December 3, 2012
Essay # 5
Stereotyping happens all the time, more than people seem to believe it does. Appearance, location, and race all deal with how people as well as police authority characterize individuals without truly knowing how that person is. Race is one of the biggest factors when it comes to criminalization because of what people see on the media and from what they are told. It usually is the younger generation that are viewed as criminals not only because of where they live and who they associate themselves with, or with what is seen on the media but also because some young people come from a family history of criminals. The issue here is that not all young people are criminals; but when living in an area that is known for high crime rates, and viewed solemnly on their skin color to determine whether they are criminals, it's not easy for them to live each day fearing for their life and being harassed by the police. Even though people can at times determine if someone is affiliated with a gang, or if they are "not good news" meaning they appear to be someone involved in crimes, the media plans a major part in these determination of people. According to Victor M. Rios in Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys he states, "Often, it is the media and politicians who become central players in determining who or what becomes the moral panic of the time" (7). They inscribe into people's minds that the usual ideal appearance of a criminal is a certain race, age, also determined by where they live, and how they dress. Usually the targeted races are Blacks and Latinos with few Whites or other races, (18). The issue with race and crime is that two people from different racial backgrounds can commit the same type of crime but one race will be punished harsher. Rios states, " Latinos have a higher chance of being arrested, incarcerated, and convicted then whites do for similar offenses, but they do not face the same...
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