Category Archives: Stereotype

Racism

Growing up half Chinese and half white, raised by a mother who is white and father Chinese, made the world look at me and my sister as full Chinese. My parents did not raise us as a strictly Chinese family, nor did we practice many Chinese traditions. I was raised in Lansing, Michigan my whole life, which explains why I see myself as culturally white compared to what other people see, which is my race. This exemplifies stereotypical racial profiling, which in itself is a form of racism, which allows myself and others to be clumped together as a race instead of how we self identify.  As defined Anup Shah,“Racism is the belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributes to people simply on the basis of the race and that some racial groups are superior than others” (Globalization and Racism). How does this effect the world socially and ethnically?

According to a Vox education article,  a new lawsuit alleges Harvard has a quota system for Asian students. Author Libby Nelson states, “Asian-American students make up a higher proportion of the student body at selective colleges than they do the population as a whole. But they are also rejected at higher rates than white students, and those admitted tend to have higher test scores than students of other races.”(4) It’s not like this hasn’t happened in the past.   According to the New York Times, controversy between the Ivy League Colleges and minority communities are nothing new.   Statistics indicate an Ivy League  Quota system was used in the past, (1)“Just as their predecessors of the 1920s always denied the existence of Jewish quotas,” top officials at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the other Ivy League schools today strongly deny the existence of “Asian quotas.” But there exists powerful statistical evidence to the contrary.

Each year, American universities provide their racial enrollment data to the Nation Center of Education Statistics, which makes this information available online. After the Justice Department closed an investigation in the early 1990s into charges that Harvard University discriminated against Asian-American applicants, Harvard’s reported enrollment of Asian-Americans began gradually declining, falling from 20.6 percent in 1993 to about 16.5 percent over most of the last decade.

This relates to me because people see me as more Asian than Caucasian even though I see myself more culturally American. It effects me because many people think Asians are supposed to be one way or another and that’s simply not true. People who are exposed to different cultures and types of people would know this better then people who are not. In addition to this, my parents are not typically driven by culture or Asian traditions, instead culture in our family is freely expressed by individual family members.

— Kalisyn

Works Cited:

1.Ron Unz, “http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/12/19/fears-of-an- asian-quota-in-the-ivy-league/statistics-indicate-an-ivy-league-asian-quota” Dec. 13 2013, New York Times, Nov 28 2014

2. Anup Shah “http://www.globalissues.org/article/165/racism#GlobalizationandRacism” Aug 08 2010, Global Issues, Nov 26 2014

3.Libby Nelson “http://www.vox.com/2014/11/20/7254903/harvard-affirmative-action- asians” Nov 20 2014, Vox, Nov 20 2014

Kristen A Goss http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1985/1/16/college-clears-up-asian- controversy-pharvard/ Jan 16 1985, The Harvard Crimson, Nov 28th 2014

Sex and Gender

When someone says sex or gender, usually the first thing that comes to mind is “girl and boy.” Although sex and gender may sound like they are the same thing, they are actually very different. In sociology, sex is defined as the biological differences between boys and girls. Gender is defined as the social and cultural significance that we attach to the biological differences of sex. When one thinks about a male, the words that usually come up are masculine, provider, protector, and so on. When one thinks about a female, words like feminine, soft, and emotional usually come to mind. But why is this? Why do we classify different genders with different ‘labels’? The answer is simple: society.

The society we live in is almost always in control of classifying what defines males and females. Society and the people that live in it can—unwillingly—determine how a boy should behave and how a girl should behave, which begins at birth. Baby boys are usually wrapped up in blue blankets when they are born and are given dark-colored clothing to wear. Baby girls are wrapped up in pink blankets and wear light-colored clothing. This is known as gender socialization. Boys usually wear dinosaurs or trucks on their shirts, whereas girls will most likely wear butterflies and hearts. If a young boy was wearing a pink shirt, people would stop and stare at the child as if there was something wrong with him. This is because it is not normal for a boy to wear such a “girly” shirt. The parents of the boy would most likely be frowned upon as well for allowing their son to wear that shirt.

The toys we buy our children also classify them with gender. We usually buy young boys violent things—like trucks and plastic weaponry—while we buy young girls less violent things—like tea sets and dolls—because that’s the “normal” thing to do. Seeing a boy play with a Barbie is considered deviant, which means it’s not normal for that society. The same goes for girls who play with monster trucks. The normal thing to see is boys roughhousing with other boys and girls having tea parties with other girls. We never expect to see a boy in a tea party, although it does happen, but there should be nothing wrong with that. We get so caught up in what we “think” are the normal behaviors that boys and girls need to obey, we overlook a simple question: what if we’re wrong? Children should be allowed to express themselves however they want. So, if a boy wants to wear a tutu, we should let him. If a girl wants to play football, we should let her. We need to stop forcing our kids to become what we think they should be and let them be who they want to be.

Unfortunately, gender classification doesn’t stop at childhood. Teens and adults are still categorized as being either boy or girl by society. However, as people grow, they are more socially obligated to adhere to the stereotypes that society has placed on them. A boy is only classified as a “man” if he is strong, aggressive, active, and dominant. Likewise, a girl is only classified as a “woman” is she is nurturing, kind, submissive, and emotional. A man who displays any stereotype classified to women would be labeled as a “girl” or a “wussy.” A woman who displays manly aspects would be labeled as a “tomboy” or a “lesbian.” There is no escaping these stereotypes. Men must act like “men”, and women must act like “women.” If someone steps out of these boundaries, he/she will be negatively labeled for his/her deviance.

Although both genders experience stereotypes, one thing is true: gender inequality exists. It’s true that both men and women must alter their lives so that society will accept them, but it’s harder for women. Women are still treated unequally to men. Now, it’s true that women have more equality than they did decades ago, but they’re still fighting to be treated equally. One way women are still unequal to men is income. Women—to this day in the USA—only make about seventy-seven cents to a man’s dollar. This is called the gender pay gap. Woman must also face the facts that men get more opportunities in jobs and education than they do. It’s not just up to women to fight for women’s rights. Men should also reach out and try to help women become more equal. Together, they can change the world for the better.

Another aspect of our lives that classifies us as people is our sexual orientation. Although the majority of the world is known as heterosexual—liking those of the opposite—some people classify as something else. Some people classify as homosexual, which means they are attracted to the same sex. Bisexuality is another one, which means they are attracted to both sexes. There are even people who claim to be transsexual, which is when someone has the body of one sex, but they claim to have the mind and soul of the other sex. Sexual orientation has a huge impact on how others see us. Those who classify as homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, or anything else that isn’t heterosexual are usually frowned upon. This is because they aren’t considered “normal” and people believe they should be negatively sanctioned for their lifestyle choice. People should not be classified as “immoral” for being a little different from everybody else. Everyone deserves to be treated equally. Nobody should be ashamed of who they are.

Considering everything above, sex and gender plays a huge role in who we are. But why do we let our sex and gender control us? Everyone should not be afraid to be who they are. We should be able to live our lives the way we see fit without getting the “stink eye” from bystanders. We must also try to bring more equality to the world. I know that there’s been movements to try and bring equality to the world, but just because some have failed doesn’t mean that we should give up. Equality is desperately needed in this world and we have the power to bring great change.

–Aaron

Race

Knowledge Is Power

clip_image001Race may always be an issue within society. In The United States, it has always seemed to be a prevalent part of the cultural make-up, as well as media focus. From the early days of slavery to today’s racial stereotypes and profiling, race seems to play a large role in political and social issues.

I, being of mixed-race, have seen the world in black and white for the most part (no pun intended). I always saw those who judged my parents for being together as being stupid and bad. However, recently I came to realize that there is more to racial profiling than just bad people assuming bad things about others based on their ethnic background. Yes, arrogance and naiveté are for the most part what causes negative stigmas for races, but there is more at play than good versus evil here.

clip_image004The key to why arrogance causes many people to judge race resides in one’s education. From what I personally have witnessed, the main reason why people judge is not found naturally in them. They didn’t wake up one afternoon and say, “You know what? Black people are ruining this great country!” I have noticed that it is, most of the time, integrated in their upbringing. Some people may have grown up believing that other races derive from lower social classes or inferior societies.

For example, my uncle is a fairly conservative man. He drives an eighteen-wheeler for a living and in his experience he has met many people. I have heard a multitude of humorous tales from him and his trucking adventures (most I believe are fiction). But from time to time I hear some quite edgy opinions of his. While at dinner with my family one weekend, he told a story of how a newer truck driver was unsure about how to do a certain job related task. I cannot recall the exact details or even the premise of my uncle’s story, but I do remember that it was humorous. Yet, I was a little disturbed by my uncle’s comment in the middle of the tale, “No offense Mac,” he prefaced, “but mind you, this was a colored boy…” And then the story continued to the point.

clip_image005I suppose I wasn’t offended much, but I was confused. First of all, in what way was this comment relevant to the focus of the story? And secondly, colored is still an adjective for black people? I suppose I wasn’t there for that memo. But back on track, I know he truly meant it when he said no offense, I don’t believe my uncle to be a racist, he may be a tad judgmental though. I do realize that my uncle was hinting that somehow the trucker’s race had a role in his inability to perform this particular task.

Now to the point, what was the underlying factor to this stereotype? I wouldn’t put my finger on racism, mainly because my uncle respects me and my black dad, but I would guess a bit of ignorance was peaking it’s head in on this situation (of course no offense to my uncle). It is really nobody’s fault in most cases that they are unaware of the power behind their unintentional profiling.

This is where the solution comes into the picture. Rather than me, or anyone caught in this awkward situation for that matter, jumping down a person’s throat or using an “I am higher than thou” prerogative to put down a person caught in ignorance’s grasp, I can simply inquire about how what they said was a bit touchy for many people today. This is what can change the way many people view their actions. Education is the key to understanding, and understanding is the key to equality and additionally the key to ending the progression of minor and major racism. With this we can keep racial profiling and stereotypes a piece of our nation’s, and hopefully the world’s, history, rather than a piece of days to come.

clip_image007— Mac

 

Ethnic Group

Stereotypes are all around us. If a person is considered “ethnic,” then a stereotype is bound to be associated with their “group.” But before we even discuss ethnicity, it is good do define just what it means.  According to Cambridge Dictionary, to be ethnic means “relating to or characteristic of a large group of people who have the same national, racial, or cultural origins, and who usually speak the same language.” In reading this definition, it would seem to be a relative term, because just “who” are these groups compared to in order to be considered a large group? Coming from a father who is 100% Italian and a mother who is 100% Lebanese, am I then a part of a “sub-ethnic” group? I do not know many large groups of Lebanese-Italian people. With that said, stereotypes are bound to be associated with what some deem as “different.” Again, different from who? Well, we all know stereotypes exist. We all know that living in the United States, if you are not a White-Anglo Saxon Protestant, then you are considered a minority/different/ethnic/other….

Yes, I am one of those ethnic people, who comes from a big, diverse, family, who can out laugh and out eat just about any of their neighborhood pals. When my friends come to my house, the first thing they would do is ask is “what did your mom cook today?” Yes, my mom is an awesome cook, who can make the best Lebanese or Italian dishes on any given night…Or “hey, is your dad home, he scares the *&#$ out of me!” Yes, my dad is a big Italian man, with lots of “family connections,” reaching back to Naples, Italy.  It’s a funny thing to be considered ethnic, because, I don’t see myself or my family as different, because I can’t imagine us being any other way. But, I know firsthand that being an “ethnic” person does come with its share of xenophobic encounters.

My Lebanese grandparents came to the U.S. in 1970, and they have genuinely lost count of how many times their home has been egged or toilet papered. Especially after the 9/11 attacks, suddenly my grandparent’s neighbors became slowly distant, erecting fencing all around their homes. Yes, on both sides of their house! But, these acts of pure hatred, just because we are considered “different,” do not fuel hatred in the hearts of my family, rather, it invokes a sense of pity upon those who carry out deeds of idiocy due to needless fear of the unknown. Above and beyond all of these issues, ethnicity will always vary from family to family. To have one pure ethnic group is rather impossible and borders on “Hitler-esque” insanity. Finally, to be considered “ethnic” is an okay thing and it will always exist as long as people are considered to be different from the established societal norm. “Be proud of who you are and where you came from,” my grandmother always told me, “or else, we would live in a very boring and lonely world.”

— Dario

 

Social Class

The United States social class system is broken down into five classes; the upper class, lower class, middle class, working class and the poor. Social inequality is ever present with the vast differences between these classes.

There are endless examples of the differences between upper class and the other lower classes. Members of the upper class are able to live extravagantly, having the best of everything. They are able to take vacations, buy the most expensive houses, cars, clothes, etc.   They can afford medical care and prescriptions. Members of the lower classes simply do not have these same luxuries.  The members of the poor class are often faced with having to choose between prescriptions or food. They often don’t have cars or adequate housing. Vacations and higher education are dreams, not realities. Members of the poor are happy to have clothes that are often used. Members of the working class often live paycheck to paycheck which can result in overdue bills and late fees. They have little to no savings. Members of the upper middle class are comfortable. They are not rich, but they can live comfortably and easily afford the costs of living as well as living within their means.

According to the US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, in 2011, 32.1 percent of Americans were members of the working class (PRB.Org).

According to the US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, in 2011, 32.1 percent of Americans were members of the working class (PRB.Org).

The size of this class continues to grow. My family is a working class family. I can tell you from my own personal experiences that the everyday struggle is real. My husband and I both work, yet are struggling to make ends meet. The only extra spending we have is for our college classes. Housing, food for our family of four, utilities, insurance and gas literally takes everything we have. We are not able to save for higher education for our children. If something unexpected happens, such as having to have car repairs or having to replace our hot water heater, it sets us back for weeks, sometimes months. Extracurricular activities for our kids are considered a luxury.

Discrimination has always been present in our country. It is most often thought of as minorities being denied social participation or human rights. On employment applications, we see statements telling us they will not discriminate against one’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin. I think it can be argued that social class can be added to those statements. I believe members of all classes are stereotyped. For example, members of the poor class are assumed to be uneducated, lazy and sometimes unworthy. Members of the upper class are assumed to be educated, motivated and important.

I thought this was an accurate depiction of our social classes here in the United States.

I thought this was an accurate depiction of our social classes here in the United States.

Look at the differences here. Clearly the bottom of the picture is our two lower classes. Notice the difference in clothing, lighting and cleanliness. It’s all bare bones if you will. Then you have the upper middle class dressed nice and neat with smiles on their faces. The one guy has a laptop and a cool lamp. Then the upper level is posh. All decked out in gold, huge smiles on their faces, looking like ‘fat cats’. The folks climbing the ladder cannot be ignored either. They are both trying their best to climb to the top. And what about the man falling on the left? To me, this looks as though he tried to climb to the top, only to be knocked down. Perhaps this artist does not believe in social mobility, lol!

Upper class is in no way the majority group, but it is definitely the dominant group. It is the rich that make the rules for all. Members of the upper classes are allowed a great number of privileges. Oddly enough, celebrities get free clothes and jewelry as the designers see that as advertisement. Celebrities are the last folks needing free clothes! Members of the upper class typically have high credit scores so they receive lower interest rates on mortgages, insurance, loans and credit cards. These are just some of the privileges the dominant upper class group receives. There are countless others.

At the end of the day, we are all human. We all want to live a good life and to be able to provide for our families. Those of us that are parents worry about our kids. We all have bills that must be paid on time. We all love to be entertained. Despite having all of these things in common, our social class seems to define who we are as individuals. Our social class is a label, one that creates an unnecessary divide between us as humans.

–Kim

SOCIOBIOLOGY

Sociobiology aims to explain how biology affects human social behavior. The concept of sociobiology was first introduced in E.O Wilson’s book, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975). E.O Wilson’s book defined sociobiology as an evolutionary theory of social behavior. Many sociobiologists believe that natural selection for reproductive success and reconstruction of evolutionary histories of behavior and behavioral strategies shape human social behaviors.

Evolutionary socialization begins to introduce the Darwinian evolutionary theory and natural selection. Darwin’s theory of evolution by the process of natural selection explains adaption by linking differential adaption to differential reproductive success. Organisms living in particular conditions of life with weaker traits will not last long in a population due to low rates of survival and reproductive success. Sociobiologists use the same method when modeling the evolution of human behaviors by using various ‘behavioral strategies’ as relevant traits. Sociobiologists believe that humans and other organisms have behavioral control systems that serve particular functions and whose evolutionary history is traceable.

Gene-culture coevolution shapes genes and cultures through human development. An example of this is the sweetness case, which touches on the fact that there is a strong disposition among people whose preference are sweet foods. Humans taste receptors for sweetness tell them that sugar is sweet. Since humans seek foods that trigger their taste receptors (due to human ancestors eating sweet fruits to give them energy for daily functions) they are gravitated towards fast food chains, which offer foods with large amounts of fat, salt and sugar. Human ancestors had a short supply of foods that contained sugar and salt in their environment, which resulted in humans to inherit their ancestor’s predispositions to eat sugary foods when they had the opportunity. Another example of gene-culture coevolution is sex-role stereotypes. Sociobiologists asked the question, why do humans have the sex-role stereotypes they do? Social science claims that humans are not born with mental contents. However, sex differences in children’s behavior can be explained by the differential treatment of parents who possessed sex-role stereotypes.

   Social behavior is closely related to gene-culture coevolution and natural selection. Richard Dawkins used his infamous metaphor ‘the selfish gene’ (1976) to introduce sociobiology. Critics took Dawkins metaphor and argued that, if human behavior were to be related to natural selection, we would all be selfish. Mary Midgley (1978) also believed Dawkins ‘the selfish gene’ metaphor to involve vicious circular reasoning. On the other hand, Darwin’s arguments for natural selection did not characterize the evolution process itself as being selfish or altruistic. Instead, Darwin postulated traits that serve a function to an individual, such as adaptive traits that help organisms solve problems from limited resources in their environment. The adaptive traits that give organisms advantages in competition can occur through altruistic or selfish traits. Altruistic traits help others but can cause self-destruction; selfish traits help ones self while hindering others from performing tasks. Sociopaths are defined as being selfish people; Linda Mealey identified two explanations for sociopathic behavior (1995), the ultimate and proximate explanation. Hypothetical ancestral conditions that may have rendered sociopathy adaptive, particularly the conditions in which social reciprocity evolved in human populations describes the ultimate explanation of sociopathic behavior. While, mechanisms that have a possibility to produce sociopathic behaviors in current environments, especially the mechanisms that involve life-history strategies that span biological, psychological and sociocultural variables describes the proximate explanation of sociopathic behavior.

Sociobiologists look at cultural universals as a product of human biological evolution. They argue that explanations of human thoughts and actions as a species ultimately takes into account human genetic makeup. On the other hand, while most sociologists agree that biology influences human social behavior. Degree’s of variation within and between societies suggests that sociobiological theories are limited to explain complex human behavior. An example of this is that one society may not allow marriage between close relatives while another society encourages it. The expression of cultural universals varies from one society to another and can dramatically change over time. It was once thought that women’s brains were too small, making them incapable of success in college. Women now make up about sixty percent of college graduates. Claims similar to that example have been used in the past to justify inequality, which had many sociologists questioning biological explanations for human behavior. Sociobiology’s main problem is that sociobiological theories are limited in explaining complex human behavior. It is difficult to find a possible solution to this problem because complex human behaviors are brought on by many factors and are ever changing within societies.

 

Citation:

Holcomb, H., & Byron, J. (2005, November 21). Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sociobiology/

Witt, J. (2012). Soc 2012. New York: McGraw-Hill

GENDER ROLES

What are gender roles? Gender roles are the public expression of attitudes of ones gender identity whether they are male or female. What is masculine and what is feminine? All of us were taught from the time we are born what masculinity and femininity are.

The socialization of masculinity and femininity starts as early as childhood. Boys are supposed to wear blue and girls are supposed to wear pink. Boys are supposed to play with trucks and action figures, and girls are supposed to play with Barbies and make-up. At the start of a boy’s life he is socialized to be tough, like not crying when he got hurt. When a girl got hurt, she was usually embraced by her parents and told that it’s alright.

 

In our society females are depicted as weak and delicate creatures, females are thought to not be as capable as a male physically. Sports are a way for males to show their masculinity.  This also applies to females showing femininity through certain sports and other activities. Males participate in sports like football, basketball, baseball and wrestling. Some sports females involve themselves in are cheerleading, volleyball, softball, swimming and diving. Certain stereotypes have been established in this society; if anyone deviates from these rules of society it’s common for people to make these violators pay for it by making them victims of ridicule. If a man were to participate in something feminine like ballet or cheerleading, other men would insult his masculinity and sexuality with names like fairy boy, queer, or wimp. If a woman would take part in a physical sport like football or hockey, men and women would insult by calling her butch, dyke, lesbian or even calling her a man. Women of this generation are making a bigger impact in the sports world, this is partially because of the education amendment Title IX (Title 9) which was enacted in 1972.

 

Title IX states that, “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”  Title IX applies to all aspects of education, both private and public, but I’m just going to focus on athletics. Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment, grants equal athletic opportunities, and equal benefits like scholarships and extra tutelage. Things have changed in the past fifty years, partially because of Title IX. More girls are being encouraged to participate in athletics today, much more than they were in seventies. I have a personal example of this socialization that I’ve seen recently. I live in a small, but very diverse, community. I’ve wrestled from middle school through high school. I’ve competed against people of different cultures but never anyone of a different sex. Last year in 2012 I got the chance to do so. We were at a practice and it was just her and me and it came time for us to wrestle against each other.  We were using a different style of wrestling than what I knew and she knew a lot more about this style, but I could still keep up with her. She could do everything I could, whether it had to do with agility or technique. After the practice I was glad to have a partner that we both would have to work to keep up with. I had no problem telling some acquaintances about that practice and how she got the best of me.  An acquaintance said, “how tough could she have possibly been? She’s is a girl. Or maybe you just suck.”

 

He mocked me for not being able to utterly dominate her, like it was supposed to be a walk in the park. That statement stems from our society’s stereotypes about females being weak and feeble. She was going against what our society deemed as feminine.  Gender roles will always follow us.  When parents find out what the gender of their child will be, they’ve already decided to raise their child to follow that specific gender role. When that child grows up, the choice to continue to follow that gender role belongs to them.

ETHNOCENTRISM

In too many instances, most look at Blacks with harsh eyes, and whether they speak or are silent there are way too many doubtful thoughts racing through their mind. We, Blacks, may not be mind-readers but we already know what words and phrases are formulating through the minds of the “others” who don’t think it is quite possible for us to succeed…and sadly that might be true…but for only one reason…they have caused such blockage to occur.

One might ask who is the “they” that I speak of. “They” comes in many forms: people from other ethnic backgrounds, discrimination, stereotypes, government, justice system, educational system, and sometimes even our own. Why do they cause such blockage? It is because of their culture that has been embedded in them since birth or their condescending ways that have snowballed into a pile of self-worth and self-distinction. Things such as this create ethnocentrisms, the belief in the superiority in one’s ethnic group.

The outlook of being superior to blacks has gone on since we were brought to this country. And like John Mayer, we are waiting for the world to change, but I am sure his change doesn’t include blacks.  If Elvis Presley was featured in the song, his world wouldn’t include blacks either, because according to him only thing we could do for him is shine his shoes and we don’t want to stop blacks from doing that because everybody needs a good shoe shining!

“Yes we can!”

Instead we need the encouragement that Obama says best. But unfortunately this does not happen often, so our heart hums songs of overcoming, while are our actions involve ways that aren’t always that illegal. We are the true survivors of the fittest. With few of the resources one may need to make ends meet, we make change, not always good but we make things happen—despite the belittling from other ethnic groups.  And many may not believe this, but we want all our actions to be positive but this can’t happen if we are constantly ridiculed and not properly taught.

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” 

Like most, we want the opportunity to grow into something healthy and beautiful. But, unfortunately this can’t happen if we are not given the right resources to make that happen. In our eyes, we are like foster children who, unfortunately, got stuck with some not so nice and caring foster parents who badly abuse us and gives us the leftovers of what they once had and no longer wants or temporarily have no need for—usually they receive benefit from doing so .  In order to keep such a superior stance, one or many must keep the inferior group down. Here is how “they” did it and here are some of the leftovers, these are not to help, but to keep us distracted and quiet: 1. A ball. 2. Some crack. 3. 28 days. 4. A Piggy bank. 5. A beat.

1. As a Black, if you can dribble or throw a ball, you are seen as Captain Save ‘em.  Blacks are scouted out because their skills. Because of this, many Black youth value system may differ from white youth. For instance asking a young black boy what he wants to be when he grows up; his response …a basketball player.

2.  THE CRACK EPIDEMIC scare was orchestrated by the media. They inhaled oxygen and exhaled carbon dixode, blowing on an ignited flame forming an urban fire killing, not trees, but people…a fire that began in the eighties but has grown more vicious today.  Crack served as the white savior to many Blacks. It was passed around urban areas heavily populated by Blacks. Not only were Blacks getting hooked, but they were dying, killing, landing in jail. Surburban areas, most populated by whites weren’t even hit with 10% of the blow back from urban areas.

3.  TGIF: THANK GOD IT’S FEBRUARY!  For 28 days—sometimes not even that amount—Black youth have the opportunity to learn bits and pieces and half truths about their race and culture. But for the rest of the school year, they learn of norms orchestrated by white society.

4. WELFARE. The code for poor Black people.  Thanks to the media and ignorance of way too many, TANF, commonly known as welfare, is seen to cover the lazy behinds of blacks that just don’t want to work. I see it is as a stumbling block that spoonfeeds Blacks and keeps minds in bondage from trying to succeed. Think about it. Yes, there are financial benefits from TANF, but not many opportunities to teach one how to “pull themselves up from their bootstraps” and become self-sufficient.

5.  MUSIC…From the beginning of time the ancestors of Blacks have used music to uplift their spirits. Passing each lyric down from one generation to the next. Now there is a new style of lyric and new form of lyric passing. In this new day, we have rap; a style that most use to promote their new shiny materials, while subconsciously belittling themselves….guess who again gets the top cut and first and last laugh.

DIFFERENTIAL JUSTICE

Differential justice is the differences in the way social control is exercised over different groups. In the US, African Americans and Latinos are disadvantaged in the justice system. On average, white offenders receive shorter sentences for equal crimes. Public officials, using their own discretion, based off their own biased options, decide whether or not to drop charges, to set bail and for how much, and if to even set parole or simply deny it. Seventy-six percent of victims in death penalty cases are white, and 41% of people on death row are African American. African Americans make up less than 15 percent of America’s  population, yet they are 40% of  people thrown into jail (BET). This can be contributed to poor access to legal representation. Poorer people have less access to better lawyers, ones who are not being over worked in the public sector.

“A defendant surrenders many civil rights upon conviction, but equal protection of the laws is not one of them (Angulo, Carlos, and Weich, Ronald).” Under a federal court consent decree, traffic stops by the Maryland State Police on I-95 were monitored. In the two-year period from January 1995 to December 1997, 70% of drivers stopped and then searched by the police were African American, while only 17.5% of overall drivers, as well as total speeders, were black (Angulo, Carlos, and Weich, Ronald). Minorities in the US as a whole are mistreated and wrongfully accused of crimes. The justice system treats whites better and gives larger breaks. How can such a small percentile commit more crimes than a population that completely out numbers them? The answer is simple, and it’s a concept known as differential justice. Minorities are often charged because they are a minority. They are considered deviant in the larger culture because they are different from the larger ethnic group, whites.

For example, O. J. Simpson was found not guilty, by a jury, for two murders on October 3, 1995. Since then most people believed him to have committed those two murders. In September of 2007, a group of men, led by O. J. Simpson, entered a room at the Palace Station hotel casino and took sports memorabilia at gunpoint. On October 3, 2008 O. J. Simpson and all the remaining members of the group were found guilty. On December 5, 2008 O. J. Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison. O. J. Simpson was more than likely treated unfairly in his trail, because of bias jury who still believed he had murdered the people back in 1994.

Our society has stereotypes, and will continue to have them for some time. Something that can be done to lessen the effects of bias in the justice system is retiring older members and putting in younger less biased people. Also there could be a media campaign that promotes equality between races. Remove stereotypes about a certain race commit certain crimes by providing more information. When it comes to poor representation in court we could raise taxes so that more public lawyers are available to poor individuals.

 

Work Cited

“Half of All Innocents in Jail Are Black .” BET, 2012. Web. 23 FEB. 2013. http://www.bet.com/news/national/2012/05/21/commentary-half-of-all-innocents-in-jail-are-black.html

Angulo, Carlos, and Weich, Ronald. (2011) “Racial Disparities in the American Criminal Justice System”. WEB. 24 FED. 2013.

http://www.asca.net/system/assets/attachments/765/Racial_Disparities_in_the_American_Criminal_Justice_System.pdf?1279830562