Race and Crime, a brief analysis and criticism of racism and the current economic, judicial system

I decided to do this because I’ve seen all the evidence for my hypothesis individually however I wanted to make this to connect all the dots and back my research with scientific studies. It is well known that minority groups are disproportionately affected by poverty. However with this progressive ‘wave’ that emerged as a result of the civil rights movement, “the number of black and Hispanic elected officials has dramatically increased, and a black middle class is thriving. On the other hand, some members within the different groups have fallen even further behind…” [1]. What makes this important is that (According to University of Alberta research) “Children in low-income families start off with higher levels of antisocial behaviour than children from more advantaged households. And if the home remains poor as the children grow up, antisocial behaviour becomes much worse over time compared to children living in households that are never poor or later move out of poverty” [2]. By ‘anti-social behaviour’ it is meant criminal and malicious behaviour. So given this it would be clear to say that poverty and crime as a result of poverty disproportionately affects ethnic minorities. Indeed it does, the murder rate among Black and Hispanics is significantly higher than any racial group, and it remains this way today even though murder rates are down significantly among all populations [3]. So does that mean that the criminal justice system is NOT racially biased? NO! Quite the contrary! There is an increase among violent crime among minority populations however one can clearly see the racial bias in the criminal justice system by looking at the statistics of a real-world example. Take this into account: Marijuana use rates are roughly equal among white and black populations however black people are 4X as likely to be arrested [5]. This shows the baffling, blatant racism which permeates the criminal justice system. To look at fixing this issue we have to look at the root causes of poverty. Allow me to quote one of my famous philosophers, “Everywhere you will find that the poverty of the poor springs from the wealth of the wealthy” -Peter Kropotkin. “Revealing studies on poverty in rich countries in the United States and Great Britain have strikingly confirmed that the misery of these old-age pensioners, unemployed, sick homeless, degraded or irregularly working lower layers of the proletariat is indeed a permanent feature of capitalism, including the capitalism of the ‘welfare state’.”  [4](Mandel, 71). We also see that, “Capitalist economy is thus a gigantic enterprise of dehumanization, of transforming of human beings from goals in themselves into instruments and means of money-making and capital accumulation… It is not the machine, nor any technological compulsion, which inevitably transforms workers and men and women in general into appendices and slaves of monstrous equipment. It is the capitalist principle of profit maximization by individual firms which unleashes this terrifying trend.” [4] (Mandel, 65). In Marx’s analysis of the capitalist system we see that poverty is an essential part of the system, that humanizing labor, that putting people before profits, that the worker receives the full fruits of his or her labor, that those who do not work do not eat, etc. are impossible in the capitalist system. Capitalism creates poverty, poverty disproportionately affects minorities, poverty increases anti-social behavior (crime), which is thus met with over-policing and excessive force among minority populations and individuals. Thus it is not race that is to be blamed as it is by the ignorant reactionaries who spew these hateful lies about our fellow Americans, NO! It is poverty which is to be blamed, and more-so the fundamental cause of poverty: capitalism. Before I close let me finish by criticizing the ‘private prison’ industry. It is a barbaric and disgusting trend to allow anyone to capitalize off of these so called ‘correctional facilities’. In America calling a prison a ‘correctional facility’ is like saying ‘Freedom is slavery!’ (from 1984).Prison is a business, it capitalizes off of having some of the highest reincarceration rates in the world, in having the largest prison population in the world. They make more money by not rehabilitating prisoners as we see in European countries with mere 20% reincarceration rates, compared to our 80%. When prisoners return to prison it means more money for them, even though they know it means that it makes society more dangerous, less safe, and morally degenerate. Capitalism has absolutely no business in the prison system, or in society at large.

Sources:

1:   http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/focus/pdfs/foc112d.pdf

2:  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060206171449.htm

3: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/criminal-justice/violent-crime-united-states-youth-minorities-public-awareness

4: Capital Volume 1 by Karl Marx (Penguin Classics edition) with an introduction by Ernest Mandel.

5:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/us/marijuana-arrests-four-times-as-likely-for-blacks.html

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