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Racial Segregation

According to Barbara Reskin, it is necessary to recognize that racial disparities in various scopes of life impact on culture, cognitions, and state institutions. Moreover, social policies of American government are limited because of the impact of racial discrimination. In order to obtain effective remedies against racial discrimination, it is necessary to admit that racial discrimination is a system which has features to strengthen the influence of its components. At the same time, it is very difficult to eliminate racial disparities because of the system of racial discrimination. Therefore, it is necessary to simultaneously impact on the major components of racial discrimination, such as subsystems, in order to isolate them from the discrimination system and to monitor the processes of enforcing disparities.

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Racial discrimination system is a set of connected subsystems with disparities. The disparities constantly create some benefits for certain groups. Moreover, the subsystems impact each other enforcing disparities in them, while one source of the disparities is discriminated. Therefore, racial discrimination is a system consisting of racial disparities and beliefs which preserve them for a long time.

Before the 1960s, there was a belief that racial discrimination was a normal phenomenon in all fields of public life. Of course, it was connected with American history when European immigrants brought Africans in American continent to work in their fields and farms as slaves. Therefore, slavery existed in America until 1863. Since then, Americans considered African Americans as an inferior race until the 1960s, when a human rights movement cancelled the racial discrimination. As a result, African Americans possessed equal rights with white Americans, but racial disparities remained in some spheres of public life, causing the problem of racial discrimination. Of course, American society did not want to recognize that discrimination was the major cause of racial inequalities. According to the abovementioned, Reskin concluded that racial discrimination would exist when racial disparities exist in every subsystem and some of them would have emerged from racial discrimination. Moreover, the abovementioned disparities would be connected with disparities in other subsystems. Thus, racial disparities created the system of racial discrimination, which could be eliminated by improving conditions for emerging racial disparities.

According to it, Reskin draws attention to racial segregation in residential and school spheres, education, labor market, housing and mortgage markets, credit and consumption markets, health services, discipline, incarceration, and the criminal justice system. In each subsystem, white Americans advantage African Americans, and the racial disparities connected across subsystems create racial discrimination. At the same time, the direct discrimination reinforces disparities in subsystems causing emergent discrimination, influencing cultural and social scopes of life of the American people. It distorts perceptions and feelings.

There were three systems to discriminate African Americans in the United States. First of all, it was slavery. Then Jim Crow racism and racial segregation appeared in America. Nowadays, Jim Crow racism and racial segregation are the major reasons for racial discrimination in the United States. Racial discrimination is based on racial disadvantages of African Americans. Furthermore, the system of the racial discrimination is self-perpetuating.

Disparity and discrimination impact on the society play an important role in Criminal Justice. Disparity is an inequality between at least two persons or groups of persons. The word ”disparity” means difference, that is, the lack of similarity. From the point of view of Criminal Justice, disparity denotes the nature of a crime, a criminal history, sex, ethnicity or race of the offender, or his/her social position. Such factors as social class, sex, and race are not directly connected with criminal behavior. Thus, disparity denotes how one person differs from the others.

In the Criminal Justice, disparity can denote how a community is populated, what races constitute the majority and minority, what ethnic groups or which majority or minority group interacts with the Criminal Justice System. For example, disparity is seen when racial population of the entire state of Texas is compared with that of Houston (Texas). Percentage of the white population of the entire state of Texas may be compared with the percentage of the white population of Louisiana. Of course, they differ. For instance, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2009), 70.4% whites live in Texas and 60.3% in Louisiana. It is an example of disparity. The disparity is a major factor in the misconception that minority groups are dominating criminal offenders.

Discrimination denotes the wrong attitude to a person based on his/her race, religion, ethnicity, and other factors. Discrimination is based on the ground of prejudice. Discrimination is a historical phenomenon in America. It was seen in buses, schools, cinemas, and other public places. Discrimination is an indication that African Americans and white population had different standards in the American society. White men were superior in the society. It lasted until the mid-1950s, when racial segregation started to eliminate. At the same time, discrimination was not cancelled entirely. It created specific restrictions in the American society. For instance, American women were considered to be housewives. It was American lifestyle when women had to stay at home to cook, clean or take care of their children and husbands. Discrimination is an unfair and shameful treatment of persons or groups of persons because of the race, ethnicity, religion or sex.

Discrimination is detected in the Criminal Justice System via unfair attitude to persons dealing with its various departments. Discrimination is divided in four types: systematic, contextual, institutionalized, and individual. The systematic type of discrimination is the constant discrimination in the Justice System. The contextual discrimination emerges while crimes are committed. The institutionalized discrimination emerges according to the criminal history of offenders. The individual discrimination emerges according to the acts of offenders.

The example of discrimination is the case when both a white man with a high school diploma and an African American woman with a Bachelor�’s degree from a police academy apply for the same position, and the more qualified African American woman is ignored, while the white man is hired. It is employment, racial, and gender discrimination.

Disparity and discrimination are two main factors which impact on persons and their life in society and relations with the Criminal Justice System. Disparity and discrimination seem to be tied together, but actually they are different. Disparity denotes the lack of similarities between persons. Discrimination is the unfair attitude to a person or a group of persons because of racial, sexual, religious, or ethnic differences. Disparity and discrimination facilitate corruption in the Criminal Justice System. Therefore, it is necessary to reform policies or regulations of the Justice System in order to solve the abovementioned problems.

According to Peterson and Krivo, white Americans were in the privileged position as compared with African Americans and other racial and ethnic groups of American citizens. They explained inequality in rates of violence according to the theory of a racialized social structure. They note that various racial groups live in divergent social societies. Therefore, various racial groups commit different crimes according to various factors impacting on committing the crimes. Thus, according to the social disorganization theory, large immigrant populations committed more crimes because of various disadvantages and residential instability. At the same time, they show low rates of crimes in societies with more immigrants. Predominantly white, predominantly African Americans, predominantly Latino, and integrated are four groups which were studied by Peterson and Krivo. According to them, there were strong connections between ethnicity and residential location. Thus, white population has the low poverty. Only six percent has high poverty and one per cent is extremely impoverished. The quarter of African Americans has low levels of poverty, while over half of their population has high poverty. Twenty-two percent of Latinos have low poverty, and sixty-two percent and sixteen percent have high and extreme poverty. According to it, only two percent of white Americans, ten percent of African Americans, four point nine per cent of Latino and four point eight percent of integrated population committed crimes. Thus, African Americans committed crimes in five-fold more than the white ones. Crimes in African Americans’ neighborhoods are over four and a quarter times than in white neighborhoods. Crimes in Latino areas are two and a half times the rate in the white neighborhoods. White neighborhoods are relatively free from crimes. African Americans’ neighborhoods are most violent. Latino neighborhoods are between white Americans and African Americans.

According to the abovementioned, African Americans are the most violent community because of their bad residential conditions which are connected with the racial segregation. There are many other factors, which explain such states of affairs. Educational, social, and cultural discrimination is the main reason for increasing criminality in African Americans’ areas.

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