Microaggression and Mass Incarceration Research Paper

Pages: 12 (3450 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 49  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Law  ·  Written: December 14, 2018

The absence of CAR from this discussion promotes a punitive self-deception, eventually playing a role in sustaining an unfair system.

Within a discipline whose conflict-related language encompasses terminology such as “status”, “values”, “resources”, and “power” (Coser, 1956, 98) and “incompatible aspirations” and “interests” (Pruitt & Kim, 1986, 205), “common criminal” accounts are not related or applicable: small- scale crime accounts are just not in agreement with conventional emphases on conflict entities. In case of conflicts occurring in large systems, as has normally been covered by experts in the area, entities realize that a disagreement exists and their aims or interests prominently feature in their minds.

Sticking to the above logic, when an offense is perpetrated, it is restricted to a “conflict- free” atmosphere, thereby being assumed to be unrelated to CAR. This is possibly why CAR frequently tackles only those offenses that have a global scope, like war crimes, domestic terrorism, or a crime against humanity (e.g., in United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1820).

Greater attention must be paid to crime within America from a conflict analysis perspective. Clearly, targeted Black treatment in the event they are found engaged in allegedly suspicious activity or actually convicted for crimes is practically identical to similar targeted abuse of other minority or oppressed communities within instances of typical conflict.

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Despite the affirmed individual character of felonious conduct, the American legal system ensures economic and societal isolation of Black Americans, described by Michelle Alexander (2010) as a kind of “social control”. Such a legacy of societal control has reified as well as advanced historical differences and racial grievances, maintaining a dormant conflict which is typically not addressed by American public discussions. The narrative of the status quo is concealed by discussions of appropriate reactions to crime, politics and policy.

Research Paper on Microaggression and Mass Incarceration Assignment

In reaction to the deteriorating philosophical realpolitik hegemony, the long- drawn- out social conflict concept emerged, which captured current local and dormant societal conflict in a never- before- seen way (Ramsbotham et al., 2012, 74). Up until then, in analysis as well as theory, conceptual boundaries endured between internal and external social conflicts. Azar’s (1978) previous works on long-drawn-out social conflict dealt with a study of explicit violent civil wars and interstate conflicts.

At that point in time, experts in the field classified different analytical levels, typically discounting conflicts of a latent or non- violent nature (Ramsbotham et al., 2012, 456). Within a scholarly domain used to prioritizing violent global- scale conflict, Azar effected a change in focus, laying emphasis on the fuzzy lines between external and internal players and sources, evolving goals, players, and targets without an explicit start and end point, and multiple causative elements and dynamics (Ramsbotham et al., 2012, 123). This novel conceptual framework presented by the author stressed the fact that it is possible for conflicts to take place within state boundaries and beyond the scope of influence of global affairs (in other words, beyond conventional seats of authority) (Ramsbotham et al., 2012, 65). Moreover, he concentrated on the huge complexity of conflict as arbitrated by domestic status quo as well as by superpowers (Azar 1978), which is exactly where the problem of domestic crimes as conflict may be found.

With a certain amount of revision, Azar’s long-drawn-out social conflict idea is able to capture political and societal dynamics between race, crime, and the US government. The idea is believed to encapsulate what the author, in his 1990 work, called the overall disarticulation between society and the government – a phenomenon that is witnessed in the nation in the present time. The author’s study on long- drawn- out societal conflicts was done in the new postcolonial age, where the emerging landscapes did not represent contemporary US economic, political or social reality.

Azar’s human needs evaluation superbly complements scholarly works which attempt at destabilizing the American assumption of established legal equality. This privilege has been assumed by several individuals to be established in the course of the US civil rights age’s legal reforms – an age characterized by a move from extensive public approval of legal isolation and an aim to acknowledge the damage inflicted by institutionalized White dominance (Dilts, 2012, 191-194).

The aforementioned transition in the public’s view of “equality” served to displace segregation as the established and approved moral good within power groups. Ever since, political and legal circles have engaged in a continuous discussion on the question of what equality is and how to achieve it. Several decades of apparent successes in the area of public policy has led the US Supreme Court to lend itself a popular civil rights success public narrative, buttressed by a large number of avenues cultures utilize for writing public history (such as monuments, holidays, textbooks, and so forth).

CLS and CRT experts (Coates, 2015; Crenshaw, 1988; and Freeman, 1978) report that the above civil rights success narrative established taking into account actual, race- based social and economic gaps fails. The simple aim of effective re- entry in society following a stint in prison may be inconsistent with the undue restitution payment or the failure to land a job on account of their criminal history (Chermak et.al 2010, 1019-1041).

Prevalent public narratives on victimhood, offending and proper societal reactions frame current public policy development in such a way that reducing incarceration has become exceedingly challenging. Hardy’s narrative framework is not just applicable to individual instances; rather, it is relevant to mass imprisonment culture itself. The above narrative shift (from rehabilitationist to disciplinary) half- way through the previous century is demonstrative of how public perceptions influence policy development. Dodge and Ospina (2005) quoting Neisser and Schramm as follows: “‘[w]hat are public policies but stories narrating our relations...in politically selective ways?” They further claim that the public’s understanding of social issues is via story that is successively reflected within public policy formulation. According to Pettinico (1994), this shift in public narrative has been guided by the media and electoral cycles. The author explains that the widespread media coverage of criminal activities, particularly the most gruesome of cases, served to intensify public outrage and panic over the subject to an almost- frenzy.

In conjunction with the increased fear of violent activity that arose during the latter part of the twentieth century was a corollary obsession with the idea of victimization, which had major legal ramifications. The zest to reflect crime victims’ position was so powerful among legal circles that, in the year 1991, the US Supreme Court repealed its ruling in 1987 limiting VIS (Victim’s Impact Statement) presence during sentencing.

In the Booth v. Maryland (1987) case, the US Supreme Court held that VISs would probably disproportionately influence sentencing on the basis of the victim’s reputation and character, and impacts on the victim’s family, perceiving the victim to be a ‘sterling’ societal member and not one of dubious character. Thus, the case reinforced the tempting tendency, within trial, to insist that the victim was a “perfect” person and the accused was a downright scoundrel (Chermak et.al 2010, 1019-1041).

Following the establishment of guilt, the court’s aim was focusing on the accused parties, considering their individual contexts prior to sentencing them. The Booth v. Maryland case partly acknowledged that immense bias perhaps occurred if one took into account victims’ and their families’ emotionally-charged speeches (however, this decision also conceded that having a VIS may be equivalent to the victim’s “mini- trial”, disadvantaging those perceived by jury members in an unfavorable light). The Payne v. Tennessee case (1991) explicitly reconsidered the Booth v. Maryland verdict and a similar South Carolina v. Gathers ruling (Chermak et.al 2010, 1019-1041).

To sum up, the issue of crime justice reforms in an era of mass imprisonment is basically unites the following two key issues: the basic assumptions of judicial criminal/victim dichotomy and the dormant and long- drawn- out societal conflict that surrounds race relations following the Jim Crow and slavery age. Such deep- seated narratives which link race with violence, together with the increased oversimplification that crime in the nation is mostly of a violent nature, drives public unrest pertaining to personal safety. However, ironically, the feeling of comfort has been associated with high imprisonment rates. If natural innate feelings pertaining to criminality hold true, the US society has less cause for worrying about high imprisonment rates and police shootings. Indeed, high detention and imprisonment rates may authenticate the perceived necessity for such systems. A close scrutiny of such inherent feelings pertaining to criminality merit little faith, being the outcome of highly obsolete and rigid narratives.

In my opinion, policy- makers at all levels should critically consider the history and impetus underlying the most widespread crime narratives of the nation. Persistent offender/ victim dichotomization and the innate racial… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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