Race, Ethnicity and Crime

Introduction

Racism and ethnicity are one of the social evils that pose a big danger to the society. These are the main factors that have been contributing to crime in the contemporary world. Racial discrimination in America has a significant implication on crime in the region. Most of the racism in America has been between the whites against the blacks and vice versa. There are a number of incidences that has resulted into crime in the United States.

Discussion

In many cases, most criminal activities in the United States are characterized by racism. Racism has resulted in a number of crimes, which has threatened security and peaceful co-existence among the people. There are a number of opposing issues concerning racism and disparity that has led to complication in the discussion of the issue of racism in the Criminal Justice System. For instance, there are economic differences among the people that have led to crime in the United States.

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It is possible to have people from different race on low income group and also on the high income groups. The larger the differences between the poor and the rich, the high are the chances of crime. We also have differences in terms of biological heredity, psychological and other factors that may influence ones tendency to engage in crimes.

Racial differences have also led to crime in the United States. This can be explained through the discrimination that the vice has cultivated among the people. For instance, the idea that members of a certain group like the African Americans are more likely to commit a certain crime can lead to difficulties in fighting the vice. Similarly, the fact that the reason for doing so is psychological can also lead to serious difficulties.

This is because they tend to propose the inability of the public policy to solve these problems. This is unlike the social explanations where an individual can change through the public policy. From previous statistics, the results showed that the rate of arrests for the African Americans were higher than those in the other Americans (Anonymous, 2011).

There are several historical incidences that can clearly illustrate the issue of racism in America. One of this was the racism against African Americans through the institution of slavery. During this period, African Americans were enslaved and treated like property (Randall, 1998). This incident led to undermining and persistent racism against Africans.

Another incident in the history that can be used to demonstrate racism in America took place after the Mexican- American War in 1948 (Greenhaus and Parasuraman, 1990). During the period, Zoot Suit Riots clearly demonstrated the racism against Latinos. The Latin Americans were usually composed of people from different ethnic and racial backgrounds. This made them more prone to racism.

Recently, the issue of racism has raised major concerns in the study of the criminal justice. In America, there are a significant difference between the number of the black Americans and the white Americans arrested and prosecuted for various crimes. This has raised concerns on the criminal justice practices.

There are a number of areas that differ in terms of races, a thing that may lead to differences in the criminal justice. One of these differences is the level of unemployment. Through racial discrimination, there is a significant difference in the level of unemployment in different racial groups. When the level of unemployment is high, the level of poverty is also high and therefore there are high chances of committing crimes. For instance, unemployed person may engage in stealing due to lack of livelihood.

Race may also lead to differences in political orientation. This leads to differences in the views among the people from different races. In some cases, some members from a certain group may feel that they are not properly represented. In such a situation, differing views may lead people to engage in criminal activities.

The issue of the race and crime can easily be understood through the analysis of the criminal etiology or the breaking of law. Breaking of the law can either be explained from individual or social perspectives. From the individual perspective, the crime is caused by the characteristics that an individual possess. These include heredity defects, intelligence, and body type among others (Heaven and Hudson, 2011). On the other hand, crime is seen to be caused by social or psychological reasons.

In my opinion, I believe that racism is of great importance in the criminal justice. This is because it has helped in explaining the patterns of crime in the society. Most of the criminal activities in the United States are rooted in the issues related to race. As already noted, previous statistics have revealed that certain groups of people in America are more likely to commit crime than others.

It is therefore necessary to study in terms of race differences. People from a certain race may have varying social psychological differences. This can significantly influence the conduct of individuals. For instance, there are some tendencies that are common in a particular racial group but not prevalent in others.

The concept of race has a significant implication on my future career as a police officer. To begin with, this may affect me through prejudice. As already seen, the past record has clearly revealed that there is more proportionate cases of criminals arrested and prosecuted from one racial group than the other (Lafree and Russell, 1993).

For instance, the past data has revealed that there are more cases of the African Americans engaged in crime. This may lead to a temptation of prejudice or bias in the process of executing duties. Due to intensification of the issue of racism in the society, I may also face the problem of undermining others. The citizens from other racial groups may be tempted to think that I am biased towards my race.

Another way through which race can affect my future profession is through career advancement. In most cases, racism has been integrated in the work place. For instance, the senior managers are tempted to promote only those employees from their racial group. Racism may therefore affect me in my career as a police officer.

Conclusion

In summary, race and ethnicity has a significant implication on America’s criminal justice system. Racial differences have significantly affected the crime patterns among the people. For instance, there are more reported cases of criminals from a certain group arrested and prosecuted in court. This can be explained from both the personal and the social perspective. Individual’s personal differences can increase the possibility of engaging in a certain form of crime. Social and psychological factors can also increase the chances of engaging in crime.

Reference List

Anonymous. (2011). Race and Ethnicity – Race in U.S. Legal History, Native Americans, Black Americans and Crime, Policing and Minorities. Retrieved from http://law.jrank.org/pages/12138/Race-Ethnicity.html

Greenhaus, J. and Parasuraman, S. (1990). Effects of race on organizational experiences, job performance evaluations, and career outcomes. Azcademy of Management Journal. 1990, Vol. 1, pp. 64-86

Heaven, O. and Hudson, B. (2011). ‘Race’, Ethnicity and Crime. Retrieved from http://fpwphibiscus.org.uk/?p=291

Lafree, G. and Russell, K.K. (1993). The Argument for Studying Race and Crime. Journal of Criminal Justice Education. 4, 273-289.

Randall, K. (1998). Race, Crime, and the Law. New York: Vintage Books.