The Evolution of Slave Patrols to Police

Land of the free, undivided and inclusive?

We all know that the United States is a nation that was founded on the colonization of indigenous people and on the backs of African slave laborers. Because this country was founded on the basis of extreme stratification, severe racist ideals have been embedded in the society of the United States.

Many people disagree about the definition of racism itself; but also about the institutional effects that it has on a community. Due to its history of brutal treatment of black people and people of color (POC), it can be theorized that traces of this legacy are still practiced through modernized institutions of slavery in society today; perhaps not recognized at first glance. 

Particularly, the corruption of the police system can be argued to be a result of the evolution of slavery. As noted by Journal of Social History, “police violence has of course been continuous, unsurprisingly so since it is the core of what the police are about” (Steinberg).

The transformation of the control of people of color as a means of economic gain can be outlined starting from slavery and continuing after the Civil War, gradually evolving into hidden institutions such as the criminal justice system.


Social Institutions

How generational trauma is present in everyday systems

Let's talk about the trauma fueled by the public perception of people based on race, gender, class, and other social constructs.

One example of a social institution explained in “Race and Gender Differences in Wages: The Role of Occupational Sorting at the Point of Hire” is the job market. The job market is affected by systematic oppression as it results in different demographics receiving unequal opportunities in the hiring process (Penner 596).

“Occupational sorting” is the tendency of certain demographics to earn certain positions and wages (Penner 597). There are three ways firms can impact occupational sorting: recruitment, human resource steering, and hiring decisions (Penner 611).


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