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Criminology

Crime In Minority Groups

Minority members of society are often marginalized more than what people would like to agree on, more so in the black or African American community. Although a lot of efforts have been put in place over the years to reduce marginalization, the efforts have not been able to eradicate the vice. There is a school of thought that believes the black community is responsible for the marginalization because of how they conduct themselves. On the other hand, another school thinks the black community behaves as it does because of the marginalization. In the end, both schools of thought agree that minority groups and, in this case, the black community still face discrimination in the 21st century (Barragan et al., 2016).

The degree of discrimination is highlighted by the increasing rates of unemployment among blacks. Hughey (2015) states that the rate of unemployment among blacks is at 10.4% as compared to 4.7% for whites. Contrary to what has popularly thought that the rate was due to lack of education, the proponents argue otherwise in that out of unemployed African Americans, 23.7% had attended a college, of whom 15.4% had a degree, and 4.5% had acquired advanced degrees. With higher rates of unemployment, the black community is more vulnerable to engaging in crime than other parts of the population (Barragan Melissa et al.,2016).

Over time, much research has linked the black community to the increased rate of crime. Due to this, the members of the community sometimes are penalized without cause just because one is black (Hughey,2015). Although organisations fighting for the rights of blacks have put up several efforts to try and minimize the generalization of the African Community in such a bad light, the community still faces negative generalization, especially in the presence of common “illegal acts” (Barragan et al.,2016). Carrying unlicensed guns has become a thorn in the African American people; however, the acts continue despite the problems they bring. Many African Americans argue that it is necessary for them to walk around with guns to defend themselves against surprise attacks on their side by an unknown person. This argument was further strengthened by the killing of Trayvon Martin, which was covered intensely by the media. The young man was an unarmed teenager but was murdered by a stranger just because he looked suspicious. With the increase of such events, most people in the black community find it mandatory to purchase and be in possession of unregistered arms for personal protection. Although the act has been condemned, it still grows on the ground. The illegal possession has led to the arrest of many young men, among whom there were those who never used the arms but only felt safe with a gun around (Hughey, 2015).

The case of Thomas Pinner is among the individuals who were arrested not because they had used it but instead were found in possession of illegal arms. His tragedy began when a scarred taxi driver called the police to report a suspicious young black man and woman who had dropped a gun as they were on their way out of the taxi. The taxi driver continued to say that he was scared because he thought they were going to rob him. When it didn’t happen, he didn’t know what to do and decided to call the police. The police then traced Thomas Pinner’s current location, with the help of the taxi driver, and found him at a studio movie grill. They immediately asked him if he was carrying a gun, and he said no. They immediately began to search him and saw the arm tucked neatly under his belt. Thomas Pinnar was arrested for being found with an unlicensed gun and, even worse because he was under a felony.

After the case of Thomas Pinner became popular, many argued that the police had no right to question someone who was causing no disturbance to anyone and, more so, to conduct a search and eventually arrest without a warrant of arrest. Unfortunately, this is the fate of many African American individuals since some are not detained because of posing harm to members of society but because of illegal possession of arms, which was for personal protection.

According to Barragan et al. (2016), there has been an increase in the rate of violent crime in most American cities, and the growth is associated with the increasing involvement of African Americans in violent crime. Similarly, in New York, the rise of violent crime is mostly associated with black men. Black men are estimated to comprise 1/5 of the population; police data reveals that ¾ of the violent crime is related to black men. The increased number of black men with unlicensed guns has been associated by many with the involvement in crime by black men. However, the correlation is yet to be proven scientifically. In the end, illegal possession of arms has placed the black man in a disadvantaged place because he is readily given the term a criminal.

The marginalization of the African American community is due to the increased cases of unregistered guns and worrying research. The research portrays how vulnerable the community is to violent crime. Therefore, an individual who dresses in hoods or clothes that hide individuals’ faces, has their hands pocketed or hidden and is seen to be loitering around can be easily misunderstood as a criminal, especially if it’s in a high-end criminal area or a place dominated by whites.

Works Cited

Barragan, Melissa, et al. “Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t” Perceptions of Guns, Safety, and Legitimacy Among Detained Gun Offenders.” Criminal justice and behavior 43.1 (2016): 140-155.

Hughey, Matthew W. “The five I’s of Five-O: Racial ideologies, institutions, interests, identities, and interactions of police violence.” Critical Sociology 41.6 (2015): 857-871.

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