Racism may include prejudice, discrimination, belief in the superiority of one race over another, antagonism directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity, and the belief that members of different races or ethnicities should be treated differently.
- Even after decades of affirmative action, black and Hispanic students are more underrepresented at the nation’s top colleges and universities than they were 35 years ago, according to a New York Times analysis.
- Jeremy Ashkenas, Haeyoun Park and Adam Pearce,“Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago”, New York Times, (Aug. 24, 2017).
- Being a racist monster isn’t a mental illness – in fact, you can be one and be a very stable genius.
- Samantha Bee; Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, (August 7, 2019); as qtd. in Adrian Horton, “Samantha Bee: 'Being a racist monster isn't a mental illness'", The Guardian, (8 Aug 2019).
- Racism is not something that is designated as an illness that can be treated by mental health professionals.
- Sexual racism is a specific form of racial prejudice enacted in the context of sex or romance. Online, people use sex and dating profiles to describe racialized Sexual attraction through language such as “Not attracted to Asians.” Among gay and bisexual men, sexual racism is a highly contentious issue. Although some characterize discrimination among partners on the basis of race as a form of racism, others present it as a matter of preference. In May 2011, 2177 gay and bisexual men in Australia participated in an online survey that assessed how acceptably they viewed online sexual racism. Although the men sampled displayed diverse attitudes, many were remarkably tolerant of sexual racism. We conducted two multiple linear regression analyses to compare factors related to men’s attitudes toward sexual racism online and their racist attitudes more broadly. Almost every identified factor associated with men’s racist attitudes was also related to their attitudes toward sexual racism. The only differences were between men who identified as Asian or Indian. Sexual racism, therefore, is closely associated with generic racist attitudes, which challenges the idea of racial attraction as solely a matter of personal preference.
- Callander, D., Newman, C. E., & Holt, M. (2015). “Is sexual racism really racism? Distinguishing attitudes toward sexual racism and generic racism among gay and bisexual men.”, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44(7), 1991-2000.
- In the first place, an unjust law exists in this Commonwealth, by which marriages between persons of different color is pronounced illegal. I am perfectly aware of the gross ridicule to which I may subject myself by alluding to this particular; but I have lived too long, and observed too much, to be disturbed by the world's mockery... In the first place, the government ought not to be invested with power to control the affections, any more than the consciences of citizens. A man has at least as good a right to choose his wife, as he has to choose his religion. His taste may not suit his neighbors; but so long as his deportment is correct, they have no right to interfere with his concerns... I do not know how the affair at Canterbury is generally considered; but I have heard individuals of all parties and all opinions speak of it—and never without merriment or indignation. Fifty years hence, the black laws of Connecticut will be a greater source of amusement to the antiquarian, than her famous blue laws.
- Racism tends to attract attention when it's flagrant and filled with invective. But like all bigotry, the most potent component of racism is frame-flipping - positioning the bigot as the actual victim. So the gay do not simply want to marry; they want to convert our children into sin. The Jews do not merely want to be left in peace; they actually are plotting world take-over. And the blacks are not actually victims of American power, but beneficiaries of the war against hard-working whites. This is a respectable, more sensible, bigotry, one that does not seek to name-call, preferring instead change the subject and straw man. Thus segregation wasn't necessary to keep the niggers in line; it was necessary to protect the honor of white women.
- The colonization of the Southern economy by capitalists from the North gave lynching its most vigorous impulse. If Black people, by means of terror and violence, could remain the most brutally exploited group within the swelling ranks of the working class, the capitalists could enjoy a double advantage. Extra profits would result from the superexploitation of Black labor, and white workers’ hostilities toward their employers would be defused. White workers who assented to lynching necessarily assumed a posture of racial solidarity with the white men who were really their oppressors. This was a critical moment in the popularization of racist ideology.
- Angela Davis, Women, Race and Class (1983)
- That there have been in all ages and in all countries, in every quarter of the habitable globe, especially among those nations laying the greatest claim to civilization and enlightenment, classes of people who have been deprived of equal privileges, political, religious and social, cannot be denied, and that this deprivation on the part of the ruling classes is cruel and unjust, is also equally true. Such classes have even been looked upon as inferior to their oppressors, and have ever been mainly the domestics and menials of society, doing the low offices and drudgery of those among whom they lived, moving about and existing by mere sufferance, having no rights nor privileges but those conceded by the common consent of their political superiors. These are historical facts that cannot be controverted.
- Martin Delany, The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States (1852), Chapter 1
- Wherever there is arbitrary rule, there must be necessity, on the part of the dominant classes, superiority be assumed. To assume superiority, is to deny the equality of others.
- Martin Delany, The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States (1852), Chapter 1
- You speak of racism, for example, and I tell you that there's no such thing as race. The point is that racism is the product of tribalism and ignorance and both are falling victim to communications and world-around literacy.
- According to the Women in The Workplace 2018 survey, women of color are not only significantly underrepresented, they are far less likely than others to be promoted to manager, more likely to face everyday discrimination and less likely to receive support from their managers.
The researchers surveyed 279 companies employing more than 13 million people and talked to 64,000 employees on their workplace experiences. More than 90 percent of the companies polled said prioritizing gender and racial diversity leads to better business results. Yet only 42 percent of employees surveyed said they see gender diversity as a company priority and only 22 percent see racial diversity as a company priority.
- Leslie Hunter-Gadsden “Report: Black women less likely to be promoted, supported by their managers”, PBS News Hour, (Nov 12, 2018).
- In the study, black, Hispanic, Asian and white home seekers called up housing agents and asked to set up an appointment to see advertised properties. These testers were all the same gender, the same age and all equally well-qualified to rent or own the properties. At this step, nearly every tester managed to get an appointment.
But after that, not everyone was treated the same. The testers met with their agents, who told them about and then showed them properties. As it turns out, the number of properties some agents have available depends on who you are.
In nearly all cases, whether renting or buying, minorities were told about and shown fewer properties than white people. Blacks were told about and shown about 17 percent fewer homes than whites, while Asians were told about 15.5 percent fewer homes and shown nearly 19 percent fewer properties.
- Ilyce Glink, “Racism is alive and well in housing”, Money Watch' CBS News, June 12, 2013).
- And if we are to open employment opportunities in this country for members of all races and creeds, then the Federal Government must set an example…. The President himself must set the key example. I am not going to promise a Cabinet post or any other post to any race or ethnic group. That is racism in reverse at its worst. So I do not promise to consider race or religion in my appointments if I am successful. I promise only that I will not consider them.
- John F. Kennedy, campaign speech, Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio (October 17, 1960); Freedom of Communications, final report of the Committee on Commerce, United States Senate, part 1 (1961), p. 635. Senate Rept. 87–994.
- When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered. We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force.
- No ally is better than one’s own race.
- Kim Young-sam, as quoted in "What the West gets wrong about North Korea’s motives, and why some South Koreans admire the North" (8 September 2017), The Conversation
- Racial discrimination in the United States is a product of the colonialist and imperialist system. The contradiction between the Black masses in the United States and the U.S. ruling circles is a class contradiction. Only by overthrowing the reactionary rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and destroying the colonialist and imperialist system can the Black people in the United States win complete emancipation. The Black masses and the masses of white working people in the United States have common interests and common objectives to struggle for. Therefore, the Afro-American struggle is winning sympathy and support from increasing numbers of white working people and progressives in the United States. The struggle of the Black people in the United States is bound to merge with the American workers’ movement, and this will eventually end the criminal rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class.
- It would be a great mistake to look upon racism as an irrational doctrine: racism is not a doctrine of irrationalism, it is the very surging up of irrationalism as an elemental force, getting rid of all doctrine, truth and rational structure.
- Jacques Maritain (1939), The Twilight of Civilization (La crépuscule de la civilisation), translated by Lionel Landry. London: Sheed & Ward, 1946, p. 21.
- All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
- The inequity of minority imprisonment is not only one of greater numbers, it is also one of greater duration of confinement once imprisoned. It has become increasingly evident that, proportionally, minority group members convicted of crimes are at greater risk of being: (a) sentenced to a term of imprisonment, (b) sentenced to a longer term of imprisonment, and (c) forced to serve a longer portion of any given term of imprisonment.
- National Minority Advisory Council, "The Inequality of Justice: A Report on Crime and the Administration of Justice in the Minority Community", Office of Justice Assistance, Research and Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., September 1980, p. 243), as qtd. in Joan Petersilia, "Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System", National Institute of Corrections, Department of Justice, (June 1983), p. 63.
- The emotions between the races could never be pure; even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart.
- Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father (1995)
- The colonists are by the law of nature free born, as indeed all men are, white or black... Does it follow that tis right to enslave a man because he is black? Will short curl'd hair like wool, of christian hair, as tis called by those, hearts are as hard as the nether millstone, help the argument? Can any logical inference in favour of slavery, be drawn from a flat nose, a long or a short face.
- Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist. The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.
- We are led to believe that racism is prejudicial behavior of one party against another rather than the coagulation of socioeconomic injustice against groups. If the state acts without prejudice (this is, if it acts equally), then that is proof of the end of racism. Unequal socioeconomic conditions of today, based as they are on racisms of the past and of the present, are thereby rendered untouchable by the state. Color-blind justice privatizes inequality and racism, and it removes itself from the project of redistributive and anti-racist justice. This is the genteel racism of our new millennium.
- Vijay Prashad, Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity (2002), p. 38
- Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man's genetic lineage—the notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.
- Ayn Rand, "Racism", The Virtue of Selfishness (1964)
- Racism claims that the content of a man's mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man's convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical forces beyond his control. This is the caveman's version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.
- Hispanic American men have lower average wage rates than white non-Hispanics. In 1975 the average white non-Hispanic male wage-earner in the United States earned $5.97 an hour. Mexican men earned $4.31, 72% as much as white non-Hispanics;Puerto Rican men earned $4.52, 76% as much; and Cuban men earned $5.33, 89% as much as white non-Hispanics. By way of comparison, black men's average wages in 1975 were $4.65, 78% of the white male wage.
- Cordelia W. Reimers, “Labor Market Discrimination Against Hispanic and Black Men”, The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 65, No. 4 (Nov., 1983), p. 570.
- We are a nation of many nationalities, many races, many religions, bound together by a single unity, the unity of freedom and equality. Whoever seeks to set one nationality against another, seeks to degrade all nationalities. Whoever seeks to set one race against another seeks to enslave all races. Whoever seeks to set one religion against another, seeks to destroy all religion.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, campaign address, Brooklyn, New York (1 November 1940); The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940 (1941), p. 53
- I cannot consent to take the position that the door of hope — the door of opportunity — is to be shut upon any man, no matter how worthy, purely upon the grounds of race or color. Such an attitude would, according to my convictions, be fundamentally wrong.
- The real tragedy is that there are some ignorant brothers out here. That's why I'm not on this all-white or all-black shit. I'm on this all-real or all fake shit with people, whatever color you are. Because niggas will do you. I mean, there's some niggas out there; the same niggas that did Malcolm X, the same niggas that did Jesus Christ; every 'brother' ain't a brother. They will do you. So just because it's black, don't mean it's cool; and just because it's white don't mean it's evil.
- Tupac Shakur, from an interview, as quoted in Tupac: Resurrection (2003)
- The effects of sexism and racism on popular attitudes and behavior have long been recognized.More recently, another prevalent, bias, ageism, has become a topic off concern and inquiry (see, e.g., Butler, 1969; Harris and Associates, 1975). However, surprisingly little is known about the impacts of sexism, racism,and ageism on political behavior, and more specifically on voting decisions, These are issues of growing concern as women and members of racial minorities become increasingly active in electoral politics; the issue of age was also brought to the fore recently by the presidential candidacy of the 69-year-old Ronald Reagan. This paper uses an experimental approach to explore the extent to which and the manner in which the sex, race, and age of candidates for political office affect voters' decisions and the extent to which such influences are contingent on characteristics of the voters.
Most of what is known about the relationship between candidate characteristics and voter preferences is derived from opinion surveys in which respondents have been asked questions like "If your party nominated a woman for President, would you vote for her if she were qualified for the job?" These surveys reveal an increased willingness over the least 25 years to vote for a qualified black or woman for President, with indications that voting discrimination against blacks began to fade somewhat earlier than it did against women (Ferree, 1974; Schreiver, 1978).
- Lee Sigelman and Carol K. Sigelman, 'Sexism, Racism, and Ageism in Voting Behavior: An Experimental Analysis', Social Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 4 (Dec., 1982), p. 263.
- Several studies have shown a positive correlation between perceived experiences with discrimination and measures of psychological distress. Indeed, perceived discrimination predicted psychiatric symptoms related to depression and anxiety better than age, gender, education, social class, or general stressors. Other studies have shown a positive correlation between self-reported perceptions of discrimination and poor physical health outcomes including stroke, heart attack, diabetes, cancer, and lower birth weight babies. In addition, several studies have shown a positive correlation between perceptions of racial/ethnic discrimination and physiological outcomes, including resting BP, BP reactivity, and hypertensive status.29–36 Such correlational evidence, however, is not sufficient to conclude that perceived discrimination per se causes increases in BP.
- Jason Silverstein, “How Racism Is Bad for Our Bodies”, The Atlantic, (Mar 12, 2013).
- A terrorist act is the logical if extreme outcome of white supremacy and intolerance. Apparently, reasons this particular white supremacist gunman, 'if you can't own them, exploit them, or remove them, you kill them'.
- Brooks D. Simpson, "Charleston: White Supremacy, Black Lives, and Red Blood" (21 June 2015), Crossroads.
- We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.
- Texas Declaration of Secession (1861).
- Among these widely differing families of men, the first that attracts attention, the superior in intelligence, in power, and in enjoyment, is the white, or European, the MAN pre-eminently so called, below him appear the Negro and the Indian... The most formidable of all the ills that threaten the future of the Union arises from the presence of a black population upon its territory; and in contemplating the cause of the present embarrassments, or the future dangers of the United States, the observer is invariably led to this as a primary fact... You may set the Negro free, but you cannot make him otherwise than an alien to the European. Nor is this all we scarcely acknowledge the common features of humanity in this stranger whom slavery has brought among us. His physiognomy is to our eyes hideous, his understanding weak, his tastes low; and we are almost inclined to look upon him as a being intermediate between man and the brutes.
- As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause.
- I have black guys counting my money! I hate it. ... The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. ... Laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that.
- Donald Trump, "Recalled" by John "Jack" O'Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in "Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump -His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall", (1991-01-01), John R. O'Donnell, James Rutherford, Simon & Schuster, New York, cited in "Ignoring Trump's Record of Racism", Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (2011-05-06).
- A person's birthplace or bloodline or bone structure or sex does not dictate his capacity to exercise reason in the service of making fair and informed judgments.
- Ian Tuttle, "Trump's Outrageous Attack on Judge Curiel" (6 June 2016), The National Review Online
- Nearly all black and brown skins are beautiful, but a beautiful white skin is rare.
- Mark Twain, Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World (1899).
- According to a CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll on race in America, 69% of blacks and 57% of Hispanics say past and present discrimination is a major reason for the problems facing people of their racial or ethnic group. And 26% of blacks and 15% of Hispanics said they felt that they had been treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity at their place of work in the past 30 days.
But proving discrimination is another thing. In 2014 alone, the EEOC received 31,073 charges alleging race-based discrimination, but dismissed 71.4% of them due to a lack of reasonable cause.
While workplace discrimination can be as overt as moving an employee off of a key assignment, or failing to promote them even though they are qualified, it can also be very subtle and very difficult to prove, experts say.
- Tanzina Vega, “Working while brown: What discrimination looks like now”, CNN Money, (November 25, 2015).
- According to Williams' study, 41% of Asian women said they felt pressure to behave in "feminine ways," while just 8% of black women said they did. In addition, 36% of white women and 28% of Latinas reported pressure to behave in "traditionally feminine roles." When a Latina is assertive or "behaves in ways that don't conform with expectations of femininity, she triggers a racial stereotype," that she is "hot-blooded," irrational," "crazy" or "too emotional," Williams said. In fact, 60% of Latinas surveyed said they experienced backlash when they expressed anger or weren't deferential.
- Tanzina Vega, “Working while brown: What discrimination looks like now”, CNN Money, (November 25, 2015).
- When one thinks of American blackness, there is the unsaid ugly truth that nearly all American blacks who have descended from the historical African diaspora in America have one (or several) rapacious white slave owners in their family tree at some point.
Here, in the early days of the United States, was the invention of racism for economic necessity. From 1619 until 1865, white male Americans chose to breed a black enslaved workforce through the state-sanctioned rape of black women to build the new nation and support their white supremacist class. Race became the single unifying identifier — determining everything about one's life starting with this most basic division: enslaved or free.
The American law was that the "condition of the child followed that of the mother," backed up by the "one drop rule," the legal framework that dictated even one drop of blackness made an individual black, never white. The idea of blackness as a pollutant, a taint that would erode the purity of whiteness, was seized by politicians around the world then — and now.
Because of this legacy of sexual violence and anti-blackness, black and white mixed individuals have long been considered black in America.
To a much larger degree than many people would like to admit, race still determines a vast part of one's life — social networks and mobility, birth and other medical care, employment opportunities and so on. Indeed, there is an entire genre of literature and film, popularized in the late 1800s and early 1900s, composed of blacks "passing" for white to avoid this racism. Some of the most famous examples are Nella Larsen's 1929 novel, Passing; James Weldon Johnson's 1912 opus, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; and the 1959 film The Imitation of Life.
- Hope Wabuke, “When I Was White' Centers On The Formation Of Race, Identity And Self”, (August 8, 2019); reviewing "When I Was White: A Memoir", by Sarah Valentine
- There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race. There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.
- Ethnic cleansing was orthodox socialism for a century or more... So the socialist intelligentsia of the western world entered the first world war publicly committed to racial purity and white domination, and no less committed to violence.
- George G. Watson "The Lost Literature of Socialism" (1998), UK: Lutterworth Press, Cambridge, pp. 78-79
- The authority of science … promotes and encourages the activity of observing, comparing, measuring and ordering the physical characteristics of human bodies.… Cartesian epistemology and classical ideals produced forms of rationality, scientificity and objectivity that, though efficacious in the quest for truth and knowledge, prohibited the intelligibility and legitimacy of black equality…. In fact, to "think" such an idea was to be deemed irrational, barbaric or mad.
- Cornel West (2002), Prophesy Deliverance!.
- For decades, black parents have told their children that in order to succeed despite racial discrimination, they need to be “twice as good”: twice as smart, twice as dependable, twice as talented. This advice can be found in everything from literature to television shows, to day-to-day conversation. Now, a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that when it comes to getting and keeping jobs, that notion might be more than just a platitude.
There’s data that demonstrates the unfortunate reality: Black workers receive extra scrutiny from bosses, which can lead to worse performance reviews, lower wages, and even job loss. The NBER paper, authored by Costas Cavounidis and Kevin Lang, of Boston University, attempts to demonstrate how discrimination factors into company decisions, and creates a feedback loop, resulting in racial gaps in the labor force.
- Gillian B. White, “Black Workers Really Do Need to Be Twice as Good”, The Atlantic, (Oct 7, 2015).
- Racism should be viewed as an intervening variable. You give me a set of conditions and I can produce racism in any society. You give me a different set of conditions and I can reduce racism. You give me a situation where there are a sufficient number of social resources so people don't have to compete for those resources, and I will show you a society where racism is held in check. If we could create the conditions that make racism difficult, or discourage it, then there would be less stress and less need for affirmative action programs. One of those conditions would be an economic policy that would create tight labor markets over long periods of time. Now does that mean that affirmative action is here only temporarily? I think the ultimate goal should be to remove it.
- In the past, yes, I have made sweeping indictments of all white people. I will never be guilty of that again — as I know now that some white people are truly sincere, that some truly are capable of being brotherly toward a black man. The true Islam has shown me that a blanket indictment of all white people is as wrong as when whites make blanket indictments against blacks.
Joan Petersilia, "Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System", National Institute of Corrections, Department of Justice, (June 1983)Edit
- Earlier studies have shown that arrests depend heavily on witnesses' or victims' identifying or carefully describing the suspect (Greenwood, Petersilia, Chaiken, 1978). Prosecutors may have a more difficult time making cases against minorities "beyond a reasonable doubt" because of problems with victim and witness identifications. Frequently, witnesses or victims who were supportive at the arrest stage become less cooperative as the' case proceeds. Defenders of the system argue that the statistics do not lie, and that the system does not discriminate but simply reacts to the prevalence of crime in the black community.
- Joan Petersilia, "Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System", National Institute of Corrections, Department of Justice, (June 1983), p. xxiii
- When the' crime is murder, forcible rape, robbery, or aggravated assault, a judge has less latitude in deciding about probation, sentence length, or whether the sentence will be served in jail or prison-no matter what color a man is. As we move down the line to lesser crimes, disparity emerges. The most striking example is larceny; Blacks make up only 30 percent of the arrest population, but 51 percent of the prison population. Why the disparity for these crimes? One explanation may be that judges can exercise more discretion in dealing with offenders convicted of these crimes.
- Joan Petersilia, "Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System", National Institute of Corrections, Department of Justice, (June 1983), p. 2
- There were few' clear trends, but statistically significant racial differences. Hispanics strongly preferred knives and were more likely to report doing grievous harm to their victims. It seems possible that this behavior could legitimately lead to harsher sentences and longer time served. Blacks were much less likely than Hispanics to use a knife, and less likely than whites to use a gun. Indeed, when the study combined all crime types and looked at the overall percent of racial groups armed during a crime, there was only one statistically significant difference: Blacks were less likely to be armed in a burglary. Nevertheless, blacks make up a larger percent of the prison than of the arrest population for burglary.
- Joan Petersilia, "Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System", National Institute of Corrections, Department of Justice, (June 1983), p. 88.
- For critics of the criminal justice system, the arrest and imprisonment rates for blacks and other minorities suggest that the system discriminates against those groups. They argue, for example, that blacks, who make up 12 percent of the national population, could not possibly commit 48 percent of the crime: Yet that is exactly what arrest and imprisonment rates imply about black criminality. Defenders of the system argue that the arrest and imprisonment rates do not lie; the system simply reacts to the prevalence of crime in the black community. As we have noted repeatedly, prior research has not. settled this controversy. For every study that finds discrimination in arrests, convictions, sentencing, prison treatment, or parole, another denies it.
- Joan Petersilia, "Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System", National Institute of Corrections, Department of Justice, (June 1983), p. 89.
- Research on sentence patterns lends support to the contention that the system "values" whites more than it does minorities. For example, Zimring, Eigen, and O'Malley (1976) found that black defendants who killed whites received life imprisonment or the death sentence more than twice as often as blacks who killed blacks. Other research has found this relationship for other crimes as well: Defendants receive harsher sentences if the victim is white and lesser sentences if he or she is black. If harsher sentences do indicate that minority status equals lower status in the criminal justice system, that equation may also help explain why minorities serve longer terms, all other things held equal, than white prisoners.
- Joan Petersilia, "Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System", National Institute of Corrections, Department of Justice, (June 1983), p. 95-96.
- A minority male is almost four times more likely than a white male to have an index arrest in his lifetime: One in every two nonwhite males in large U.S. cities can expect to have at least one index arrest. However, the RIS data indicate that, once involved in crime, whites and minorities in the sample have virtually the same annual crime commission rates. This accords with Blumstein and Graddy's (1981) finding that the recidivism rate for index offenses is approximately .85 for both whites and nonwhites. Thus, the data suggest that large racial differences in aggregate arrest rates must be attributed primarily to differences in involvement, and not to different patterns among those who do participate. Under these circumstances, any empirically derived indicators of recidivism should target a roughly equal number of whites and minorities. In other words, even if recidivism among whites had different causes or correlates than recidivism among non-whites, they should at least balance one another. They should not consistently identify nonwhites as more appropriate candidates for more severe treatment.
- Joan Petersilia, "Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System", National Institute of Corrections, Department of Justice, (June 1983), p. 98.