the government and they, they’re like, counterparts are the is the law system, so they know people and they’re given better treatment than the people’s families or the people that have been affected or killed by police
00:36:51 officers because of like the standings that they have. A prime example of this is Rashard Brooks. He was a black man that was in his car, in the Wendy’s parking lot line.
00:37:02 He was sitting in the car. He had fell asleep in the Wendy’s drive through line and Wendy’s workers had called the police to come check it out
00:37:08 To see what was holding up the line. And basically, the police officer had a 30 minute conversation with this guy, he was tired, they think he was intoxicated, it’s been going back and forth, but they had a 30 minute civil conversation.
00:37:31 And then the police officer asked him to get out of his car and when he did this
00:37:31 Rashard supposedly reached back into his car for something. The police officer right away without actually seeing what he was doing assumed that he had a weapon, and he shot Rashard in the back multiple times and killed him.
00:37:56 he asked for better protection and more time for his case so that he can like advocate for himself, and he was granted this in the state of Georgia, they gave him more time to fight and Rashard is
00:38:14 now dead and can’t even fight for himself so being held accountable. So these police officers are doing things and because they’re not being held accountable.
00:38:25 It’s almost like enabling them to do it again because they’re not as scared, they’re not being held accountable for their actions.
00:38:36 It’s another case that we’ve seen George Floyd happened May of 2020 and it’s March of 2021, and there’s still not anybody that has been put behind bars. It’s really disheartening to see
00:38:53 how the system is protecting people who are doing such bad just because of the badges that they wear.
Jacob: 00:39:00 Yeah, no, I definitely agree with that, um, one of the main things I took away from that as the word accountability, um, a lot of this stems from the fact that, you know, the police.
00:39:10 They don’t want to take accountability for what they did, they believe they can get out of it. They believe that other people will take their side when it’s, you know, it’s not verified at all.
00:39:21 And they just don’t want to admit to the fact that they were wrong. They, they did something that should never have happened and caused pain to so many other people around. Not just the families, you know, of course,
00:39:35 But everyone around the world you know you when you read the story you kind of feel for them you, you feel sympathy you wish it didn’t happen and the police officers you know just feel as though they can get this protection and get out of it
00:39:50 clean when.
00:39:52 A lot of times, you know, they did something wrong and they shouldn’t get out clean for what happened and they should be able to face the consequences and prosecutions
00:40:07 The fact that police officers can get out of this when a normal person wouldn’t and would be in there for a long long time kind of goes into our main point which is, You know, this being a
00:40:22 corrupt system and contributing a lot to systemic racism.
Sabrina: 00:40:28 That’s about it for today, basically, just to wrap it up this is a problem that’s happening all across the country that’s why it’s systemic that’s why we chose it for systemic injustices. It’s not just Columbus it’s across the entire country
00:40:43 and police brutality is still something that we’re seeing every single day and it’s not being treated the way that it should be.
Jacob: 00:40:50 Yeah.
00:40:52 Like she said thank you thank you to all of you listening.
In recent time, there has been an ongoing story of the unlawful murder of Andre Hill. Hill was an unarmed black man who was wrongfully killed by a police officer by pulling a gun on him. The officer who shot and killed him, Adam Coy, thought that Hill was armed with a weapon of some sort, but after the search of the body, there was no weapon. In addition to this, Coy did not turn on his body cam before he went and shot Andre Hill, which sparked suspicion (Helsel). Despite all of this, Officer Coy still managed to post bail and get released from prison (Amiri). Now, there has been new evidence regarding Hill’s death. According to his autopsy, performed by Dr. Elaine Amoresano, Hill was shot in the chest and his leg for a total of four times by Officer Coy. Then due to this newfound evidence, his death was officially ruled as a homicide. (Vera and Riess). This evidence not only shows that Coy is guilty in killing Hill, but also provides closure to Hills’ family regarding his death. This incident has a big impact on the world because it exhibits the ongoing systemic injustice relating to the police system, but also led to an innocent man dying. Hill’s death is systemic injustice because the police system, Adam Coy, is discriminating against African Americans, Andre Hill, by using violence. This has been going on for a long time anywhere from pulling innocent people over for no apparent reason, to killing innocent African Americans. Many things would need to change to help put an end to this discrimination against African Americans. Peoples’ beliefs regarding equality would need to change, and the police would have refrain from acting on instincts, such as shooting a person just because they are deemed to be suspicious, but rather be rational and use logic before making life-or-death decisions. This systemic injustice of police brutality relates to what we learned about in previous concepts such as Martin Luther King Jr. and his marches when they would encounter the police and get assaulted with many forms of weapons and forcefully made to end the protests. Although hill did not have a weapon, Officer Coy still shot him many times. This directly correlates to Martin Luther King Jr. because although him and his following were doing everything peaceful with no bad intentions, they still got punished by the authorities. This instance of police brutality leading the murder of Andre Hill is just one example of too many of these instances that have happened, and real change needs to be made in this world to put an end to taking innocent people’s lives.
In Week 7, we are reading a book titled Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. This book deals with the effects the Islamic Revolution brought being told through Satrapi’s eyes as a child. This revolution brought many changes to Iran, not only to the country, but the culture there as well. One of the main changes in culture that it brought was the wearing of a veil.
After the Islamic Revolution began, one of the customs that was being enforced was the non-optional wearing of a veil. A veil is a piece of cloth that is used to cover the upper body region, such as the head, shoulders, and face in some circumstances (Merriam-Webster). The veils’ purpose is so that you can tell the difference between a man and a woman along with managing a man’s urges (“A Brief History”). Wearing a veil was new to most, as previously it was determined upon a person’s choice, but after this revolution began, the option was taken away. This was shown in Persepolis when it says, “Then came 1980: The year it became obligatory to wear the veil at school. We didn’t really like to wear the veil, especially since we didn’t understand why we had to” (Satrapi 3). This shows how the women were forced to wear the veil even though they were given no reason as to why, much like the children showed in this quote. Women were being forced to wear the veil regardless of what their views were, and if they chose not to wear it, they could face consequences by the government. Some of these consequences included getting assaulted or beaten if a woman chose to defy the order and not wear a veil (Knipp). These consequences were to install fear into the women if they chose not to follow the oppressive order by the authorities put into place during the Islamic revolution.
The main issue with this requirement to wear a veil was that it took away any choice that a woman had over their body and their own views. The government authorities used this requirement to wear a veil to show their power. This is shown on, The Conversation, when it says, “The hijab became a tool for implementing the government’s strict religious ideology” (Mirdamadi). Due to this, it sparked numerous debates on whether women should wear a veil. This led to things like protesting the veil, or an illustration for those who were pro-veil wearing. This was demonstrated in Persepolis when it states, “Everywhere in the streets there were demonstrations for and against the veil (Satrapi 5). This quote and drawing along with it show how women during this time could have two completely opposite outputs on the views that were being enforced upon them. Some of them agreed that women should wear a veil, and others felt as though they should not be obligated to wear one. This was part of the problem with forcing all women to wear a veil as it should be a choice, women should have the option to do what they feel is best for them, whether that is to wear one all the time, some of the time, or not wear one at all.
This concept of the authorities forcing all women to wear a veil regardless of their beliefs connects to a previous concept in our class of “the master” and “the slave.” In this situation the authorities from the Islamic Revolution would be considered “the master” whilst the women would be considered “the slave.” This is because the authorities can tell the women whatever they want and force them to do things and regardless of what the women think, it does not matter, or their voices are not heard. The authorities hold all the power over the women, and if they are continuing to force them to wear the veil, they do not have a clear path of being able to do otherwise or change it.
Overall, this forcefulness of the authorities with wearing a veil sparked many debates among those affected by it. There was questioning as to why they were forced to wear them in the first place, why the were able to make the women wear them, and whether women should follow this order and wear the veil or not.