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African Americans: The Function of Politics and the Economy in Addressing Social Problems of African Americans

Widespread evidence shows that the African American community faces the highest rates of systemic inequalities in America, meaning that they have limited access to education, health, housing, and other socioeconomic opportunities. As a result, a majority are predisposed to homelessness, joblessness, low pay, and poor health outcomes, including acute and chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, poor quality of life, and low life expectancy. In addition, studies show that African Americans are subject to extreme law enforcement brutality, including police harassment and judicial system bias. It is believed that police violence against people of African American descent, as well as other socioeconomic injustices, played an important part in the creation of different social pacts/movements in the country in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, such as the Black Lives Matter that was purposefully created to fight for systemic changes in the political and legislative scenes (Rickford, 2016). The movement specifically advocated for the use of non-violence protests and civil disobedience aimed at showing dissent against racially-motivated police harassment of people of color. Therefore, this paper evaluates what role the economy and politics can play in propagating the social problems affecting blacks, especially police brutality and socioeconomic inequality.

Function of the economy and politics in propagating inequity and police brutality against Africa Americans

It is now common knowledge that the problem of police brutality against African Americans is causing tension between people of color, the police force, and the white supremacist government led by President Donald Trump, a controversial figure that most experts believe is unwilling to resolve issues of violence against minority communities. According to McGregor (2016), the recent rise of cases of police brutality against blacks is politically-instigated, and the clear failure of the political class (especially lawmakers) to address the problem amicably by creating policies that protect minority communities and punish perpetrators is proof. McGregor (2016) cites the unwillingness and laxity of the Complaint Review Board (CRB) to investigate and prosecute the Newark Police Department for playing a part in the murder of Michael Brown in 2014 by NPD’s police officer as an excellent example of how political institutions are encouraging police brutality and making it difficult to bring the culprits to justice.

Michael Brown (18 years) was shot in cold blood by NPD’s police officer, Wilson Darren (28 years) in Ferguson, Missouri, following an altercation that witnesses, during the case proceedings, later blamed Officer Wilson for initiating. According to McGregor (2016), even though the evidence presented glaringly pointed to a professional misdemeanor and police brutality, there was a political witch hunt to portray Michael Brown being the instigator, with the intention to fail to prosecute the Newark Police Department and certainly Mr. Wilson (Curry & Ghebremedhin, 2014). It was only after the Black Lives Matter movement and several other social movements in the U.S. and other parts of the world put pressure on the political class that the DOJ initiated an inquiry into the case in 2015. After several months of investigations, the DOJ exonerated Mr. Wilson amidst outrage and protests from human rights groups and Black Lives Matter activists despite earlier evidence of Mr. Wilson’s involvement (U.S. DOJ, 2014).

What needs to be changed to address the problem of socioeconomic inequity and police brutality against African Americans?

Several proposals have been made to address the issue of police brutality against people of color. One such suggestion is to conduct systemic changes to the country’s laws and policies in Congress by creating more stringent pieces of legislation that can punish errant police officers. The aim is to create deterrence that is likely to scare off police officers that might think of propagating violence on the basis of race in the future. Experts are suggesting that officers found guilty should be placed on death row not only as retribution for the victims but also as a deterrence measure (Bazelon, n.d.). Another proposal is to create countrywide counseling for police officers on how to handle offenders, especially those of color, without creating the feeling that racial bias is the motif. The final proposal is to create programs that promote socioeconomic equality among all populations, such as housing, education, and healthcare subsidies (Hanks, 2018). This measure will likely address the root cause of the high offending rates among African Americans – which is inequality in the distribution of resources, income, and wealth in the country.


Bazelon, E. (n.d.). Policing in America is broken. The New York Times.

Curry, C., & Ghebremedhin, S. (2014, Aug 24). Michael Brown could have survived the first 5 shots, last shot killed him, autopsy says. ABC News.

Hanks, A. (2018, Feb 21). Systematic inequality: How America’s structural racism helped create the black-white wealth gap. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from

McGregor, A. (2016). Politics, police accountability, and public health: Civilian review in Newark, New Jersey. Journal of Urban Health, 93(1), 141-153.

Rickford, R. (2016, January). Black lives matter: Toward a modern practice of mass struggle. In New Labor Forum (Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 34-42). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.

U.S. DOJ. (2014). Investigation of the Newark Police Department. Retrieved from


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Module 4 – SLP
This Module SLP is 2-3 pages in length. The Module 4 SLP requires that you do the following:

Step One
What role do politics and the economy play in your social problem?

Step Two
Review the key pieces from the course that would need to be changed in order to solve the problem you chose for this class.

Submit your 2- to 3-page paper.

SLP Assignment Expectations
Cite your sources inside your work and in a reference section.



Use APA style, and proofread your paper.
You are expected to use case-related readings from the social institutions.
In preparing your Module 4 SLP, you need to demonstrate your learning of the concepts outlined in the modular learning objectives above.
Be sure to use section headings for each of the topics you address in your paper followed by a discussion of that topic.

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