Will the Hate Ever Stop?

The source of media that I chose to watch was The Hate U Give, which flawlessly fit into the requirement of analyzing a source of media regarding race and crime for this week’s media blog. This film does an exemplary job of showcasing a predominately African American neighborhood of Garden Heights struggle against the oppression of police violence. This movie serves as the younger sibling to its older brother also titled The Hate U Give, which is a novel written by Angie Thomas released in 2017. This film went on to be the recipient of an abundance of awards, including the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. Having read the book, I was eager to see if this film would contain the same captivating imagery that the book did, and to my surprise, it didn’t disappoint. The movie focuses on the life of Starr Carter, an outgoing 16-year-old African American girl who resides in the neighborhood of Garden Heights. Starr eventually finds herself as the key witness to a questionable shooting that involved her friend Khalil, by the hands of a white police officer conducting a traffic stop. The death of Khalil would evolve into a national news story, while Starr’s identity as the key witness would remain in the shadow along with her insecurities. As Starr would come forward as being the key witness during Khalil’s shooting, so would an array of unprecedented elements of a neighborhood that seems to be completely turned upside down from the announcement of a not guilty sentence of the officer who shot Khalil. As Starr watches as her neighborhood erupts into riots and protests, she must ultimately fight internal battles within herself while facing the external battles of her now distraught community of Garden Heights. Starr emerges as the ultimate winner in this unimaginable battle, as her mental toughness and matureness guide her in the right direction. Starr finds herself faced with the problematic aspect of policing in society towards African Americans, which motivates her to be the voice behind keeping the memory of Khalil alive. It’s important to understand the details regarding Khalil’s death. Khalil was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change. The officer who seemed to possess ill will towards Khalil, treated him as if he was wanted for a felony. Khalil emulated the officer’s attitude, disagreeing with the officer’s order for Khalil to exit the car. As the officer was checking Khalil’s ID, Khalil decided to reach for his hairbrush tucked within the driver’s side door. This was most likely a nervous reaction, hence the situation and atmosphere the hostile police officer created for such a minor traffic stop. The officer noticed Khalil reaching in his car door and decided that his best choice of force was to shoot and kill the unarmed Khalil. The non-guilty verdict of the white officer and the horrific fate of the unarmed African American Khalil is what The Hate U Give depicts. The movie depicts the events that follow such tragic events in society, and what those such as Starr do in order to heal these opened wounds.

This movie referenced many concepts we learned in class, and is heavily tied within Policing the Black Man. In the beginning of the semester, we learned about how race and class were considered social constructs. Within this topic, we learned of the division that social class seems to separate people by. Income, education, and occupational prestige were among the main three that stood out as different levels in society. This seems to be relevant with the story described within The Hate U Give. Within Garden heights, the King Lords were looked at as having more power than those contributing so society in terms of entering the workforce and having families. The police officers could also be described as having an occupational prestige, since they seemed to have an utmost amount of power within the community. The book, Policing the Black Man also contains similarities regarding the events in which The Hate U Give depicted. The story of Clarence Aaron is an exact representation of the mistreatment African Americans face in the hands of policing and the justice system (Mauer, 2018). Clarence Aaron was a college student with no criminal record, similar to Khalil. He introduced a classmate whose brother was a cocaine dealer to a cocaine seller he knew from high school. He was present for the sale of cocaine and received a payment from the dealer. “After police arrested the drug group, the others testified against Aaron, describing him as a major dealer, which led to him being sentenced to three terms of life imprisonment in federal prison.” (Mauer, 2018, p, 31.) Another example from Policing the Black Man which described the mistreatment of African Americans in the hands of police would be the story of Emilio Mayfield. Emilio Mayfield was only 16 years old when he fell victim to police brutality in the hands of nine police officers, for refusing to sit down while trying to walk to his school bus. “The encounter escalated as nine officers became involved, at least four of whom who piled on top of Emilio before slamming him into the ground.” (Henning 2018 p, 57.)

This movie served as an extreme refresher regarding the flaws of our society and specifically our policing system. When a creature of free will is given the power of legal discretion such as a police officer, these types of tragic events are inevitable. Stories such as Khalil’s continue to emerge in our news feeds as we turn on the news, reminding us of the problem society continues to face. I would recommend this movie to everyone, since it regards a fire that seems to have unlimited have unlimited fuel, police brutality within African American neighborhoods. Although the movie and book contain very similar moments and scenes, the book seems to offer more of a realistic side to society while the movie depicts the entirety of society as being against Starr and Garden Heights.



Mauer, M. (2018). The Endurance of Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System. In A. J. Davis, Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment (pp. 31-56). Vintage Books.

Henning, K. (2018). Boys to Men: The Role of Policing in the socialization of Black Boys. In A. J. Davis, Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment (pp. 57-94). Vintage Books.

A House with no Key

The source of media that I chose to watch was a documentary named The House I Live In. This documentary does a great job of captivating the viewer by exploring the gritty depths of what lies within the “War on Drugs.” Police officers, prison authorities, judges, journalists, politicians, inmates and families provide a vivid account as to what they endured during these rough and rigid times of America. The documentary emerged under the intellect of Eugene Jarecki, who eventually would win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. What truly made this documentary intriguing is the abundance of viewpoints shared from so many different people, including Eugene Jarecki. A recurring key point that stood out to me while watching this documentary was the constant mention of the drug policy being fueled by economics. This is extremely similar to what we are currently reading in Policing the Black Man, regarding the oppression of minority groups in America (Davis, 2018). This documentary mentioned the policy that was created in the West Coast to criminalize opium smoking, which was heavily experimented within the Chinese culture. They decided to proceed with criminalization as a way to vacate the Chinese people out of hard-working jobs, in order to create work for the white men. This was also a recurring theme for African Americans, who would eventually be titled as a race who abused cocaine and hemp more than anyone else.

This film expanded greatly on what we have learned in class from the beginning. In class we discussed and expanded on the concept of discrimination. We learned that extralegal factors included race, ethnicity, gender, social class, and one’s lifestyle. This documentary clearly expanded on this concept since it gave the viewers the truth of how the “War on Drugs” was legitimately built on the theme of discrimination, and how it seemed to roll out when it first emerged in 1971. In class, when we were first assigned to read the first chapter of Policing the Black Man, we related the key points within the chapter to conflict theory. The concept of white supremacy was perhaps the biggest takeaway from Stevenson’s (2018) essay. Within the book, Stevenson (2018) states, “Advocates of slavery argued that science and religion supported the fact of whites’ racial superiority: white people were smart, hardworking, and more intellectually and morally evolved, while black people were dumb, lazy, childlike, and in need of guidance and supervision.” (p, 7.) The documentary specifically relates to what this quotation from Stevenson (2018) provides because The House I Live In references so many concepts similar to what white supremacy was built on. This was the fact that a minority group was suffering and being wronged because the opposing race did not see eye to eye with what was moral, and what was equality.

Personally, this documentary provided me with an extensive amount of knowledge regarding a topic that I truly never fully explored, which was the shameful evolution of discrimination and racism that emerged in our society hundreds of years ago. I’m truly not educated fully on the matter enough to develop a final perception or analysis, but sources of information that share multiple sides of a matter such as The House I Live In and Policing the Black Man solidify my belief that someday I will better understand these matters in our society. I would recommend this source of media to anyone with an interest in realism and human nature because it’s not gimmicky or dolled up. This documentary won an award for a reason, it immediately captivates you by its visuals and its gritty context which makes you truly imagine living in times like what is portrayed. If I were to formulate a question based on this documentary and specifically the matter of mass incarceration is what it eventually took society to evolve the concept of incarceration. Fast forward to today, and although still flawed, rehabilitation exists, and it’s being practiced more than what it was years ago.   I chose the name of my title A House with no Key because it seems that there’s never a perfect answer for any imposed question, especially one that continues to evolve as time moves on.

Davis, A. J. (2018). Policing the Black man: arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment. Vintage Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Stevenson, B. (2018). A presumption of guilt: The legacy of America’s history of racial injustice. In A. J. Davis, Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment (pp. 3-20). Vintage Books.


The Glitch in the System

Podcast Link

The source of media that I chose to analyze was a podcast I found regarding the concept of policing black men and transforming the system. I was excited to learn that this media blog could reference any topic covered this semester. I thought that this podcast was very similar to what we covered during this course, and even related to the two books we were assigned as well. Paul Butler is a professor at the University of Georgetown, who was also a former federal prosecutor. Paul Butler is very active in researching and teaching an abundance of aspects within criminal law. A specific aspect of criminal law that Paul Butler researches is race relation law, solidifying this podcast as a source of credible media to conduct my final media blog on regarding the prosecution of black men. As I listened to this podcast for key takeaways, it was almost immediate that I was drawn to Paul’s analogy regarding a choke hold. Paul described his concept of a chokehold as being a system that is set in place to set up African American men in its grip. Paul described the statistics regarding corrections in the United States, that our country locks up more people than any other country in the history of our world. This accurately builds on to the idea that the system needs transformed and that there is a major flaw that needs fixed. It’s always difficult to articulate an answer on such a multi-layered subject such as what Paul describes, but it’s reassuring to listen to someone credible state their opinions on the matter. When Paul was asked about the best approach to a reform in the system, he stated that it should be viewed as reform versus transformation.   Paul describes the idea of a transformation that should take place in society. As a society, we should strive to create a safe and fair system regarding people who cause harm, end up in a place where they are unlikely to recidivate again. Paul believes that locking people behind bars isn’t the most logical approach we should take. The mention of other stories involving young African Americans who felt as if they were stopped by police for simply being of color are also mentioned within this podcast. His description of racial profiling, thoughts on incarceration, and the idea of transformation versus reform approach is truly articulate and teeming with great thoughts of life that might better our society if looked at more closely.

This podcast was tied heavily with many matters we discussed in class. As our semester approached near the end, we discussed the important concept of disparity v. discrimination.  When discussing discrimination, the podcast’s ideas stemmed from this concept of a once flawed approach of punishing minorities to a harsher sentence within corrections than others. Our previously covered topic of discrimination and extralegal factors assisted by fueling me with a better understanding of what the podcast had to say. During this semester, we were assigned to read Policing the Black Man and Not a Crime to be Poor. Both of these books offered an in depth look at perhaps two of society’s worst wounds sustained over the existence of mankind. Having dived back into their captivating grip, I was able to pull two examples from each book that relate to what the podcast described. Within Policing the Black Man, Davis states, “Many other officials (probation and parole officers, prison officials, and legislators) make decisions that impact the lives of black men in fundamental and often devastating ways.” (p, 178.) Paul’s concept of a chokehold is stating exactly Davis’s (2018) example describes. When referencing to Not a Crime to be Poor, Edelman (2017) describes the in-school infractions and vague offenses regarding students. Edelman states that “As elsewhere, students ticketed are disproportionately poor African American, Latino, and student’s with disabilities.” (p, 127.) This builds onto the podcast’s idea of constructing a system to place those who create trouble in a place that will rehabilitate them, rather than to punish them.

As this semester comes to an end, I found myself fully indulged in the information this course had to offer. I found the in-class discussions to be a true form of learning, teaching me with an abundance of new ideas and concepts. The handful of books assigned to us truly opened up a new wave of knowledge within me, fueling my passion for criminology and criminal justice ever more. Although I’m usually much more of a visual learner rather than the means of listening to a podcast, I found this podcast to be truly interesting and conducted under an immensely well-done fashion. I would recommend this to anyone curious about the concept Paul Butler does so well in explaining, the concept of policing black men and ultimately transforming the system.


Davis, A. (2018). The Prosecution of Black Men. In A. J. Davis, Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment (pp. 178-209). Vintage Books.

Edelman, P (2017). Poverty, Race, and Discipline in Schools: Go Directly to Jail. In P. Edelman, Not a Crime to be Poor. The Criminalization of Poverty in America (pp. 117-135). The New Press.

The Reality of Poverty


The media source I chose to watch was a documentary called Line: Poverty in America. This documentary follows several hard-working individuals who fell below or are on the poverty line in America. The poverty line in America is classified as those who make only $23,000 a year. These individuals bring to light what it is like to have everything fall out beneath you and have to live without knowing if they are going to lose their home or where their next meal is coming from. The documentary also gives an inside to the violence within the lowest of low-income neighborhoods. This documentary shows the public that anyone can become a victim of poverty. It also explains the misconception the public has about those who do live in poverty.

The key points presented in this media source were that poverty isn’t just a homeless individual in the inner city. Poverty in America is a little section of a town or county that know one talks about. Those living above the poverty line do not go to that section because they see it as a violent place or rock bottom. The documentary pointed out that those who never grew up or fallen below the poverty do not want to help fix the problem or care. Another key point the documentary pointed out was the violence within the communities in these low-income neighborhoods. One individual explained that children that grew up in poverty do not expect a future and they don’t plan for a future. The reality is that a large portion of these children will either be killed or resort to criminal behaviors. The criminal behavior starts out as running drugs for the local gangs and gradually increases to more serious violent crimes.

Some of the discrimination and inequality shown toward the lower class is that society labels them as lazy, violent, alcoholics, drug abusers, etc. The reality is that those who fall below the poverty line are hard-working Americans who are two times more likely to lose sleep to work two low-income jobs. The one individual in the documentary talked about how her sister was walking to the store in a low-income neighborhood in which they lived and she was shot for no reason. The police only showed up one time and never did an investigation. This is an example of inequality that low-income neighborhoods face when crimes occur. They do not receive the same treatment from the police as those living in the upper- and middle-class neighborhoods.

We discussed in class what comes to mind when you think about poverty and homelessness. Most people said unemployed, living on the streets, no possessions, etc. This documentary expanded my knowledge on poverty, it opened my eyes to the reality that people who live in poverty are not just runaways or senior citizens, poverty can affect everyone. This documentary interviewed individuals who were living comfortable lives then just one day everything fell out beneath them. One man in the documentary found himself homeless because he moved to a different state and could not get a job because he had his previous job for 22 years and had no other skills. Another man had a good paying job at a company then one day he lost his job and could not get a new one so he relies on the food pantry in his neighborhood to provide food for his three children.

These stories relate to what we discussed in class about criminalizing homelessness. Society targets the homeless by making laws forbidding them from camping, sleeping, loitering, etc. on the streets. By displacing the homeless or arresting them it makes it harder for that individual to get a job because it shows that they had run-ins with the police. This media source suggests that individuals living in poverty need assistance in gaining training to be able to get a job. The problem is that those who don’t live in poverty or never experienced it often ch0ose to ignore it.

The content that was covered in this documentary helped me to understand more about living in poverty and dealing with violence, and how it’s a lot harder to get a job if you were born into or fell below the poverty line in America. While the documentary showed a few non-profit organizations that are helping the homeless get back on their feet, I believe there needs to be more training opportunities for individuals who can work. Most of the people who find themselves in poverty were fired or let go of their job and they only know how to do one job because they had been doing it for most of their life. I think its important for those who never experienced poverty or lived in a bad neighborhood that those who do live in poverty are not all lazy, inexperienced, or homeless but, they have families and they are able to hold a job if someone would give them a chance. I would recommend that everyone watch this documentary to better understand how poverty works and how society can help to fix the problems with homelessness and violence. If society begins to show support and provides communities living in poverty the programs they need, than children in the communities will see that they can have a future that doesn’t involve violent and criminal behavior.

By Allison Toth


Edelman, P. B. (2019). Not a crime to be poor: the criminalization of poverty in America. New York: The

New Press.

Welcome to Crim 410_001 Media iBlog!

Welcome to our race, ethnicity, class, and crime media iblog. Students will be blogging about and posting their analysis and review of media productions related to class/poverty and crime, race and crime, and ethnicity and crime. It is hoped that this iBlog will generate discourse on these topics. In addition, this blog will provide a review of a long list of media productions related to these topics that others can use in deciding what documentaries, podcasts, even movies on these topics may be most informative and worthwhile. Links to the media productions reviewed are provided.

-Ronda Engstrom