African Americans Are the Most Widely Disadvantaged Race in the United States

Topics: African American, Black people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 6 (1830 words) Published: January 2, 2013
Hailey Simpson
Government Paper

African Americans Are the Most Widely Disadvantaged Race in the United States

Did you know that there are twice the number of bathrooms as necessary in the Pentagon? The famous government building was constructed in the 1940s, when segregation laws required that separate bathrooms be installed for people of African descent. This building isn’t the only American icon that goes back to this embarrassing and hurtful time in our history. Across the United States there are many examples of leftover customs and misrepresentations that reflect the once widespread and violent racism in the United States. These disadvantages are still disenfranchising African Americans today.

Black men suffer a little more in a variety of ways, including being stereotyped as reckless and having little regard for their children. “They are also disadvantaged because changes in the economy have depleted the number of well-paying, manual labor jobs”, said Waldo E. Johnson Jr., Associate Professor at SSA, who is the editor of Social Work With African American Males: Health, Mental Health and Social Policy, recently published by Oxford University Press. “Contemporary characterizations and depictions suggest that African-American males harbor a lifelong disregard for their own personal development, and a lack of commitment to their loved ones and society in general,” an attitude that keeps them from being helped, he said. 2008 Racial Academic Achievement Gap Fact Sheet did a study showing at comparable educational levels, Black men earn only 67% of what White men make. And in Illinois there are roughly 24,000 black inmates, but only 11,000 black college students.#

Why is there such a big disadvantage among the black community? Over the next few pages I am going to show you why 39 million african americans in the United States do not get the same opportunities or advantages. From the racial disparity in judicial sentencing, disenfranchising state laws, the misrepresentation by the media, the lack of attention by local law enforcement and not given the same chance to succeed in the labor market there is a trail of examples of the inequality between black americans and every other race in the United States.

There is Racial Disparity in Judicial Sentencing

In earlier times, courtrooms were filled with all white decision makers. Even today where the chances of getting an all white jury is slim, the race of the defendant plays a role in many of the sentence outcomes. These range from traffic court to sentencing the death penalty based on a discriminating racial profile. Though racial dynamics have changed since the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, where whites and blacks were routinely handled differently by law enforcement, race still plays an undeniable role in the judicial process.

A review of recent studies looking to find racial disparities during capital (subject to death penalty) study done by National Institute of Justice delivered #mixed results, while majority of the studies showed racially discriminatory sentencing outcomes , the evidence was not uniform or extensive enough to be proven. The same study also looked at non-capital cases and found extremely uniform and incisive findings. The study found that young, black males (especially if unemployed) are sentenced with particularly harsh punishment compared to other offender populations. They also found that black defendants convicted of harming white victims suffer harsher penalties than blacks who commit crimes against other blacks or white defendants who harm whites.

There is also much more evidence of direct discrimination at the federal level than at the state level. Multiple studies have shown on the state level showed that almost half (43.2%) of all sentences were harsher on blacks while only a quarter of the sentencing (27.6%) showed discrimination for latinos.( At the federal level over two-thirds (68.7%) once again...
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