The Color of Justice

Police shootings and violence against African American citizens have cast eyes on the discussion of racism in the United States. The murders of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, and Freddie Gray at the hands of police officers have gone viral on social media and sparked a feeling of public outrage. As well as the event of a mass murder, Dylan Roof who killed 9 black people in Charleston church, South Carolina back on June 17, 2015. The Black Lives Matter movement, the increasing sense of racial tension show that race and racism continue to be a major problem in our country. President Obama explicitly acknowledged that these shootings are a “symptom of a broader set of racial inequalities that exist in our criminal justice system” and mentioned some figures that demonstrate how skin color matters in the American criminal justice system, and it matters a lot. According to our book, the incarceration rate for African American male in state and federal prisons was 6 times the rate for white males (2,724 vs. 465 x 100,000, respectively). The incarceration rate for Hispanic American males was 2.3 times greater than that for non-Hispanic white males (1,091 vs. 465 x 100,000). There were also disparities in the incarceration of white and African American females, but not as great as for males.

Racial Hoax is when a person creates a crime and throws the culpability to someone else because of his/her race. Or when someone commits a crime and falsely blames another person of it because of his/her race. Racial Hoax can definitely distort the public understanding of crime. It also gains a lot of publicity on the media because they usually are violent crimes. For example, when the police are investigating a crime, they can waste a lot of time searching for information, evidence, etc. through the person “identified as guilty of the crime.” As it was in the case of Susan Smith stated in our book.

Walker, S., Spohn, C., & DeLone, M. (2018). The Color of Justice. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

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