There is a mass imprisonment epidemic taking place across the United States. From the War on Drugs era on, the black community has fallen subject to systematic racism and prejudice implemented within American society, leaving them as the main victims of the growing incarceration rates for mariajuna related drug arrests and charges. In our nation’s capital, Washington D.C, a black man in 11 times more likely than a white man to be arrested for public consumption of marijuana (Drug Policy Alliance, 2018). 11 times more likely, yet evidence shows that black and white people use marijuana at similar rates. Further research into the ongoing drug war indicates that African Americans comprise 14% of regular drug users in the United States, yet are 37% of those arrested for drug offenses and 56% of those incarcerated for drug crimes (Rivers, 2019). Statistics such as this one clearly display the discrimination carried out by the law system when carrying out marijuana related arrests and incarceration. So the question still stands, why hasnt marijuana been legalized?
The debate over the legalization of marijuana has been driven by the argument that legalizing marijuana would significantly decrease arrest and incarceration rates, which would help the black population escape this mass imprisonment epidemic. A statistic from politician Cory Booker highlights that in 2017, more arrests were made for marijuana poession compared to the number of arrests made for rape, aggravated assault, robbery, nonnegligent manslaughter and murder collectively (Kertscher, 2019). Marijuana arrests now constitute nearly half (45%) of the 1.5 million drug arrests annually, and an estimated $4 billion is spent annually on the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of marijuana offenders (King, Mauer, 2006). 11 states have legalized marijuana, and 3 of which (Alaska, Washington D.C, and Oregon) have reported a drop in arrest rates by 90%. This statistic shows one of the many benefits of legalizing marijuana, the funding necessary for arresting marijuna offenders would greatly decrease, as well as just the amount of arrests as well. 90% is such a significant number in terms of dropping arrest rates, and a number like this would be extremely beneficial in fighting mass imprisonment for the black community for marijuana charge
Ive decided a final topic for my P2. I am planning on researching and discussing disproportionate incarceration rates between the black and white community in relation to marijuana related charges. I am going to research further into the social, political and economic forces that drive black incarceration rates to be substantially higher than those of whites for the same or lesser charges.
For my p2, I am planning on writing an essay concerning the topic of mass incarceration for the black community in this country. I plan on researching further into these rates and the reasons behind this mass incarceration epidemic in order to narrow down a strong thesis on one of the many driving forces behind these arrest rates.
My P3 essay will be written on the overwhelming incarceration rates for the black community compared to the white community for marijuana related arrests and charges. My worries for this paper will be that I will accidentally contribute too much of my own opinion to the tone of the paper and use my sources to back it up, rather than use my sources as a baseline to build and argument with. I’ve also been struggling to find sources on this topic, as our country likes to pretend that this mass incarceration epidemic isn’t taking place. I hope to be able to build a really strong argument and include some special cases in which black men and women have been given longer sentences for non-violent minor drug possession charges than their white counter parts have received for violent charges.
To Meme or Not to Meme is an article written by Maya Walker, a young woman who struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. Walker expresses her struggle with depression in relation to the internet phenomena of memes. Memes, in recent years, have become one of the most popular forms of comedy shared throughout the internet on multiple social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. While memes concern a wide range of topics, Walker touches specifically on memes that joke about suicide and depression. Walker begins her essay by diving into the darkest time of her life. She explains how she fought daily suicidal thoughts, her only support system being a local parking lot that she would spend hours, parked in her car and crying in. When Walker made efforts to reach out to her friends to seek support for her depression, her friends gave her battle very little recognition, for the simple reason that depression and suicidal tendencies had come to be normalized by internet memes. Walker explains how the internet is flooded with depression memes, all of which paint the brutal mental illness in a comedic light, making it seem as though everyone wakes up everyday wanting to kill themselves. “This is indicative of our society’s tendency to use humor as a coping mechanism, but the widespread nature of the internet and the many platforms within it means that people that do not consider the potential emotional and psychological effects their words may have on an unknown audience.” Walker writes, establishing the notion that these memes are used as a form of comedic relief as well as a bonding method amongst those who struggle with these illnesses and those who don’t understand the repercussions of stigmatizing mental illness.
Walker’s argument for the implementation of better mental health support across social media resonated deeply with me. Her use of pathos and ethos provided me with an understanding of both the subject matter at hand and the urgency Walker is broadcasting in her essay. My one issue with the flow of the essay is that Walker is slightly repetitive with her arguments. Although she builds her argument confidently in a manner that strengthens the message she is trying to relay, Walker restates the same points in the essay multiple times which causes it to feel a little drawn own towards the end.
Thesis: “That’s right: internet memes played a role in my depressive spiral.”
The author focuses the argument around how memes have normalized suicidal tendencies, which played a role in her own experience with depression.
Target Audience: Gen Z (the generation creating and exchanging these memes) as well as possibly adults who don’t necessarily see these memes but have children who do
-The author establishes authority throughout the argument by providing their own experiences with depression
– Author sites credible sources, such as a reddit post concerning the subject matter, as well as screenshots from various social media accounts and quotes from credible university and health resource studies
-Using their own personal experience, the author evokes emotion throughout the piece by giving the audience a raw perspective to view the argument through
-Using memes and screenshots form popular social media accounts makes the piece relatable for an audience who has seen these sort of memes and accounts
-The author presents her own experience with depression then explains how social media played a role in it makes argument flow well and logical.
-Providing examples of these memes throughout the argument as well helps build perspective and logic
-The piece is very relevant in today’s times with the overwhelming presence of social media in society.
Hey guys!! My name is Lily Beatty and I’m from Maplewood, New Jersey. I live in Harrington E which is pretty great aside from the fact that there’s no AC and my dorm is a sauna. I always loved my writing classes in high school and I’m expanded to grow and expand my abilities as a writer. I’m majoring in psychology and plan on going into the field of criminal psychology but you never know when you’ll change your mind. I already love in here at UD and Im super excited to meet new people, join new clubs and enjoy my next 4 years here!