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Wicked Overseers

Wicked Overseers In recent times, several tragic events have brought attention to the relationship between policing and racial/ethnic minorities in the United States. Scholars, activists, and pundits have clamored to explain tensions that have arisen from these police-related deaths. The authors contribute to the discussion by asserting that contemporary policing in America, and its relationship to racial inequality, is only the latest chapter in a broader historical narrative in which the police constitute the front line of a race- and class-stratified social order. In other words, contemporary criminal justice and race struggles are a legacy of colonialism. This essay begins with a brief overview of colonialism before turning toward dissecting the contemporary colonial character of policing African American urban ghetto communities in four parts. First, the emergence of ghettos as internal colonies is described. Second, mechanisms are given that propelled the mass entry of police into ghetto spaces, with particular attention given to the war on drugs, broken-windows and order-maintenance policing, and police militarization. Third, the authors explore how contemporary policing acts to manage the colonized through police stops, searches, and other practices. Finally, the relationship between American policing practices and cultural denigration of African Americans is described. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Race and Ethnicity SAGE

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2016
ISSN
2332-6492
eISSN
2332-6506
DOI
10.1177/2332649216665639
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In recent times, several tragic events have brought attention to the relationship between policing and racial/ethnic minorities in the United States. Scholars, activists, and pundits have clamored to explain tensions that have arisen from these police-related deaths. The authors contribute to the discussion by asserting that contemporary policing in America, and its relationship to racial inequality, is only the latest chapter in a broader historical narrative in which the police constitute the front line of a race- and class-stratified social order. In other words, contemporary criminal justice and race struggles are a legacy of colonialism. This essay begins with a brief overview of colonialism before turning toward dissecting the contemporary colonial character of policing African American urban ghetto communities in four parts. First, the emergence of ghettos as internal colonies is described. Second, mechanisms are given that propelled the mass entry of police into ghetto spaces, with particular attention given to the war on drugs, broken-windows and order-maintenance policing, and police militarization. Third, the authors explore how contemporary policing acts to manage the colonized through police stops, searches, and other practices. Finally, the relationship between American policing practices and cultural denigration of African Americans is described.

Journal

Sociology of Race and EthnicitySAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2017

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