Underachievement, lack of inclusion, and backward progression within society is a trend that engulfs African American men constantly in the American society. There is a continuous struggle to break the persistent mold. Although many feel that the United States has overcome its racist history, the legacies of slavery and racism still affect our policies and practices today. Of the nearly 2.1 million adult men and women imprisoned in the United States, roughly 70% are persons of color (Minton, 2012). Within the criminal justice system, people of color are imprisoned disproportionately due to racist laws, are denied access to the rehabilitative options given to Whites, and are harassed and mistreated by U.S. agencies.
Even though black people have made many strides this long-standing history of oppression has persevered throughout the generations. The deep-rooted contention of inequality and injustice has infiltrated the social fabric of American society and government as black people today experience discrimination on every level. Structured discrimination has been to blame for the many disparities that black people face in America. The most obvious are the disproportionate amount of minorities in the United States Criminal Justice System. Blacks make up approximately 13% of the U.S. population, and whites 67% of the U.S. population (Census, 2009); however, of the 2.2 million incarcerated, 900,000 are Black (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011).
The focus points of this paper will include racial biases in sentencing and arrest, differential association, and poverty (socioeconomic status/single parent homes). Sentencing structures in the United States have always been biased on account of race. As we move closer to the 21st century we find that money seems to be a way African Americans can avoid playing the race game. Unfortunately many African Americans who are tried in court come from low socioeconomic neighborhoods and cannot afford to pay their way out of the race game. America has evolved to harsher sentencing methods since the 1980’s, especially amongst crimes related to drugs.
Alexander describes this undercaste as, “a lower caste of individuals who are permanently barred by law and custom from mainstream society,” (Alexander, 32). Not only is this because of mass incarceration rates among black men, but extends to the effects that these branded felons must face beyond prison walls. By checking the well known box on any application, it has become legal for almost any institution or corporation to discriminate against a marked felon. Alexander notes that, “Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination – employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusio... ... middle of paper ... ... Jane Crow: Reproductive Rights in the Age of Mass Incarceration." American Journal Of Public Health 103.1 (2013): 17-21.
The United States has the biggest prison and jail population in the world not only by population, but also by sheer numbers. Many of these offenders are behind bars for nonviolent drug crimes and statistically more of those non-violent offenders are African American. African Americans are 13% of the United States Population but make up over 40% of the current jail and prison population. A black man is five times more likely to be convicted of a crime than a white man in the United States. How far have we really come sinse the Jim Crow laws?
However, African Americans are one of the most populations in this world who faced discrimination in general: Racial discrimination in particular. Although African Americans faced racial discrimination due to slavery period hundred years ago, racial discrimination still prevails in African Americans life in the present, lead by huge psychological affects. Near 1400’s African Americans were suffering discrimination due the beginning of slavery period. During that period African Americans faced many kind of segregation, and humiliation under the concept of being slaved. They were segregated from their children’s and families for long time that even if they thought of going back home, there was no home.
In the United States, the rate of incarceration has increased shockingly over the past few years. In 2008, it was said that one in 100 U.S. adults were behind bars, meaning more than 2.3 million people. Even more surprising than this high rate is the fact that African Americans have been disproportionately incarcerated, especially low-income and lowly educated blacks. This is racialized mass incarceration. There are a few reasons why racialized mass incarceration occurs and how it negatively affects poor black communities.
The rate at which black males are being trapped in the prison system is alarming Today African Americans comprise 62% of imprisoned d... ... middle of paper ... ...ing in our young African American males. One probably never thought they had it so good until they are made aware of the conditions that our fellow Americans have to go through on a daily basis. It is shocking and unacceptable. We paid our debt to others that we have harmed. Why not fix the relations between us and the minorities that need it the most?
The racial disparities in imprisonment have been felt the most by young African American males (Western and Pettit 2010). Males are a significant majority of the prison and jail populations, accounting for around ninety percent of the population (Western and Pettit 2010). Racial disparities in incarceration are astounding when one counts the men who have been incarcerated in their lifetime rather than those serving time on any given day (Western and Pettit 2002). For instance, in 1989, approximately two percent of white men in their early thirties had been in prison compared to thirteen percent of African American men in their early thirties (Western and Pettit 2002). These extreme racial disparities disproportionately affect communities of color and have significant collateral effects such as family stress and dissolution,
The court system judged people of color more harshly than people of white skin, which led to unfair sentences and lynchings. A lynching is when a person is hanged or executed without a trial; they were very common during this time period. African Americans could only take so much of this, they cried out against the unequal ways that white people practiced. Foundations were formed to aid these people and bring justice to the society they were living in. The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was probably the most significant of these foundations.