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African American Experience of Criminalization in Debates Surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement: Annotated Bibliography

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Issue-

Explore how the African American experience of criminalization is discussed in debates surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.

Quote-

“Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question… How does it feel to be a problem?” (3)

Annotated Bibliography

Golash-Boza, Tanya. “Structural Racism, Criminalization, and Pathways to Deportation for Dominican and Jamaican Men in the United States.” Social Justice, vol. 44, no. 2-3 (148), 2017, pp. 137–162. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/26538385. Accessed 4 May 2020.

Tanya Golash-Boza, a professor in sociology argues that criminalization and structures of racism affects the immigrants. She emphasizes on the role of criminalization and structural racism which she draws from an interview where she engages Jamaican and Dominican male deportees. She stresses the point of the black male immigrants being affected by structural racism by including scholars who have studied about race and detention and have come to an agreement that the largest number of imprisonments have had increased impact on the black community. She believes that detention is an obvious life consequence for most of the black men. Her research shows that regardless of how black immigrants live and embrace American society, criminalization means that they can be deported at any time. She points out that black immigrants are high suspects in criminal convictions even when they are living a straight life.

Tanya Golash-Boza resonates with the Du Bois quote because being in the black community makes you be a suspect. It makes one feel like he or she does not belong or fit in. Structural Racism causes inequality and discrimination and puts the black people in a disadvantaged place. Just by being a black immigrant, any criminal conviction can lead to you being deported meaning being a black person is a crime.

Hooker, Juliet. “Black Lives Matter and the Paradoxes of U.S. Black Politics: From Democratic Sacrifice to Democratic Repair.” Political Theory, vol. 44, no. 4, 2016, pp. 448–469., www.jstor.org/stable/24768058. Accessed 4 May 2020.

Political philosopher Juliet Harriet in this article focuses on the black lives matter movement and the reactions of other people concerning it. She is more particular to the people who come out to protest against the police violence and the regular killing of the black people. She tries to present deeper questions on the kind of systems the black people who feel that their rights have been violated should follow. The fact that state institutions and other citizens do not show concerns on the suffering of the black people makes her pose questions like if the black people’s status is losers. She tries to make sense of the negative critics by commentators about the black lives matter movement and the list of black people including women and children who are not armed being killed by violent white men. She also notes that white public opinion does not support the black lives matter movement against violence from the police.

Juliet Harriet’s article is relevant to the Du Bois quote because with that lack of policies that consider the black community because they are viewed as losers. The black lives matter movement is not supported by the white people and is often criticized by commentators. This shows that to the other citizens the movement should not be considered. Black people are face a lot of suffering, being killed but even the sate institutions do not have any concerns about it. This shows how the blacks are disadvantaged and how they are treated or violated does not matter.

Rosich, Katherine J. 2007. Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.

Rosich discusses about crime and punishment that have represented the highest rate of the racial divide in America. She argues that the African Americans who had a very low percentage in the country had the highest percentage in prison and that there is discrimination in the sentencing laws and the hardest punishments are given to black people. Rosich points out that revolution movements have made discrimination that is based on race unlawful but ethnic and racial differences still exist in crime and unlawful justice. She expounds on the social factors such as unemployment, poverty, and exclusion that explain the racial and ethnic differences in data on serious crime. She includes other researchers in the article who have contributed towards understanding crime and race but still many issues keep generating debate and controversies. Rosich recognizes scholars who propose that data systems extend racialism because they develop analytical support for labeling the blacks as vulnerable to criminality.

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This article resonates with the Du Bois quote because it asserts that discrimination on the black people makes them longer sentencing and the hardest punishments. It seems like being black is a problem and comes with many disadvantages. The blacks have been labelled to be vulnerable to criminality and this is because of the social factors that curb them. Because of lack of employment, being poor and other social disadvantages, the blacks are perceived to always want to commit crime.

Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. From #blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation. , 2016. Internet resource.

Taylor who is an assistant professor speaks of the criminal justice system, police murder, and brutality towards African American which is not as big as it sounds. She puts emphasis on a research that was done in the shootings that happened in Philadelphia which showed that several police officers had violated the law but out of them, the highest percentage of them were not suspended or terminated. She also talks about the rate at which the black people are detained which is six times more compared to that of the whites. Taylor explains of the structured over imprisonment of black people and in particular the black men. This is the result of a combination of race, risk, and incrimination to justify the close investigation of the black community. She also points out that the detention of African American men has led to the general stigma and lucrative disempowerment. Racial discrimination is the cause of inequalities between the whites and blacks in terms of employment, the quality of housing, poverty, and access to education.

In terms of racial discrimination, Taylor resonates with the Du Bois quote because it shows the little or no chances a black man has in getting or securing a job and it’s just because of his color. Police violence and brutality towards the black community is not viewed as an issue of concern. This is because African Americans are perceived to be dangerous, careless, and immune to pain. They are not shown any compassion or any basic humanity and this is what leads the police in murdering black people with no justified reason. This shows that maybe even with the movement of black lives matter which words are so clear, to the law enforcement officers black lives do not matter at all.

Conclusion

African American criminalization is based on color. The blacks have been victims of police violence and sometimes with no justified evidence. African Americans have been victims of murder even when they are unarmed. The highest percentage of blacks in prison compared to whites is incomparable. The sentencing of black people is different from that of whites. Racial discrimination is evident in the criminal justice system showing how much black people are discriminated against. Poverty, unemployment, and poor housing status have contributed largely to racial discrimination. Blacks have been stereotyped as people who should not be treated humanely and should not be shown any empathy. This is evidence that they do not matter and the more reason why there is regular murder of the black people by the police.

The ideas of Plato on justice help to understand this issue by defining the roles of justice. Causing harm to a human being is wrong despite being an enemy or be it fighting back. It is unjust to harm a person since a human being despite their race has a right to justice. Murdering a black man or causing harm to them does not make the police better than the black men. If so they are worse and acting unjustly. Justice should not make people unjust or make good people bad. The criminal justice system should not be discriminative in its policies of imprisonment and how people are detained and sentenced. It should act equally despite a person’s race and crime. White and black people who commit the same type of crime should be judged by the crime committed and not the racial difference. Because laws are not always just, policies should be implemented considering the equal treatment of every citizen and not discriminating to either.

Blacks, particularly the black men are in high numbers in the prisons and this is because they are perceived to be harmful or engage in harmful acts. The chances of a white person who has a criminal record to be hired for a job is easy compared to a black man who has no criminal record. This increases the rate at which poverty strikes the black people and also shows how they are extremely discriminated against. Even with the protests against the violence from the police, the whites still do not support their notion of black lives matter. The black lives matter movement has been criticized a lot and seen as if it is against the whites whereas it only raises concerns about the violence and brutality used by the police on the black people. Although there still exist racial differences in the justice system, discrimination has reduced.

Police officers who were found guilty of murder after research was done kept on working. They were not suspended or terminated and this shows how black lives did not matter and had no rights. Plato’s idea of self-governance would have a positive change to the African American criminalization. Police officers who are found guilty for murder would be charged and sentenced. The black community would be able to have good access to education, employment, and quality housing. Discrimination of the African American will reduce or come to an end because policies would be made with them in mind. Murder and violence by policemen just because a person is black will come to an end. Doing what is right is motivated by morals that are got through education or the general knowledge that one has. It is always good to be just rather than be unjust. Police officers should learn how to be just to everybody including African Americans. The criminal justice system should be just when dealing with any crime depending on the person that has committed the crime.

Works Cited

  1. Golash-Boza, Tanya. “Structural Racism, Criminalization, and Pathways to Deportation for Dominican and Jamaican Men in the United States.” Social Justice, vol. 44, no. 2-3 (148), 2017, pp. 137–162. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/26538385. Accessed 4 May 2020.
  2. Hooker, Juliet. “Black Lives Matter and the Paradoxes of U.S. Black Politics: From Democratic Sacrifice to Democratic Repair.” Political Theory, vol. 44, no. 4, 2016, pp. 448–469., www.jstor.org/stable/24768058. Accessed 4 May 2020
  3. Rosich, Katherine J. 2007. Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.
  4. Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. From #blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation. , 2016. Internet resource.

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African American Experience of Criminalization in Debates Surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement: Annotated Bibliography. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/african-american-experience-of-criminalization-in-debates-surrounding-the-black-lives-matter-movement-annotated-bibliography/
“African American Experience of Criminalization in Debates Surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement: Annotated Bibliography.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/african-american-experience-of-criminalization-in-debates-surrounding-the-black-lives-matter-movement-annotated-bibliography/
African American Experience of Criminalization in Debates Surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement: Annotated Bibliography. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/african-american-experience-of-criminalization-in-debates-surrounding-the-black-lives-matter-movement-annotated-bibliography/> [Accessed 4 Feb. 2023].
African American Experience of Criminalization in Debates Surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement: Annotated Bibliography [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jul 14 [cited 2023 Feb 4]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/african-american-experience-of-criminalization-in-debates-surrounding-the-black-lives-matter-movement-annotated-bibliography/
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