Forms Of Social Inequality Criminology Essay

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Inequality is not merely a matter of individual abilities and aptitudes; it is above all a social fact. The opportunities an individual has and even his abilities are in part governed by his position in society. Among the many forms of social inequality, three have received particular attention from sociologists: those which follow from disparities of wealth and income; those which relate to differential prestige or honour, and those who derive form the distribution of power. The three forms of social inequality are the key elements in channelling the racial bias that is acquaint with the very law itself. This paper will further address the discrepancy law facilitates in content to racial bias.

One of the key elements compressing towards unravelling the social inequality is racial bias that acquaint with the very law itself. The justice of law is integrated with discrimination and bias in the context of a racial division. Racial Profiling- a term generally used in describing the practise of drawing conclusion about a person based upon factors such as race, ethnicity, or other characteristics, is illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional (reference). Though it many be possible to regulate an outward deed that is illegal, it is much more difficult when a person's racial motivated thoughts are camouflaged by legitimate actions (reference).

Racial preconception in the enforcement of law is stimulated more by racial bias than by any equitable inkling or plausible reasons that may exist under the circumstances.Minorities complain that salespeople ignore them in stores, clerks watch them closely for shoplifting, and cab drivers refuse to pick them up. Consciously or unconsciously, teachers and other school personnel many use race as a factor in school discipline and punishment. Persons may be victims of hate crimes such as assault or even murder based only on their race, ethnicity, or national origin. Such actions reflect private discrimination, use of stereotypes, and forms of racial profiling, but they differ in an important way from police-initiated actions. Since police have the legitimate authority to use force and make arrests, the consequences of racial profiling by police are particularly serious and have special importance. Hence, racial profiling most often refers to police actions.

Racial profiling involves law enforcement actions based on race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than on the criminal behaviour of an individual. In practise, it may lead police to stop and inspect selected people passing through public places-drivers on highways, pedestrians in urban areas, visitors crossing national borders, passengers on airplanes-for the reason that these people fit a statistical profile based at least to some extent on group membership that may include race, ethnicity, or national origin characteristics. Some examples of racial profiling may perhaps be stopping: young black men driving rental cars on interstate highways because they are viewed as commonly involved in drug crimes; stopping a minority bystanders on urban areas because they are present in a high crime area; or Arab flight passengers because extreme Muslim groups have committed acts of terrorism.

In each case ethnicity and national origin lead to suspicion and investigation. The practice of racial profiling by police, governments agents, and business personnel has over the past decade generated enormous controversy that shows no sign of disappearing. More recently, concern about high levels of illegal immigration and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have led to other forms of profiling that relates more to national origin and ethnicity than race. Police and border agents responding to high levels of undocumented passage across the Mexican border may target Hispanics in the United States to check on citizenship. In their efforts to prevent terrorism, government agents and airline personnel may give special attention to young men who appear to be Middle Eastern or Islamic. Recent proposals from the U.S. department of justice to locate and apprehend members of terrorist groups give special attention to the Arab-American community. On one hand members of the minority groups feel victimized by their race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than their behaviour. They claim stereotypes wrongly depict them as involved in drugs, crime, illegal immigration or terrorism. Indeed, only a small part of any groups participants in illicit activities, but racial profiling treats all members of the group as suspects. Profiling may violate civil rights of minority groups, reduce the public support for the police, and ultimately increase crime. Many states have thus enacted legislation to ban the practise.

In practice, however, racial profiling adversely affects members of minority groups- it involves the use of power by dominant groups against less dominant groups. Since white Europeans heritage tend to have more power in the United States than other race, ethnic, and national-origin groups, they are rarely subject to profiling. Members of minority groups, in contrast, fell victimized by the actions of police.

Police attention to minority groups certainly resulted in many arrests. About 75 percent of persons in prison for drug offences are drug minorities, and more than 90 percent of offenders sentenced for rack offences in federal court are African Americans. According to results from one 1995 study, 32 percent of black men ages 20-29 (compared to 7 percent of white men in the same age group) fall under court supervision in prison, on prohibition, or on parole. Yet, surveys show similar use of drugs among both young white and black mail. Although the drug laws say nothing about race, they have had the outcome, according to critics, of leading to discrimination by race in arrests and conviction.

The PATRIOT Act in 2001, passed soon after the terrorist attacks, permits the attorney general of the United States to detain aliens that he certifies as threats to national security for up to seven days without bringing charges. It also increases the government's ability to sue wiretaps and share secret information across agencies. Some contended that, along with violating civil rights, the act promotes racial profiling of Muslims and Arabs.

A report from the U.S. government in 2003 criticized that treatment of 762 detainees, largely Arab nations, who were jailed for immigration violations after September 11 attacks. Many had to face unduly long jail stays and harsh conditions for being in United States illegally, despite having no connection to terrorism. Arab groups accused Justice Department of singling our Muslims and Middle Easterners, as if coming from an Arab country signified terrorist connections. Despite criticism, the Justice Department defended the legality of its actions in regard to the illegal immigrants: "We make no apologies for finding every legal way possible to protect the American public from further terrorist attacks."

Example Arshad Chowdhury, a U.S. citizen working towards a masters degree in business administration at Carnegie-Mellon University and the child of parents who had emigrated from Bangladesh, was prevented from boarding his flight because his name sounded like that of a suspected terrorist. After security agents investigated Chowdhury, he boarded a later flight but filed suit over the incident, claiming he was a victim of a form of racial profiling based on his Middle Eastern appearance.

If some African Americans are involved in the drug trade, if some Hispanics are illegal aliens, and if some Arab Muslims are terrorists, it should not cast suspicion on all African Americans, Hispanics, and Arab Muslims. That the United States has higher homicide rates than other high-income nations does not imply that all Americans are criminals. Nor should the behaviour of some minorities imply that all members of the groups are criminals. In assuming that hall members of a group are alike, such reasoning although reflected in racial profiling according to critics, is oversimplified, inaccurate, and prejudiced.

To illustrate the continued existence of discrimination, the television show ABC News Prime Time Live filmed an experiment. Two friends, identical in nearly all aspects but one- John is white and Glen is black-tried to rent an apartment, respond to job advertisements, and purchase a car. Using a hidden camera, the show compared people's reactions to the two men. In both white and racially mixed communities, John generally received more positive treatment that did Glen. The different response related not to the actions of the men but to largely unconscious stereotypes about the races. In similarly unfair ways, people may wrongly use the distinctive dress of some African-Americans youth as indication of gang membership, the accent of Hispanic as indication of illegal immigration, and Middle Eastern names and dress as indication of hatred of the United States.

Institutional Racism, a term refers to the day-to-day, practises that have harmful effects on minorities, can promote discrimination much as individual racism does. With institutional racism, a double standard- one for majority and one for the minority- is built into the system. Individual police officers may not have motives to harm minorities, but the practice they implement have that effect. Racial Profiling represents one practice that reflects institutional racism and the unequal positions of race, ethnicity, and national-origin groups in the United States.

Consider some examples of institutional racism cited by critics if racial profiling. If police come to define use of crack cocaine, used primarily by the minorities, as a more serious problem than the use of powdered cocaine or Ecstasy, used more by whites, it has the effect of focusing police attention on minorities. Id police define street crime as more serious than white-collar crime, the impact falls on the minorities who tend in U.S. society to most often be victims of poverty. If police define groups with different ways of acting, speaking, and dressing as abnormal or inappropriate, it leads them to view innocent behaviour with suspicion. In these ways, widely accepted beliefs, policies, and definitions that in the surface do not involve racism still have discriminating effects.

Racial profiling reflects institutional racism in another way. Differences in power between minority and majority groups inevitably produce unequal interaction. Non-Hispanic whites have higher income, better education, and more prestigious jobs than most minorities; dominant culture, media, and scholarship, and enjoy political, economic and social power. With police representing the established power structure and enforcing its values and beliefs, and with minorities subject to domination by the majority, conflict results. Police have difficulty implementing laws in a colour-blind way and come to rely unfairly on perceived group differences in their actions.

Book : Darin and Raymond

Racial profiling is a term that is generally understood to mean enforcement action on the part of police officers that is motivated more by racial bias than by any reasonable suspicion or probable cause that may exist under the circumstances.

Without an understanding of various social classes and cultures it is impossible to examine the issues of profiling and discrimination to any meaningful extent. Such an understanding is essential because it is people and their varied status that gives rise to such practises. If there were only one culture in existence, would there be no discrimination and persecution, no conflict? Discrimination would probably still occur relative to such things as age, sex, disability, and socioeconomic status. But, in actuality, there is not a single culture. In almost all countries, especially in the United States, there are numerous cultures and sub-cultures. In the United States there are an estimated 88 different cultures and languages. Because there is such diversity, there will always be those who feel antagonistic towards those perceived as different. Thus, discrimination and persecution will always occur. And, accepting that there are an estimated 88 different cultures in the United States, the apparent cultural diversity becomes even greater when adding subcultures and class stratification to the equation.

While officially the U.S has no "caste" system, there is very much an informal caste system although it is not a rigid system into which one is born and above which one cannot rise, as is characteristic of castes found in India. Evidence of an informal but very real social caste system in the U.S. will be found in such labels as "trailer trash." "Scooter trash" "white trash," "low class," "working class," "middle class," and "upper class."

Book blue vs, black

The New York City police department paid about $70 million between 1994 and 1996 to settle complaints from citizens against police officers for assault/excessive force, assault/false arrest, shootings by police, and false arrest. In approximately 90 percent of those cases, the lawsuit was not recorded in the officer's personnel file because the city's Law Department and Internal Affairs determined the officer was acting within the scope of his or her duty. In other words, approximately 60 million was paid out without any consequences to those involved.

There are alarming numbers. But what is truly baffling is that there is virtually no correlation made between the money spent and the individuals who precipitate these actions. Police misconduct is rarely made public. Settlements are normally handled quietly and receive little, if any, press attention.

Book: the colour of guilt and innocence

Racial profiling the practise of drawing conclusion about a person based upon factors such as race, ethnicity, or other characteristics, is illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional. Though it many be possible to regulate an outward deed that is illegal, it is much more difficult when a person's racial motivated thoughts are camouflaged by legitimate actions. Between these inequitable thoughts and outwards acts lies a gray area that is most difficult, if not impossible, to regulate externally. As such, it is only when our society becomes so ethnically intermixed that racial profiling will meet its natural demise.