Gendered Experiences of Racism
A significant number of adult African American males do loath dealing with the law enforcement officers and the judicial system. Many believe that they are usually considered to be criminals even when tangible evidence is lacking. For instance, whenever a dark skinned individual is incarcerated for a crime such as drug trafficking, majority of the citizens, and especially those in the black community, consider the punishment as being racially motivated. Most dark skinned individuals believe that their skin color would induce arrests, prosecutions, and imprisonments; a scenario which they define as discrimination on the basis of their race. For the male African American’s, their dealings with the criminal justice system are not based on facts on the ground (Bilchik, 1999).
In most cases, police officers and others do not scrutinize a scenario before asserting that there exists an element of criminality when a member of the black community is involved. Although statistics suggest that the blacks suffer from unemployment, inadequate basic facilities, and illiteracy, these factors do not always lead them into criminality as it has been presumed. In some extreme cases, several members of African American community have been fatally shot by the police on the presumption that they must have been planning to engage in criminality. This is what happened to Sean Bell, the 23 year-old man who inspired the production of the I Am Sean Bell documentary (Muhammad, 2009).
Challenges of being African American and Female in the US
Although African American female do suffer in the hands of the law enforcement officers, their tribulations are not comparable to what their male counterparts go through. For instance, a fewer number of the female members of the black community dies in the hands of the law enforcement officers as compared to their male counterparts. In the criminal justice system, there several other instances where statistics on criminality suggest that people suffer differently on the basis of their gender and age. These demographics imply that disparity exists between male and female members of African American descent. In fact, the rate of incarceration amongst the males is a clear implication that the justice system discriminates individuals on the basis of their gender especially when the said individuals happen to be black. Available statistics have indicated that women serve relatively short jail terms than the males, even in situations when similar crimes are committed. Although there could be a justifiable reason behind this fact, most members of the society see it as a form of discrimination, and consequently, a source of disparity (Bilchik, 1999).
Challenges of being African American and Young Male in the US
An attorney from Santa Clara, Kurt Kumli, sought to explicate a leading source of gender disparity in cases involving juvenile. Mostly, juveniles who commit minor crimes are considered for parole. However, for a juvenile to be considered for parole, there must be a possibility that he/she will be under the watchful eye of a parent or guardian. Since most young men of the black community are considered to be uncorrectable, many are incarcerated in situations where females would be released on parole. A significant number of them don’t even make it to the courts, and this is what happened to Sean Bell. This implies that the tribulations that befall the young men of Africa American descent are more serious than those that face the adult members of the same community (Muhammad, 2009).
Challenges of being a Young Male American of Latino Descent
Although young men of Latino descent have their own problems with the law and law enforcers, the situation is not as baffling as the challenges that the members of the black community goes through. Latinos are perceived to be less likely to engage in violent crimes where fatality may result. Moreover, statistics indicate much of the gang related criminality among the Latinos target the affluent members of the Latino community and, more so, those that earn their livelihood through unlawful means. The reason behind this is that they expose themselves to the youths who then target them in an endeavor to make a quick kill (Frontline, 2005).
With regard to the immigrant males from Africa, the situation is not as dire. There are several reasons behind this. For instance, these members are not as associated in gang activities as their African American counterparts. They do not really fit in the American neighborhoods, and this discourages them from inviting extra challenges. Moreover, these men do, at times, avoid neighborhoods with a significant number of African Americans, and this means that the police do not put them under constant surveillance. They are also calm and resolute in their engagements, and they are, therefore, rarely suspected of criminality (Frontline, 2005).