Urban Poverty and Affluence
1)What role does race play in determining criminal behavior? Why?
It is race stereotyping that assigns and ethnic group an homogeneous character, allowing simplistic comparisons of different crime, when actually all ethnic groups actually are very heterogeneous. That kind of simplistic profiling has a direct impact in determining a criminal behavior of a certain race.
2)Describe the prison boom of the last twenty years. How does Christian Parenti explain the dramatic expansion of the criminal justice system?
According to Parenti in his Book "Lock down America", President Johnson laid the initial groundwork for the tremendous combination of police power, surveillance and incarceration that today so dominates domestic politics, but the rhetoric that would fuel the long criminal justice boom was first crafted by Sunbelt Republicans. Senator Goldwater first dredged up crime as a presidential campaign issue in 1964, the vast majority of criminal justice policy was local and not the business of the American presidents. Goldwater's rhetoric changed all that: "Security from domestic violence", he promised that "enforcing law and order" would be central to his presidency. The similar rhetoric had Nixon: "the deterioration (of respect and order) can be traced directly to the spread of the corrosive doctrine that every citizen possesses and inherent right to decide for himself which laws to obey and when to disobey them". Goldwater linked the redistributive efforts of the war on poverty to criminal violence. At the heart of this new type of politics was a very old political trope, white racism and the the self-fueling fear bred by it. Crime meant urban, urban meant Black, and the war on crime meant a bulwark against the increasingly political and vocal racial "other" by the predominately white state.
3,4) How do we account for the disproportionate involvement of people of color in...