The Student News Site of Taipei American School




It’s time to bring justice to the justice system 

Photo Courtesy of Machine Made

In 1987, Walter McMillian, an African American man, was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Ronda Morrison, a young white woman. Despite various witnesses corroborating his alibi, McMillain’s trial judge overrode the jury’s sentencing verdict and sentenced McMillan to death. 
As an African American man who had been involved in an interracial affair, McMillian bore a reputation as a vulgar, ignominious man; an easy target for the US justice system to target when the case of Morrison’s murder could not be resolved. As McMillian’s case advanced, increasing evidence began to surface that proved his case fallacious. However, McMillian still served six needless years on death row for a crime he did not commit. He was released in 1993.
Although McMillian’s story may seem like history for the younger generations of 2019, and perhaps even ancient fables for future generations in 2050, the systematic racism that McMillian combatted because of his incarceration is likely to recur. The United States often prides itself on the fairness of its justice system. Yet, proof of racially motivated incarcerations never seem to end. Even today, hundreds of minorities are wronged by the system.
To aeliorate the system, younger generations, that will eventually succeed current governmental and justice system officials, must evade racial stereotypes. Since it would be nearly impossible to initiate immediate change, the best way to conceive reform is by starting with a foundation. To start off, schools across the nation can begin initiating new educational programs for students to develop a greater understanding of race.
Starting even from elementary school, these programs can range from being year round classes to monthly after school sessions that primarily address historical and current racism. 
An example that American schools can look to are German holocaust education programs. In nearly all German schools post World War II, it was deemed necessary for students to learn and reflect upon the horrendous violation of human rights yielded in the holocaust. By educating their students, Germany alleviated itself from the possibility of another genocide while simultaneously teaching the future workforce about equality and fairness among races. A similar model can be implemented to combat the remnants of prevailing racial values that have been infused into modern day American ideals. 
A devised educational system that can deepen both majority and minority races in regards to awareness for unconsciously embedded racial values must be further explored. In doing so, the ultimate goal of nurturing a generation of future world leaders capable of instituting change in our currently unjust justice system is brought closer to reality. Horrific examples of the failure to acknowledge and act upon prejudicial racial values are those such as Walter McMillian’s incarceration.
Although changes in academics may seem like a small start, educational reforms provides the foundation as to what values future generations will uphold. In an age where unpredictability is the new constant, the younger generation’s potential in sculpting the future to becoming a less racist and oppressive society is immense—perhaps now is the time to divert history from the racial trends that have seemingly accompanied American progress. 

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