Race and Ethnicity in America White Paper

Judeo-Christian perspective, there are two forms of law, the law of government and the law of God. Government plays a role in the daily lives of most people. From how to drive a car to what can be bought and sold, the government aims to protect the general public from domestic and foreign problems. Whether or not that means the wellbeing of all or the wellbeing of some is left to interpretation. God according to Christianity, passed down guidelines to help humanity flourish and grow. The Ten Commandments is just one of several instances when humans witnessed the law of God. Yet in today’s society, amidst a multicultural backdrop, the law of God has been overshadowed by the law of government. And the law of government is not one that instills good principles among the public, but rather seems to favor punishing those that do not fit the idea of ‘American’.

Race and ethnicity have been issues within America for centuries. From racial profiling to disproportionate representation of blacks in the prison and court system, America has had to deal with recurring problems of race and ethnicity in law enforcement. “Race and ethnicity are only buzzwords that people use when they talk about multiculturalism. After all, neither race nor ethnicity determines a person’s values, attitudes, or behavior. Just as there is no uniquely identifiable ‘white culture’ in American society” (Schmalleger, 2007, p. 27). While there is no uniquely identifiable ‘black culture’ in American society, there are still many law enforcement agencies that racially profile and identify specific cultural traits to black people, reneging the concept of a diverse and tolerant modern society.

If one were to examine Biblical text, one would see that after God established law post-flood (Genesis 9:6), such guidelines were meant to maintain order and civility, and most importantly, justice. The law of God has two main elements of human nature as its basis. The first is humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). The second is, humans were granted ability to exercise rationality and judgment. Rationality is a way humans attempt to make sense of the unknown. However, rationality dissipates when improper judgment is exercised.

In government, from police officers to judges, there is a constant attempt to rationalize and judge what is right and wrong or whether something a person did constitutes punishment or not. Within a multicultural society, this can at times be clouded by preconceived notions and stereotypes that could lead to improper action against a target population. That target population is and has been blacks. Blacks have experienced increase incarceration and arrests than whites in America.

Such improper action stems from cases ruled over by United States Supreme Court. Through the lens of individual rights vs. public order, the Supreme Court passed laws that favor the increased incarceration of blacks in America to ‘protect’ the American public (i.e. Hobbs Act). “The U.S. Supreme Court is very powerful and its decisions have far-reaching consequences” (Schmalleger, 2007, p. 21). Taylor v. United States for example, allows law enforcement to keep criminals (mainly minorities) in federal prison cells for longer periods than in the past (Pane & Rocco, 2014). Blacks already face a high recidivism rate due to racial profiling and increased police presence in areas blacks live and frequent. To have the American government work towards keeping blacks longer in prison continually supports the idea that there is injustice in law enforcement.

In a 2016 article on human rights and anti-discrimination laws, the American government has…

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