Disproportionate Offending and African-Americans

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Running head: DISPROPORTIONATE OFFENDING AND AFRICAN-AMERICANS Disproportionate Offending and African-Americans Introduction to Sociology Abstract There is one ugly thing that has coursed through the veins of the United States of America since the day White Europeans stepped on this continent. Something that has deep roots in our whole country’s history: it has caused wars, mass social movements and protests, pain, suffering violence, and unfair laws and prison sentences, and many other unjust things. It can be found in many homes in this country and evidence of it can be seen in our political and educational systems. This ugly thing is racism; specifically, racism towards African-Americans by white people. Racism is very apparent in our criminal justice system as well. Drug laws, prison sentences, and police contact disproportionately affect African-Americans in a negative way. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report of 2009, the percentage of arrestees in metropolitan areas of African-American race was 24.2% with Whites making up74.4% and the remaining made up of Pacific Islander, Asian, Alaskan American Native, or Native American. This shows a disproportionate rate of offending among African-Americans seeing as according to 2009 U.S. Census data they only make up 13.6% of the United States population. Why are the rates disproportionate? We can look at a few sociological theories for possible answers to this question. Disproportionate Offending and African-Americans There are two theories that may offer some sort of explanation of these types of problems within our criminal justice system in regards to minorities like African-Americans. Those two theories are Critical Criminological Theory (Quinney year) and Class Conflict Theory (Bonger year). It is possible to link these two theories to these problems and they may help direct us to possible
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