Race, Gender, and Sexuality Symposium

Document Type

Activism and Politics

Publication Date



Following the murder of George Floyd in late May of 2020 came a summer of heightened emotions and loud utterances of beliefs regarding police behavior and systemic racism. For many white Americans, this was a catalyst for deep self-inventories, personal growth, and the unlearning of dangerous prejudices and misconceptions. For Black Americans, however, this was simply another expression of normalized deadly behavior against their communities. The recent demands for transforming our legal system shed light on the malevolent origins of American policing. When identifying the unjust roots of the American legal system, modern-day manifestations of racially motivated practices, attitudes, and beliefs cannot be ignored. By overlooking the roadblocks to reforming this system, the same ineffective practices are implemented, thereby wasting precious time and resources. Intense and meticulous analysis on the origins of policing further illustrate the historical marginalization of Black Americans and their depravity of justice at the hands of local and state governments. The skewed perception of justice provided by our current legal system will never be truly transformed to benefit all facets of society until its sinister roots are adequately confronted and alleviated. These methods of transformation use reform as an apparatus in achieving a socially, politically, and economically equitable society, not as an end-all solution.