Teachers Invite Hate Groups to Classrooms

The Washington Times was the first to cover on the growing number of teachers who invite members of hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Westboro Baptist Church into their classrooms.

Educators say that this kind of class activity allows students “to witness the extreme views such groups espouse and know how to avoid them.”

As for the Worthington Kilbourne High School in Columbus, Ohio, this teaching strategy is a tradition. It began in the 1970’s when their senior classes have to study “U.S. Political thought and Radicalism.” Other topics that students explore are immigration, environmentalism and abortion. Since then, for a few weeks in a semester the students get to interact with hate groups such as the Topeka, Kansas Westboro Baptist Church, a church known for their anti-gay principles and protests for the deaths of American soldiers who died in combat.

School officials explain that such interactions do not intend to endorse or convert students into the groups’ way of thinking. The sole purpose, they say, is to allow young students to identify what an extreme perspective is and learn how to avoid them.

“The kids see through their messages,” said David Strausbaugh, a teacher at Worthington Kilbourne High School. “They know. There’s nobody — nobody — who leaves and says, ‘Boy, we’ve got to join these people.’ That’s why we can bring them in, because we know the kids are going to see them for who they are.”

Apparently, Worthington is not alone. Portland State University in Oregon has a sociology class led by Randy Blazak who invites neo-Nazis to speak before his class about the role function of extremism in society.

“It’s a good idea to know what’s out there,” Mr. Blazak said. “They’re not monsters. They’re human beings, wrestling with their own issues.”

At the Central Michigan University, Professor Timothy Boudreau allows members from Westboro to speak to his journalism class because, he said, it teaches students a powerful lesson about freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

“The First Amendment was designed to protect unpopular speech, speech exercised by people we would rather silence or muzzle,” Mr. Boudreau tells his students.

“I don’t endorse them, I don’t agree with them,” he said. “I do, however, support their right to speak and their right to be hateful and their right to offend. Like it or not, that’s their right as Americans.”

Meanwhile, other schools do not allow face-to-face interaction with these hate groups to avoid controversy. They however, permit phone conversation or Skype interaction. Andrea White, a teacher from Badger High School, said that Westboro representatives get to speak to her class via phone and has not ever visited her classroom.

If this kind of teaching method does allow students to snuff out bigotry, then the teachers are on to something. One thing is certain, though, they have to practice care as there could be a black student in their class that can get traumatized when a man wearing a white rob shows up in the class.

Joe’s Place: A Home For The Homeless

We have come dangerously close to accepting the homeless situation as a problem that we just can’t solve.Linda Lingle

Seeing a boy or a girl with a broken family struggling to get through high school is not a surprising sight, especially in America where at least one in every five children is homeless. The reason could be anything; addict mom or an abusive dad; it could be anything.

Several survey reports indicate an increasing rate of homeless children in America, children who have not yet cleared high school; teenagers. It is these children from broken families who often fail to get through high school, let alone go to college. It is because these children do not have a stable home, their living conditions are not stable which affects their studies too. Most of the high school dropouts turn out to be these very homeless children with no home to go to.

Problems Faced By Homeless Kids

Imagine being a kid merely 14 years old with who spends more time in drinking and sleeping, eating or talking all at the same time or a mom who left you a long time ago or try being a 10 year old girl with an abusive father who doesn’t even need an excuse to get started with the beating. What is the life of such children? They hardly get enough money to try to get through one day at a time. These are the children who are supposed to have time only to play and study; the children who are supposed to have big dreams about their future and huge smiles on their faces; but, are forced into living under the shadows of misery instead.

Homeless, especially youth homelessness; the homelessness of children is a curse for America and a hurdle in its way to progress and prosperity.

According to a campaign launched to End Child Homelessness,

“Approximately 1.6 million American children go to sleep without a home of their own each year.”

While, the National Alliance to End Homelessness states,

“On a given night, just over 636,000 people are homeless in the United States.”

It is observed that most of the teenaged children with unstable and broken family circumstances hardly make it through high school because of either lack of necessities or mental instability caused by the stressful atmosphere of their homes. It is because of these circumstances that such children end up being criminals or thieves in the future when they fail to get proper jobs due to their lack of academic qualifications.

 Dennis Kucinich rightly says,

We have weapons of mass destruction we have to address here at home. Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Homelessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Unemployment is a weapon of mass destruction.

Children who grow up in unstable circumstances are like ticking time bombs that can go off any moment. That is because life gets so tough on them even from the start that chances are they could give up on all the good things they thought existed.

 

Joe’s Place: A Home for the Homeless

However, no matter how tough it gets, there will always be good people, the knights in shining armors who will always be there to help you out; people who cry at the miseries of others. Joe’s place is a solid proof of the existence of such guardian angels; a proof that someone in the world, somewhere in the world cares.

In 2006, a school district in Missouri, Maplewood Richmond Heights took the first step to provide a home to the homeless called “Joe’s Place”. It was a home owned by the school district that provides a comfortable and homely atmosphere to homeless children struggling to graduate high school. Even though the house cannot accommodate all of the students but it is a first step to the final solution to youth homelessness. Children are provided with free food and shelter during their education period at school. They are allowed to spend weekends with their families. The house parents act as fosters parents and help the children in homework and arrange other family activities like movie nights, picnics etc.

Presten Pinnel, a freshman at the University of Central Missouri studying Occupational Therapy, was once a homeless kid with no one to look after him after his dad was sent to prison. He was in the sophomore year of High School at that time. After his dad went to jail, he hardly had any money to get through the day, no one was there to get him food; he had to prepare it on his own.

Life was so tough; he had no place to study at home and he’d sleep at his friend’s place, sleeping on the couch. He was never so sure if he’d ever be able to make it through high school; wondering if he would even be able to afford basic school supplies for the next year or not.

The school authorities knew about his domestic issues. Had it been some other school district, they wouldn’t have been able to provide him with anything other than donations for school supplies or after-school tutoring. But what the Maplewood Richmond Heights school district did for him was exceptional; he was given a chance to live in a healthy environment; a stable home.

He moved into Joe’s place right after his junior year started and life started to seem more like a blessing than a curse. He says,

“One thing I know for sure is if it wasn’t for Joe’s, I wouldn’t be at the university I’m at now.”

Joe’s Place was the first step to providing a stable and homely atmosphere to children who were either homeless or struggling with their domestic issues.

This year, around Thanksgiving, following the footsteps of the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District, another school district in Jennings, Missouri has also built a home for the homeless named “ Hope House” which, as the names suggests, is specified for girls.

Joe’s Place and Hope House aim at providing these homeless children with a healthy homelike atmosphere to grow in; a place where they won’t have to be worried if they’ll be able to get another meal or not. Their aim is to provide comfort, love and security to these children so that they can focus on their studies and enjoy life as they should.

It has been observed that the grades and efficiency of the students improved after they moved into Joe’s Place and these students are expected to graduate high school without any problem.

Joe’s place and Hope House are the proof that there are people in the world who know what it means to be a human. This is just the beginning. With time, other school districts might also start some projects like the Joe’s Place or the Hope House. Youth is the backbone of any nation and this backbone deserves proper care if we want our nation to stand erect among the other nations of the world.

Federal Court Deliberates Relevance of Stop-and-Frisks

Under the administration of New York City Mayor, the number of stop-and-frisks has risen by as much as 600 percent. The meaty discussion about it though focuses more on the disparity of stop-and-frisks conducted between whites and brown-colored people. The huge disparity is being criticized by many as an act to ostracize minorities with the use of separate and unequal police treatment.  Many consider the program a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.

Though the program’s sole purpose is to curb gun violence, it has evolved into something like a dog running about without a leash. NYPD police officers go around the city racially profiling young males in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods.

At present the program is put into question and is being argued upon in a federal court. The New York Civil Liberties Union supports the case against the NYPD. The group wants to stop the Trespass Affidavit Program or TAP. The said program allows police officers to stop and question people who are either inside or outside their private property. The plaintiffs argue that the police force “has a widespread practice of making unlawful stops on suspicion of trespass.”

Jaenean Ligon, the lead plaintiff in the case, said that she is against the program because the unjust practice has happened even to her son. She narrated that her 17-year-old son was stopped for no apparent reason while the latter was going out of their apartment building to buy a bottle of ketchup at a nearby store.

This week, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin issued an injunction barring NYPD police officers from conducting stop-and-frisks outside of buildings stated in the TAP. The facts of the case show that police officers on patrol duty never differentiated between potentially dangerous persons to any regular residents. Blacks and Latinos were regularly stopped mainly because they were black or brown.

Other plaintiffs include Charles Bradley, a 51-year-old security guard, who was detained while he visiting his fiancée in the Bronx. Bradley recalled that he was abruptly stopped, frisked, brought to the police station, strip-searched and fingerprinted. While all of these were happening, he was peppered with questions regarding his suspected involvement with guns and drugs.

Another complainant is Abdullah Turner, 24. He said he was also arrested mainly because he was standing outside of his friend’s apartment building in the Bronx. Police officers believed he was about to trespass. In his defense, he questioned the possibility of a trespass when he was outside of the apartment building.

In her injunction order, Scheindlin writes, “While it may be difficult to say where, precisely, to draw the line between constitutional and unconstitutional police encounters, such a line exists, and the NYPD has systematically crossed it.”

The New York Post seemed to be a staunch supporter of stop-and-frisks with their recent scathing editorial challenging the ruling with the question, “How much blood will federal Judge Shira Scheindlin have on her hands when she finishes dismantling the most effective anti-gun-violence program in urban America?”

However, the editorial seemed to ignore a report published by NYCLU. The report revealed that more young African-American men were subjected to stop-and-frisks in comparison to the total number of blacks in the entire city. In response, civil rights groups called for a quick dismantling of the program. However, the demands had fallen on deaf ears as Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly firmly defended the program as an effective measure against gun violence.

Statistics, however, discredits Bloomberg’s and Kelly’s beliefs.

In 2011, only one in ten stops was reported to be related with some “violent criminal activity.” In addition, minorities who made up the 87 percent of all stop-and-frisks in the same year had a weapon for only 1.8 percent of the time.

In reality, whites who were seldom stopped were twice more likely to have a fatal weapon in their possession. 98% of all young African-American and Hispanic youths who were stopped didn’t carry any weapon. And still, the mayor and police commissioner insist that the proliferation of guns is the sole reason why the program must remain.

Commissioner Kelly spoke proudly of the program saying that the program has cause the decline of murder in the city. However when matched with statistics, there seems to be no correlation. During his first year in office in 2002, there were 96,296 stops and the city had recorded 587 homicides. In 2011, the stops rose dramatically to 685,724 stops yet the number of homicides were still at the 500 mark, 532 to be specific. “There is no evidence that stop and frisk is lowering or suppressing the murder rate in New York City,” read a statement issued by the NYCLU.

New York Gov. Mario Cuomo also agrees with the criticism against stop-and-frisks. In addition, he also questions the current marijuana-possession laws. He wants reform in both programs. The racially disparate criminalization of minority youths he said is “…not fair, it’s not right. It must end, and it must end now.”

The injunction ordered by Scheindlin is a good start for many of the critics. Apart from the TAP case, three other similar cases are pending in her court. However, the story is still unfinished. The conclusion with regards to the stop-and-frisks is still vague. One thing is certain, the critics and concerned citizens would continue to be vigilant eagerly waiting for justice to be served.

Clinton Fears Black Vote Will be Doomed

Hillary Rodham Clinton was at the 100th Anniversary of the Delta Sigma Theta, a historically black women’s organization. In her speech, she told the members of the future of the Voting Rights Act. She called the Supreme Court’s decision to kill part of the law a “real jeopardy.” She said the Congress must act to preserve “fairness and equality” in the electoral system.

At the conclusion of her 30-minute speech, 14,000 members gave her celebratory chants of “Run, Hillary, Run.”

Clinton, who may well be the next presidential candidate in 2016, said that the SC decision “struck at the heart” of the landmark law and it threatens the right of any Americans to cast their vote.

“Unless Congress acts, you know and I know, more obstacles are on their way,” Clinton said, walking freely on stage instead of confining herself at the podium. “They’re going to make it difficult for poor people, elderly people, working people, minority people to be able to do what we should take for granted.”

In June, the Supreme Court trashed a key component of the Voting Rights Act. It killed the federal government’s ability to secure a fair election in all or parts of the 15 states with a history of discrimination. The stipulations that were removed required those states to seek approval before electoral changes are implemented.

Civil rights groups have been displeased with the decision claiming that it could disenfranchise groups of voters in the next election.

“Now the law’s future is in real jeopardy and so are the rights of millions of Americans,” Clinton said.

She didn’t express or hinted any plans to run for any political post. She said she will dedicate her time on campaigns that focus on early childhood development, women’s rights and economic development in her new role in her family’s presidential foundation.

In her speech, she highlighted the importance of the black vote. Such has made it possible for her husband to win the election and Barack Obama twice. The same could be true if she would also run for the presidency in 2016.

“I want to make sure that in the next election and the next election and the next and every one after that, people line up to vote and they vote regardless of those who may not want to count their vote or acknowledge their right to vote,” she said.

Justifiable Homicide: Favors White Gun Shooters

Is there really such a thing as white privilege?

George Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’ Mara, thinks there is none for in his remark during a press conference that the privilege is with black people. He said if Zimmerman had been black, “He never would have been charged with a crime.”

This remark sounds strange as U.S. crime, and court statistics does not back up such claims.

A research by PBS’ Frontline is getting a second look after the acquittal of George Zimmerman. The study revealed that if you’re going to use self-defense as an alibi, you’d better be white. PBS looked into the data compiled by John Roman, a senior analyst at the Urban Institute’ Justice Policy Center and came up with a conclusion that in “Stand your ground” states, Caucasians who kill black people have 354% chances of being exonerated from any criminal liabilities and even in non-“Stand your ground” states, the chances of being freed is still high at 250%.

Even in a black-on-black or black-on-white crime, a black defendant still loses on self-defense claims whether he is on a “Stand your ground” and non-“Stand your ground” state. The bar graph demonstrates these facts.

But is this a proof of injustice? According to Frontline, it’s not quite. They say:

“So the disparity is clear. But the figures don’t yet prove bias. As Roman points out, the data doesn’t show the circumstances behind the killings, for example whether the people who were shot were involved in home invasions or in a confrontation on the street.”

“Additionally, there are far fewer white-on-black shootings in the FBI data – only 25 in both the Stand Your Ground and non-Stand Your Ground states. In fact, the small sample size is one of the reasons Roman conducted a regression analysis, which determines the statistical likelihood of whether the killings will be found justifiable.”

The list of cases is very short. It can be enumerated anecdotally. Examples of the black victims which made it big on the news are Oscar Grant III, James Byrd, Amadou Diallo, Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin. Some of them were killed by police officers while others by civilians. Sometimes the perpetrators were made to pay for their actions, just like with what happened to Byrd’s case. Others were sentenced by the courts but leniently compared to sentences given to black defendants. For example, Johannes Mehserle, white and a Former police officer, was only sentenced to two years of jail time with credit for time served and, therefore, ended up spending 11 months. Trayvon Martin’s killer was acquitted and the case of Michael Dunn, gunman of Jordan Davis, is still on progress.

Few truths can be deduced from the statistics. First, the life of a black person isn’t valued as the lives of others. Secondly, if you’re a black person claiming self-defense, the court will unlikely to believe your story. It is shocking and depressing, but it’s the kind of reality that many in the black communities have been living in for centuries.

 

 

Punitive Attitudes & Racial Typification – The Setting In Trend Of Racially Typifying Individuals In US

America is facing a lot of social issues these days, whether it’s the field of education or employment, the most critical issue is the racial typification and the punitive attitude of the American people towards these racially typified individuals.

 According to Letty Cottin Pogrebin,

 “America is a nation fundamentally ambivalent about its children, often afraid of its children and frequently punitive towards its children.”

 

The word “punitive” refers to inflicting punishment in a very severe or unfair way. Thus, the term “punitive attitude” means to have a punishing, severe or unfair attitude towards someone or something or some matter.

Racial typification, as a term, can be defined as the act of representing or typifying something; some act, attitude or characteristic on the basis of one’s race. It is one of the most critical issues of the American society.

Racial typification is generally used in terms of criminal justice system and the crime typification in the USA. According to a dissertation written by Kelly Welch in 2002, it is believed that the American criminal justice system is the most punitive justice system in the world.

According to her survey and research, the punishing policy adopted by the American criminal justice system is quite brutal. But the sad part is that the public seems to support these policies without any remorse.

In her research, she says that the general public seems to blame the black people for most of the criminal activities; the blacks are being typified as criminals. This typification is caused by a number of factors; media representation of the blacks as criminals on certain crime dramas or serials, punitive attitudes of the general public and their racial prejudice.

She says in her report,

“Findings support the initial hypothesis of this research. Those who typify blacks as criminals are significantly more punitive in their criminal justice policy preferences than those who do not share similar racial perceptions. The relationship appears to be especially relevant for whites, and particularly for whites who are non-Southerners, less racially prejudiced, less concerned about crime, perceive crime to be less violent, and conservative. “

She further explains,

“Results indicate that watching more local television news increases the black typification of crime for minorities, while whites typify crime as a black phenomenon more when they pay closer attention to television crime news. In addition, the present analyses show that media consumption is not indirectly associated with punitive attitudes through the racial typification of crime.”

The fragments of the report, give us an idea about the racial typification of crime and the possible causes behind this phenomenon, but they don’t fully elaborate the theory behind this punitive and biased attitude of the general public.

Racial typification not only affects the lives and future prospects of the community being typified but it also creates opportunities for the extremists to disrupt the peace and harmony of a state.

According to me, one of the most basic reasons behind this punitive attitude and racial typification of crime is racism or racial prejudice.

In order to understand the reason behind the punitive attitude of the people towards criminals or crime suspects and the racial typification of crime, we shall go through another research paper.

The Research was based on the results of an earlier research conducted in the nineties (Roberts and Doob, 1990; Surette, 1998).It focuses on the relationship between media consumption and the attitude of the general public.

Kelly Welch, in her dissertation paper, mentioned that “media consumption is not indirectly associated with punitive attitudes through the racial typification of crime.” This simply means that the relationship between media consumption and the attitude of the general public is direct; the more media consumption of criminological dramas and stories, the more will be the severity of the people towards crime issues.

The report starts with the statement that people get most of the awareness of crime and justice issues from the media. There are specified crime channels where only crime based dramas and series are run. People who watch news on the television or radio or are fond of watching crime and justice dramas are more aware of the dangers of the world. These people are more likely to develop a fear of crime and lead extra careful and cautious lives. The main focus of the paper is the impact of media consumption on one’s:

  • Fear of Crime
  • Punitive Attitude
  • Perception of police effectiveness.

According to the report,

“Employing OLS regression, the results indicate that respondents who are regular viewers of crime drama are more likely to fear crime. However, the relationship is weak. Furthermore, the results indicate that gender, education, income, age, perceived neighborhood problems and police effectiveness are statistically related to fear of crime. In addition, fear of crime, income, marital status, race, and education are statistically related to punitive attitudes. Finally, age, fear of crime, race, and perceived neighborhood problems are statistically related to perceived police effectiveness.”

We all have our unique fears. Some fears are as harmless as a fly while others are the fears about the gravest realities of life.

The research has proved that people who watch news or crime based dramas on a regular basis are more prone to developing a fear of crime.

Crime talks are also quite common in the western world. Crime dramas get more viewer ratings than any other genre. That is why it is believed that most of the awareness about crime issues comes from the media.

“Ignorance is bliss.” So goes the saying. People who don’t watch crime dramas are less likely to develop a cautious attitude towards their surroundings.

Media consumption also affects the public perception of police effectiveness. Generally there are two perceptions about the police. Crime dramas represent the police as honest and sincere officers who spend their entire lives trying to protect their fellow men. While the daily newspapers and broadcasts represent policemen as dishonest and incompetent officials. Although the general attitude of the people is quite positive and they seem satisfied with the police. Yet there are people who are not satisfied with the criminal justice policies.

Similarly, when it comes to racial typification, research shows that crime dramas have typified the black as the criminals. So the general attitude towards the minority has changed. And so the society adopts a punitive attitude towards the typified race.

Another issue with the media consumption is that the crime dramas seem so real and violent, that a person develops a fear of being victimized. Especially, if there is news about a crime in a particular area, the people living that area will take more safety precautions than those living in some other place. These days, people are more afraid of being sexually assaulted, beaten up or murdered especially if they live in an area where such crimes occur on a daily basis. The fear gets so high that people feel dissatisfied with the performance of the police.

If a particular racial or gender group is being victimized by the opposite gender or racial group, the former group will be typified as a victim while the later as a criminal. Thus, the conflicts between the two groups will rise and public will develop a more punitive attitude towards the suspected criminal.

According to this research,

“Police effectiveness, fear of crime and punitive attitudes are important aspects of public attitudes toward crime and justice in the United States. First, police strategies reflect departmental values, which reflect community values. Negative or positive attitudes towards the police may influence police policy making and strategy. Second, citizen attitudes toward the police may influence decisions to report crime. Third, both fear of crime and punitive attitudes may influence policy making and law making by government agencies, as public support or opposition may determine policy.”

The results of the report state a number of factors that determine the punitive attitudes of the people towards crime and justice policy of the United States of America and the public opinion of the effectiveness of the American police. For example, race, income level, gender, education level, location and media consumption etc.

“The results indicate that white, married, and low-income (15k to 30k) respondents are more likely to have punitive attitudes, whereas black, college educated, and respondents with low appraisals of police effectiveness are less likely to have punitive attitudes. The results also indicate that older respondents, males and respondents with low perception of neighborhood problems are more likely to have low fear of crime, whereas, younger respondents, female, Hispanic, college-educated and respondents with low appraisals of police effectiveness are more likely to fear crime. Finally, bivariate results suggest that Hispanic, African-American, urban, and younger respondents are more likely to have negative or low appraisals of police effectiveness. Conversely, respondents with punitive attitudes, with a medium income (30k to 60k), older, white, with low perceptions of neighborhood problems are more likely to have positive or high appraisals of police effectiveness. However, there may be a number of factors that mitigate or enhance the relationships. Thus, it is necessary to conduct multivariate techniques to further address these relationships.”

The report closes with the following conclusion:

“Regular viewers of crime shows are more likely to fear crime. Although statistically significant, the strength of this finding is minimal. In addition, there are a few limitations with regard to the measures of media consumption. First, the type of crime show that the respondent is viewing is unknown. There are numerous types of crime shows that may focus on different aspects of the criminal justice system. For example, crime shows may focus on police, courts, private investigators, defense lawyers and sometimes even the criminals. In addition, some shows are more realistic, while others routinely portray violence, and consistently misinform viewers about the nature of the criminal justice system and criminality. It would be prudent to know which dramas the respondents are viewing. Second, employing television hours watched is problematic, since there is no way of determining what type of programs the respondent is viewing. There are a number of different programs that may or may not address criminal justice issues and address them in substantially different ways. Finally, examining newspapers as the primary source of crime news suggests that only newspapers influence respondents. It would be naive to suggest that respondents are not affected by a number of sources; for example, respondents who receive their primary crime news from newspapers may also be affected by presentations of crime from other sources such as films, television and/or personal experiences.”

Conclusion:

What I understand from the above-mentioned reports is that punitive attitudes and racial typification rise from our fears of crime and victimization and our dissatisfaction with the justice policy. We need to understand that the acts of a person cannot be used to define his entire nation. Just as there are good white people, so are there bad ones too. Same is the case with other racial groups. Virtue cannot be attributed to a single class of people. The crime dramas represent the criminals as insensitive and monstrous people who get pleasure in hurting and killing others. That’s why people develop a feeling of fear and hostility towards the criminals or crime suspects. This fear and hostility is the main reason behind the punitive attitudes of the general public. We should remember that crime needs to be eradicated, not the criminals.

The most basic cause of these attitudes is racism. If there is no racism, there will be no fears of being victimized by the opposite racial groups. We should erase the concept of racism from our minds. The need of the hour is to define each other not on the basis of race or gender but on the basis of humanity.

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr,

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Juvenile Offenders – Focusing On Lack of Education and Cache of Bad Company as Root Cause of Problem

 Juvenile offenders also referred to as juvenile delinquents are young people below the age of 18 who are arrested for various crimes or offenses ranging from theft and vandalism to rape and murder. This is a very unstable world and times we are living in today. There is conflict, security threats, uncertainty and neglect of humanity everywhere. Children who grow up in this chaotic world, undergo the transition from childhood to adulthood tending to become increasingly violent and exhibit delinquent behavior. In the United States, children who show delinquent behavior are punished in a Youth Detention Center.

There may be many causes of delinquency among young children and adolescents. Among these primarily is the fact that opportunities for employment and education are not evenly distributed for all. Other reasons include children who fall into bad company and develop a drug abuse problem, broken families or parentless children, sexual abuse, cruelty and parents who have an alcohol abuse problem. Sometimes neglect manifests itself in rebellious behavior in children. For example children whose parents work long hours or are preoccupied with other family members tend to commit crimes after their school hours. The friendships a child develops inside or outside the school also play a significant role in their behavior. It can have a direct impact on them navigating successfully through to adulthood and becoming a college graduate or developing a substance abuse problem and eventually dropping out of school.

It has been observed that 15-20% young people exhibit delinquent behavior due to mental illness. If we use a broader definition, this figure goes up to 90%! In The United States, demographics shows that the number of juvenile offenders is rising every year. For example, in 2007, there were approximately 72 million young offenders. This figure rose up to 75 million in the year 2013. This rate is forecasted to keep on increasing till the year 2015 at minimum. The Federal Interagency of Child and Family Statistics have predicted that by the year 2050, the population of delinquents might go up to approximately 102 million! The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention also reported in the year 2009 that out of all juvenile offenders in The United States, 57% were White, 10% were black, 1% American Indian, 5% were Asian, and 22% of them belonged to the Hispanic community.

Since many children who are arrested for delinquent behavior have suffered psychological or physical abuse, they have learning disabilities, anger issues and fall behind in their studies. As a result, these children, who are already lagging in their education, have to sit through the deplorable outdated Education system of the Detention Centers. This results in them not being able to make a successful transition out and gives rise to recidivism. Research has shown a clear link between education and juvenile delinquency. Statistics shows us that if we compare academic performances of students and the probability of their turning into an offender, then 35% children who perform badly in studies are bound to become offenders compared to 20% children who have a good academic record.

Similarly, a study carried out by the Criminal Justice Policy Council reported the findings that 37% of the children and adolescents who had been held for crimes were less likely to return to prison if they only learned to read during their time in a Juvenile Correction Center.About 2600 juvenile justice facilities report that they provide classes and basic education services for the offenders. However, in many of these centers, the educational programs are low grade and insufficient for the juvenile delinquents. For starters, there is lack of timely and correct analysis and assessment of the needs students have when they enter the system. Research showed that about 16% students only have the basic reading and writing skills of a fourth-grade student. There is little or no coordination among different age groups of students or different skills level students and their learning potential with the teacher’s lessons. Quite a few of the teaching methods are antiquated, inappropriate, use outdated material and little or no technology is used. There is an overall dearth of resources.

Every morning the sun rises over these juvenile justice centers, there are about 70,000 students who come to take classes and learn. Almost 85 percent of these students are males. There may be a number of reasons for that. Males are generally more exposed to society and have a higher tendency to be aggressive. Almost 70% of those people turn out to be African American or Hispanic. However, due to poor teaching quality, these systems only do more harm than good and at the end, only 25% students have a progress good enough to enable them to enter a public school and manage to keep up with peers.

Federal reports show that out of all the students in juvenile justice facilities, only 15% improved their reading skills while in custody. Out of the long term students, only 26% improved their reading and writing skills. Only 2% are accepted into a program at any college. Almost 70% people who are tested are found to have some sort of learning disability. Lesser than 25% have received special guidance or services for their disability. The other 45% have not been catered to.  The irony in all this is that Justice Systems are more expensive to maintain than keeping teenagers in a normal school where they not only receive quality education, they also have more chances of progression and avoid mental problems that come along with living in incarceration.

The best way of preventing juvenile delinquency is to keep a strict watch and correct the problem at root level. Causes of crimes among teenagers need to be looked into and analyzed. Some of these causes like improving the home environment or lessening poverty are hard to eliminate but others like lack of education and falling into bad company can easily be rectified. After all, it is important to remember that these are still children, and they deserve all the perks that come with childhood. Every child deserves a happy home, security, ample opportunity for growth and progress. By providing affordable quality education, children can be saved from ruining their future.

Knowing African Americans Today

According to the census,  there are about 44,456,009 African American and Black people living in America. It is about 14.2% of the population of America. In District Colombia, 51% people are black the highest, and the lowest in Idaho and Montana, which is 1% only.

The poverty rate is 28.1% in Black and African American communities higher than all other minority communities in America, according to the census of 2012. It was increasing during the period of 2005 to 2012.  African Americans the black elderly were also taking public assistance like cash assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, and housing /section 8. During 2013 about 41.5%, black people were using food stamps. In 2013 census, black male people were 48%, and females were 52%.The education rate of blacks was also not very good, most that attended college did not complete their degree. We see that only 17% of black men have Bachelor’s degree compared to 30% of all men. African Americans have a low rate of labor force ranging from age 16 to 64.They don’t bother on working they either are full-time students disabled, or they have stopped looking for work. In the year 2013, African American males who worked full-time at median earnings of $37,290 as compared to $48,099 per annum. About 6% of black men at working age ranging (18-64years) are in federal jails or municipal jails, but other men are only 2% that is about three times higher than that. About 14% of black men are veterans in U.S army which is slightly less than the other man. About 16% of black men are considered as disabled whereas other men’s are 11%. The percentage of married black men is less than the other men. The divorce rate is also high in black men the widowed rate is less in black people as compared to the other. Black Race, men, like to marry with black women, not with other. Black people are more religious than others. Black women seem to be younger till the age of 35 while other are younger at 39.Only 57% of black women have attended college but only and 39% have completed their associate degree. Black women are successful than black men in getting an education. About 22% of black women have a bachelor’s degree that is less than of other women. African females have a high labor force percentage that is about71%, and other women are at 69% of the whole population, it is better than others.

 

Only 64% of black women held in white collar jobs while 8% are doing blue collar jobs. Black women are the head of 29% of all black households which is very higher than the other women. According to 2008 the most of black people in America were Christian generic, and the least are Muslims.26.4 million black people earn $ 135 billion annually in black business. According to the elections of 2008 & 2012, it seems that the black vote was a key to the Democratic Party rather than other parties.

We can conclude that black people in America are slowly moving towards betterment. Motivated and fueled by the election of a Black President.

Fair Housing not in My Community

Incidents among people because of different races have always been very common in the history of this world, and it is still a worrying trend. There are numerous cases reporting severe accidents and riots around the world and the reason being was just race difference, and most these cases involved blacks. Minorities all around the globe have been treated unfairly since the inception and even today people are being discriminated just because they belong to a particular minority prevailing in every country.

A Supreme Court declaration in the last week had to remind the local and the state governments,  that in accordance with the Fair Housing Act 1968, they are prohibited from spending funds for federal housing in numerous ways that encourage racial segregation. This has been a practice in different communities across the country for decades. Instead of providing subsidized housing in ethnically incorporated areas that offer minority blacks entry to the right schools and jobs, the local government has intensified ethnic segregation.

Justice Anthony Kennedy conveyed this message in the favor of the majority, stating that the legislation also permits claimants to challenge any unfair housing policies relating to discrimination – without any proof or support that discrimination was intentional. He tracks this problem’s relation to ethnic segregation to the mid-20th century. When restraining conditions and government funded mortgage inequity destabilizes black wealth establishment, increased ghettoization and pushed back black families in the urban communities that were sabotaged in the 1960s. Congress hoped to put an end to such discriminative patterns by introducing Fair Housing Act, which required the local government to spend federal money to fair housing schemes. But for years, the local, federal and state government failed to achieve the objective.

Black minority discrimination has been in the news since a very long time and now the fight has reached to one of the favorite social networks Twitter. Tristan Walker, a well-known black businessman in Silicon Valley was surprised and shocked to see that BET Awards were all over his feeds despite the fact that the Black Entertainment Television program had also secured several slots on the list of trending topics on Twitter. He was surprised because the event wasn’t getting the kind of appreciation Twitter has given to other programs like Oscar, Grammys or the Country Music Awards. Finally, he tweeted “The company should pay attention”, regenerating a discussion about being deficient in diversity in technology.

Walker says Twitter being a favorite social network could do more about this if the company just paid more attention to all the potential activities and events relating to black communities on its network. In accordance to a 2014 Pew Research centre study, up to 40% of blacks aging from 18 to 29 are using the internet and are live Twitter users compared to just 28% of white users in the same segment. But only 2% of the workforce comprises of blacks by company’s diversity stats. “Why aren’t such platforms accepting this demographic group hell a lot of more? Walker asks, to which Twitter declined the comment.