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 White privilege emerged out of racial consciousness among whites and was later codified into “slave codes” during the 18th century. Does white privilege still exist in the criminal justice system? If so, how do whites and non-whites experience being labeled a criminal differently? Furthermore, why do you believe white privilege persists? Whom does it benefit most, and why?

I believe the racial biases within our legal system are no secret and indeed may be so wide spread to almost be obscure through constant, passive exposure. It is a well documented fact that people of color, especially African-Americans, are more likely to be convicted of crimes as well as to receive harsher sentences when compared to white-Americans being accused of the same crimes. This racial disposition has, in turn, seeped from the courthouses and into public life where, because of the disproportionate rates of conviction and severity of punishment, there has risen a stigma of African-Americans being predisposed towards criminal activity. I further believe that this specific form of white privilege exists because it is profitable for those you own and operate the prisons who may utilize their inmate populations as source of cheap labor on the behalf (and dime) of others.

On a scale of 1–10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, how would you rate Donald Trump’s presidency? Do you believe Donald Trump won the 2016 election because he appealed to specific political interests, or because he pandered to a specific racial group? Or, was there some combination of race, social class, and gender that resulted in his victory? Explain your response using specific examples to support your discussion.

A rate Trump’s time in office to be a 7 or even 8 though, admittedly I’m so widely dissatisfied with Biden that maybe I’m wearing some rose colored glasses; I digress. I truly believe that no elected official, president or otherwise, was ever elected into their position without some amount of pandering but to contend that Trump won the presidency through nothing but pandering is preposterous. As loathe as I know many people are to admit, Trump was a wildly popular candidate who saw the success that he did because the message he preached truly resonated with a great many people. The embrace of such slogans as “make America great again” and “drain the swamp” ought to clue observers in to just how deeply disenfranchisement runs within this country. And though Trump garnered most support from white-Americans of certain social standing, he also received not inconsiderable support from people of color as well, with Latin-Americans being one such group.

Do you believe that whites or non-whites are more encouraged to play professional sports by agents of socialization, including their peers, family members, people in their educational experience, and in the media? Are there certain sports that certain races are more encouraged to pursue? If so, why do you think this occurs? Explain your position using at least one example to support your discussion.

I believe the answer (partially) comes down to the sport in question but, in general, I observe that non-whites seem more encouraged to take up professional sports. I notice a dichotomy in sports such as football or basketball versus sports like golf where the former is non-white dominated with big names like LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick while the latter appears more white dominated with the only notable poc player that comes to mind is, of course, Tiger Woods. Based on this observation alone the most obvious factor for determining where one race is encouraged to compete is raw physicality, where non-whites seem to be disproportionately funneled into the more rough-and-tumble sports. Further extrapolating from this hypothesis, I can put forward several possible reasons why this could be the case. Perhaps non-white children/students are seen as less academically capable and, therefore, better suited to physical pursuits instead? A completely different take is to recognize that professional athletes enjoy postions of fame and attetnion which may appeal to non-whites who may feel overlooked or unheard, taking Colin Kaepernick’s NFL protest as an example of someone using that attetnion to try and encat change and/or send a message.  

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Chapter 7: Crime, Law, and Deviance

1.   Michelle Alexander wrote a book entitled The New Jim Crow, in which she argues that mass incarceration is effectively a new form of racial hierarchy that limits the advancement of people of color. How has racial profiling contributed to this trend? Do you believe policing practices such as “stop and frisk” are more beneficial to social order than harmful to specific populations? Explain your position using at least one specific example to support your discussion.

Racial profiling has contributed to the trend of limiting people of color because it has negatively affected people of color even when there is no crime being committed. Whether or not practices such as “stop and frisk” are more beneficial or harmful is a tough question because there are positives and negatives to it. On the positive side, this is a form of proactive policing and it could potentially prevent a crime but on the negative side, it could lead to racial profiling and more issues. 

Chapter 8: Power, Politics, and Identities

3.   Describe the society in which you desire to live. How is power distributed? Do all people have equal access to all resources? Does anyone ever “need” for anything? Would capitalism be present? How would elections be held? Who would hold the most and least power? Which of the three sociological theories used to explain the distribution of power in society would be best to create the type of society you want to live in?

The society in which I would desire to live in would be one where everyone is treated equally and has equal opportunities. I think figuring out how power is distributed is tough but I would want power to be distributed to those who work for it and are responsible enough to handle it. I think every person would get equal access to resources but there would be a limit as to how much a person could get to make sure resources don’t run scarce. I believe the pluralist model of power would be the best for my society. 

Chapter 9: Sports and the American Dream

1.   Do you believe that whites or non-whites are more encouraged to play professional sports by agents of socialization, including their peers, family members, people in their educational experience, and in the media? Are there certain sports that certain races are more encouraged to pursue? If so, why do you think this occurs? Explain your position using at least one example to support your discussion. 

I think there are certain sports that people usually associate with certain races of people. I do believe there are many factors as to why a certain race would be encouraged to go play a sport. This can be either history or just norms within our society. When I say history, I mean past instances of a person of a certain race being successful in a sport. When people see others that look like them being successful at something, it gives them hope that they can also do it. As for the norms and what is perceived as common in our society, I mean what is typically displayed in forms of media such as movies. This could relate to the history reason as situations in real life can influence movies.

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