Introduction In the post-modern and multicultural worlds of criminology and criminal justice characterized by post-structuralism, post-Marxism, post-affirmative action, and post-feminism, the variables of class, race, and gender remain fundamental to both theory and practice. In the process of trying to sort out these differences, virtually every theoretical framework has addressed class and race overtly, and gender at least covertly. Up until recently, the problem with this line of inquiry was not only that there had been very little, if any, agreement on the effects of these three critical variables, but worse yet, folks were still debating whether or not these variables matter. By the turn of the 21st century, however, a growing number of criminologists from several orientations, including but not limited to critical, feminist, Marxist, positivist, and integrative, had come to appreciate, in different yet related ways, that class, race, and gender matter.
If this was happening to white Americans, there would be Congressional hearings and massive reform efforts underway. Instead we have media reports focusing attention on these incidents but little in the way of real reform.
People are paying attention now because of all the media focus but if you talk to folks from any number of cities they will tell you their police systems are broken. When you are an African-American, it is a potentially deadly encounter.
African-American men should not fear being murdered every time they are pulled over for a traffic stop. Last weekend in South Carolina, a broken tail light met with the death penalty. In early America, the upper class feared poor people would steal property or rise up in rebellion.
The rich aggressively expanded the law enforcement powers of local governments, installing systems of intimidation that exist to this day. Poor people are constantly treated like second-class citizens.
I work with multiple civil rights organizations and the evidence of excessive force in Portland and elsewhere is staggering. The City of Roses has a richly deserved reputation for the use of excessive force.
Though respected by local civil rights activists, the suddenness of his departure suggests DeMuniz abandoned the commission because he saw no clear path to improving minority relationships with Portland Police.
I know they have good intentions. I helped them choose some of the folks on that panel. The minority community in Portland has felt disenfranchised for some time and that is not going to change overnight. He is directly responsible for negotiating the contract with the police unions and has the authority to insist that police officers who harass and intimidate people of color are held accountable.
Instead he is fearful of losing police endorsements that might hurt his prospects for re-election.
Hales is directly responsible for the collective bargaining process with the rank-and-file. The current police union contract runs through and there is little we can do to change the accountability process for several years.
These incidents occur several times a day across the country.
We are never going to solve this problem by dealing with one bad apple. We are talking about a systemic issue. I have been looking at this issue almost from the day I arrived in Portland. There has always been a mixed message, a split between community policing versus officers who serve as an occupying force.
The former newscaster is leading the way in addressing this issue with substantive policy initiatives.
Other legislation deals with complaint procedures, body cameras, the rights of bystanders to take photos of police officers, excessive use of force, expungement of marijuana offenses and regular psychological evaluations for police officers.
Some of this legislation is getting combined. I do not yet know what is going to get through the committee. Some of these bills have been introduced four times. This is a complicated process and even if some of my legislation gets through, there is no magic wand that is going to change things anytime soon.But of the poor people of determinable race pictured in newsmagazines between and , were African-American.
In reality, two out of three poor Americans are nonblack, but the reader of these magazines would likely come to exactly the opposite conclusion. Media struggles to develop strategies for covering hate incidents.
an associate professor of African-American Studies and Journalism at . U.S. media outlets practice a different policy when covering crimes involving African Americans or Muslims. Class, Race, and Gender in Criminology and Criminal Justice: Ways of Seeing Difference Gregg Barak, Eastern Michigan University.
The following is a Symposium Speech delivered at the Second Annual Conference on RACE, GENDER and CLASS Project in New Orleans on October 20, The focus on terrorism and Islamist extremism often leads Americans, our politics, and U.S.
media to ignore the fact that what we call "terrorism" and Islamic extremism is only one part of the pattern of American extremism and violence. Galvanized by a series of brutal and unjustified police killings that have sparked tensions between the police department and the African American community, 19 civil rights, religious, professional and civic organizations form the Indianapolis Law Enforcement/Community Relations Coalition.