Criminal Multiculturalism Explain the controversy surrounding familial DNA testing. The Census Bureau is leaning toward adopting a combined question about

Explain the controversy surrounding familial DNA testing.  The Census Bureau is leaning toward adopting a combined question about race and ethnicity. Compare positive and negative considerations of this potential change.  Most scholars see the terms race and ethnicity as culturally relevant rather than biologically relevant. Compare positive and negative considerations of this position.

Overview of Race and Crime

Chapter 1

Overview of Race and Crime

Today, social scientists refer to race as a “social construct”

Consider the following definitions for the term “race”:

Race . . . refers to a group of persons characterized by common physical and/or biological traits that are transmitted in descent (Flowers,1988)

The concept of race . . . reflects self-identification by people according to the race or races with which they most closely identify (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000)

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When speaking of race, it is important to review the history of the concept and associated definitions

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The Invention of Race

Gabbidon, Race and Crime, 5e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019.

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History of Race Definitions

The idea of race originated 5,000 years ago in India

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752–1840) developed the first taxonomy of race, separating the inhabitants of the earth into five races:

Ethiopian (African or Negroid)

Mongolian (Asian)

American (Native American)

Malaysian (Pacific Islander)

Gabbidon, Race and Crime, 5e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019.

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Race, DNA, Criminal Justice Databases, and Civil Rights Concerns

Criminal justice investigations involving the use of DNA evidence have challenged the notion that there are no distinguishable biological differences between races

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has major concerns with using DNA to identify race of suspect through a Forensic DNA database:

Invasion of medical privacy

FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) 9 million DNA profiles

Invasion of bodily integrity

Racial disparate impact

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Contemporary criminal investigators have relied on DNA to identify the race of a perpetrator

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Race, DNA, Criminal Justice Databases, and Civil Rights Concerns

Currently, in the United States, the FBI’s CODIS-NDIS database maintains nearly 13 million profiles (FBI, 2017)

As of 2017, the CODIS-NDIS system has produced over 385,590 hits, assisting in more than 370,592 investigations

The challenge ahead is how to balance privacy concerns with public safety concerns

Gabbidon, Race and Crime, 5e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019.

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Race, Ethnicity, and the U.S. Population in 2015

The term ethnicity comes from the Greek word ethnos, which means “nation”

Generally, ethnic groups are defined by their similar genetic inheritances or some identifiable traits visible among most members of a particular group

Ethnic groups are also generally held together by a common language, culture, group spirit (nationalism or group solidarity), or geography

Scholars generally see the terms race and ethnicity as culturally relevant rather than biologically relevant

Gabbidon, Race and Crime, 5e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019.

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Race, Ethnicity, and the U.S. Population in 2015

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Figure 1.2 shows the form that was used to ask questions pertaining to race and ethnicity on the 2010 census. The form illustrates the separation of race and ethnicity. This practice dates to 1997, when the federal government mandated that race and Hispanic origin (ethnicity) are separate and distinct concepts and that when collecting these data via self-identification, two different questions must be used.

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U.S. Population Estimates by Race, 2015

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The most recent population estimates by race from the U.S. Census Bureau are presented in Table 1.1. Table 1.2 provides a breakdown of the U.S. population by Hispanic/Latino origin and race. As you can see, there are a number of ethnic groups within the racial classification “Hispanic or Latino Americans.” This is true of other races as well. Another example is the category “African American/Black.” There is also ethnic diversity within this category; it often encompasses people from the Caribbean (e.g., Jamaica, Haiti), African countries, and other parts of the world.

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U.S. Population Estimates by Race, 2015

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Race, Ethnicity, and Population Trends

The 2016 population estimates reported more than 323 million residents in the United States

The figures also confirmed earlier estimates that the minority population had topped 100 million

The Hispanic/Latino population continues to be the largest minority population and now represents nearly 17% (54 million) of the U.S. population

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Race, Ethnicity, and Population Trends

Border states, including Arizona, Texas, and California, have taken notice of this trend and reacted with legislation to stem the rising number of illegal immigrants

Estimates are that Whites will represent only 50% of the population in 2050, with Hispanics/Latinos–whose recent population projections have slowed–still representing nearly a quarter of the population, and other racial and ethnic minorities comprising the remainder of the populace

Gabbidon, Race and Crime, 5e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019.

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Prejudice, Discrimination, and Implicit Bias

Prejudice is a negative attitude toward a particular group

Discrimination is the “unequal treatment of a person or persons based on group membership”

Implicit bias is when prejudicial views are used to make decisions–unconsciously

In other words, someone might not be aware they are acting in a prejudicial manner because the negative or positive belief that is causing the action is subconscious

Gabbidon, Race and Crime, 5e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019.

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

Native Americans

Arrived in North America 30,000 years ago

During their initial contact with Europeans, Native Americans helped them survive

Massive conflicts ensued between Native Americans and European settlers

After the “Trail of Tears” the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) was established to handle matters of this population

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Nearly 60 years after the creation of the BIA, the 1887 Dawes Act provided that individual families be given reservation lands

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

African Americans

Africans initially arrived in Jamestown, VA, as a result of piracy

Africans were selected as the ideal unpaid workforce

Slave codes regulated slave life from cradle to grave

Slave codes not only enumerated the applicable law but also prescribed the social boundaries for slaves–where they could go, what types of activity they could engage in, and what type of contracts they could enter into

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

Treaty of Ghent, 1814, represented a move toward ending the international slave trade

Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 freed the slaves in the Confederate states

The enactment of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 ended slavery throughout the United States

During the early to mid-1900s, African Americans crowded into northern cities in search of jobs

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Thurgood Marshall and his colleagues were successful in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) case.

By the 1960s, lynchings were rare events.

Numerous riots, allegations of police brutality.

When African Americans were finally able to take advantage of the opportunities forged by the civil rights movement and desegregation, many of them left inner-city areas.

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

White Ethnics–German Americans

In the late 1600s, German families arrived in Philadelphia–the beginning of mass German immigration to the United States

The German population increased because of the use of indentures

By the time of the Revolutionary War, there were about 225,000 German Americans in the colonies

The number of German immigrants continued to increase throughout the 19th century

By the 1900 census, there were more than 2.6 million Germans in America

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Indentured servant agreements allowed immigrants to work for a period of time to pay for their travel expenses to the colonies. Once their indentures were completed, immigrants were free to pursue whatever opportunities they desired.

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

White Ethnics–Italian Americans

Italians were among the earliest immigrants to arrive in colonial America

By 1920, more than 4 million Italians had arrived in the United States

To stem Italian immigration to the United States, the Immigration Act of 1924 placed a quota on the number of Italians who could immigrate

The terms organized crime and mafia became synonymous with Italians

Despite the stereotype, in the early part of the 20th century, Italians had lower crime rates than other Americans

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Similar to the experience of other ethnic immigrant groups, their religion, Catholicism, also became a point of contention, along with stinging stereotypes, which, as noted in the experience of other ethnic groups, have often been created to demonize new immigrants.

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

White Ethnics–Irish Americans

In the 17th century, Irish came to America through indentures

Many landed in northern states such as New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Illinois

Historians have generally agreed that few immigrant groups have encountered the harsh treatment the Irish received in 19th-century America

Second- and third-generation Irish families start to become accepted in American society

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Wherever the Irish settled, because of the prevailing nativist views and their predominantly Catholic backgrounds (some were Protestant), they often were ostracized and relegated to the worst areas of cities.

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

White Ethnics–Jewish Americans

The first Jews who arrived in America in 1654 were of Hispanic origin from Spain and Portugal

Because of anti-Semitism, the first American synagogue wasn’t built until the 1720s

Jews began to branch out and started to become accepted within American society

In the 20th century, mass immigration resulted in squalid living conditions of Jews

By the end of World War II, most Jews had established themselves firmly into the middle class

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In 1843, to preserve their culture, 12 German Jews founded B’nai B’rith–“Sons of the Covenant”

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

Arab Americans

Arab Americans typically originate from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, and a host of other Middle Eastern Countries

Started to arrive in the United States in the late 1800s

Immigrated to the United States because of economics, political conflict, religious strife, and pursuit of the American dream

By the 1920s, there were nearly 200,000 Christian Arab Americans in the United States

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Arab Americans are not synonymous with Muslim Americans

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

Mexican Americans

Many Mexicans became Americans with the annexation of Texas

Labor shortages during World War I resulted in formalized programs for seasonal workers

During the Depression, immigration laws were modified to restrict foreign-contract laborers

During WWII, the Bracero Program brought thousands of agricultural workers to help with the labor shortage

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 provided temporary residency for some illegal aliens

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 increased investigators monitoring workplace employment of aliens

Gabbidon, Race and Crime, 5e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019.

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

Latino Americans–Puerto Ricans

The Spanish–American War resulted in America taking over Puerto Rico in 1898

Puerto Rico became a commonwealth of the United States in the 1950s, granting Puerto Ricans more independence in their governance

Significant numbers of Puerto Ricans headed to the United States seeking employment

Puerto Ricans have had difficulty assimilating

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

Asian Americans–Chinese Americans

There have been Chinese in America as early as the late 1700s

The California gold rush of the mid-1850s increased Chinese immigration to America

Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 limited immigration until the 1940s

Asians represented 10% of California’s population between 1860 and 1880

The Chinese were successful as laborers, and also in business

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The California gold rush of the mid-1850s resulted in significant Chinese immigration to America. Most of the early Chinese immigrants were male (90%) and came to work in America temporarily. However, they came in significant enough numbers to represent nearly 10% of California’s population between 1860 and 1880 (Daniels, 1988). Those who did stay were subjected to considerable violence due to anti-Chinese sentiment.

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

Asian Americans–Japanese Americans

Japanese workers arrived in Hawaii to work on sugar plantations

In the 1890s, they filled the need for labor on California farms

Anti-Japanese sentiment arose in the United States

During WWII, the negative sentiment was strong

In 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 forcing Japanese on the West Coast into relocation centers

Japanese population remained low due to immigration restrictions not lifted until the 1960s

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

Asian Americans–Filipinos

Filipinos have been in the United States since the 1700s

In 1929 and 1930, there were riots brought on by anti-Filipino sentiment

The 1924 immigration law restricted the number of Filipinos that could enter the country to 50

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Historical Antecedents of Race and Crime in America

Asian Americans–Koreans

Like other Asian groups, Korean Americans headed to Hawaii in the early part of the 20th century to fill labor shortages

Limited by immigration restrictions, much of Korean immigration followed World War II

Koreans have been resented for entering largely African American communities and setting up businesses

This sentiment spilled over in the Los Angeles riot of 1992

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In 2007, Korean Americans received negative attention because the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech massacre was an immigrant from South Korea. Moreover, the 2012 Oikos University shooting in Oakland, CA, that killed seven people and involved Korean native One L. Goh brought additional negative attention to the Korean community.

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Conclusion

Race has been used to divide populations

“Whiteness” has always been placed at the top of the racial hierarchy

The level of crime in each racial/ethnic group has varied over time, but all have engaged in crime to survive

European ethnic immigrants have assimilated and become apart of the “White” population

Other racial/ethnic groups have had difficulty assimilating

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