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Other Side of the River

In: Novels

Submitted By stargirl23
Words 480
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Summer Essay Many of Benton Harbor’s population were almost entirely made up of blacks while their neighbors across the river, St. Joseph, were made up of mostly whites. This of course causes complications and separation between them both. Benton Harbor’s community always felt that they were treated unfair compared to St. James. Some thought they would get almost little to none justice when it came to investigations or anything involving the police and when it came to court they knew they would always lose if they were up against a white person; most of this was true as it happened to Norris Maben. Norris Maben was a black male who got shot and killed by a white cop who mistook him for another black male. Benton Harbor’s community felt the cop, Marv Fiedler, should get in serious trouble for clumsily killing the wrong person. However, he didn’t get in serious trouble and many people in Benton Harbor thought this was because he was white.
Another incident was with a Benton Harbor superintendent, James Rutter. He was driving his Porsche without his license and a white officer pulled him over then beat him with his nightstick. The cop, Ed Siedenstrang, claimed it was out of defense and Rutter was charged for resisting arrest, this obviously angered the people of Benton Harbor. The situation with Rodney King also angered Benton Harbor even though it didn’t happen there they felt it was because of his race.
A different Benton Harbor superintendent, Sherwin Allen, felt he was involved in the unfair treatment. He was called upon to help the elementary schools get better grades and to exceed in other things. Fortunately, he did what he was told and did what nobody could do. However, the school board members fired him after he had “misappropriated school funds”, which he did, but he felt he was fired because he was black.
Many of the population from St. Joseph felt…...

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