October 26, 2016
Dear Ms./Mr. President,
My name is Ellie Klein and I live in Connecticut. I am in 10th grade at Staples High School. Although I live in a town that many refer to as “a bubble”, I have educated myself on a lot of the issues involving unequal rights for black people. The idea that an entire 37% of the American population isn’t being treated equally by police officers is exasperating to me. Police brutality and lack of equality for people of color is the most important and devastating problem in the United States right now because more people of color are being incarcerated and shot due to prejudice by police officers.
In our country, recently, there has been many cases of black citizens who have been shot and killed unjustly by police officers. According to a graph shown on 538.com, per million, 5.5 black people, 3.1 Native Americans, 2.6 Hispanic or Latino people, and only 2.3 white people were killed by police officers in 2015. It is apparent through this that there is prejudice by police officers based on ethnicity and race. To make this an even more shocking statistic, it is important to note that the population of Hispanic and Native American people in the U.S. is much smaller than the population of white people. Yet, more people of these ethnic groups are being killed by police officers. It is no secret that if you are black, hispanic, and living in the United States, you are more vulnerable to being shot and more likely to be arrested than if you are white.
As the new president of the United States, you have the power to make a beneficial impact on the way police officers are being trained, and the people they are choosing to shoot and incarcerate. An article from The Root about Hillary Clinton explaining racial injustice states, “Help the nation comprehend why black lives not only matter but also hold the key to liberating a country held hostage to a past it refuses to acknowledge but can no longer ignore.” The fact that you are supporting this ideal proves that you have the right idea that black people are very important to our society and we need to unite the different races together. I hope that you continue to do what you think will be beneficial to the progression of racial equality, as you have said you will do. I think it is very important to make sure the relationship between police officers and people of color improves, which is exactly what you said you would focus on. Mr. Trump, in your past you definitely haven’t done anything to help this issue of racial inequality in the United States. The Huffington Post states a very alarming event of your past: in 1989, after a woman was raped in Central Park, five black teenagers were convicted of the crime. Many years later, DNA testing proved these individuals innocent and released them from prison. Before the trials for this case had even begun, you got involved and spent $85,000 on ads to spread the news about this, saying horrible things about these teenagers and that you wanted to bring back the death penalty. This was a very bad time in America for black people, and your wrongful anger at this situation justified a lot of white people’s prejudice against black people. You still, to this day, have not apologize for what you said about these innocent teenagers. If you were able to make such an explosive impact on this situation as a businessman, I really hope you are planning to use your power as president to make up for what you’ve done to the black community and help progress equal rights for black people. If the next president of the United States spent some time and energy to actually do something productive on this issue and make a change, less black people and other minorities will get wrongfully shot or accused of crimes they didn’t commit.
It’s not always completely random and unjust that police convict so many people of color, but often the situation is exaggerated and a white person wouldn’t have been convicted in the same situation. When an individual is put in jail, it becomes almost impossible for them to ever have a successful life because very few jobs will be offered to somebody who’s been to jail. Since this person likely won’t be able to get a job, especially after all the bad influence of being in jail, they presumably will be desperate enough to become a drug dealer and then be sent back to prison. This is the vicious cycle that continues the stereotype that people of color commit more crimes. Ms. Clinton or Mr. Trump, please do this nation justice by changing the training police officers go through. Try to prevent police from jumping to conclusions and shooting somebody because of the color of their skin and the stereotypes that come along with that. As the next President of the United States, it is your duty to do what you can to address the issue of ethnic and racial inequal.