Assignments and Activities

1. Race and the Police

Read Chapter 1 of Justice on Trial and analyze the information below.

incarc rate by race & gender - web.png

Answer the following questions. Provide evidence to support your claims.

  1. What is racial profiling? Examples?
  2. What are the arguments in favor of racial profiling?
  3. Consequences of race-based policing?
  4. Do policies of race-based policing account for the 10x increase in African-American incarceration rates?

2. Race and the Prosecution


Read Chapter 2 of Justice on Trial.

Using 25 words each, summarize how each creates racially disparate incarceration rates:
  1. The Decision to Prosecute
  2. Plea Bargaining
  3. Charging Decisions
  4. Bail
  5. The Death Penalty

Do you believe that racial profiling by the police or biased prosecutorial discretion contributes more to the incarceration rate of African Americans?
  • Cite at least two reasons for your position.
  • Identify at least two pieces of evidence or quotes that support your claim.

3. Race and Sentencing


Read Chapter 3 of Justice on Trial.

Answer the following questions in complete sentences, citing evidence where appropriate.

  1. Explain “3 strikes and you’re out” laws.
  2. How did “Tough on Crime” sentencing change prison populations?
  3. How are prison sentences racially disparate?
  4. Explain three ways the “war on drugs” has affected minorities.
  5. Are minority sentences more or less equal in predominantly white communities?

4. Race and Stand Your Ground

Examine this chart, then read the article that explains it.
Stand Your Ground and Justifiability.png

Questions:

1. If 0 on the the vertical scale represents the average, what number would the bar reach for 100% finding of "not justifiable"?
2. What percentage above or below average of blacks are convicted of killing other blacks in all cases?
3. What percentage above or below average of blacks are convicted of killing whites in all cases?
4. What percentage above or below average of whites are convicted of killing blacks in all cases?
5. What effects do Stand Your Ground laws have on conviction rates? (Identify at least two.)
6. Are SYG laws racist? (Explain your answer, citing evidence.)
7. Evaluate the authors' methods and conclusions -- are there questions about the findings, problems with the methodology, or a need for research in a particular area or aspect? (Identify at least one and explain why it would be helpful.)

5. Race, Dunn, Alexander and Martin


When we say that race is "socially constructed" we mean that it is made up by people and is transmitted from person to person. As evidence of this, take a look at these fraternal twins.

Perceptions of race

Michael Dunn, Florida Man, Invokes 'Stand Your Ground' Law After Shooting Black Teen [November 27, 2013]
Jury Deadlocks on Murder Charge in Loud Music Trial [Feb 15, 2014]

Black Twitter Shows Off The #DangerousBlackKids America Should Fear




Final Assessment: Scored Debate

Resolved: Affirmative Action is necessary, democratic, and supports America's values of equality and opportunity.

Resources


Procon.org Affirmative Action Pros and Cons

Affirmative Action Pros and Cons

New York Times Affirmative Action Overview

Washington Post Affirmative Action Overview (somewhat outdated)

American Association for Affirmative Action

How affirmative action divides two justices (60 Minutes video)

Gale Reference Library, search for Affirmative Action (via Sno-Isle library system)

After I-200: Trends in Undergraduate Admissions & Emerging Trends in Race-Neutral Policy to Attain Diversity

Striking Photos Challenge The Way We See Blackness

Understanding Race

Additional Reading


Malcolm Gladwell, Getting In

Related Videos




Related Current Events


Hollywood couple stopped by police, say they were racially profiled.

This twitter conversation with Questlove.

References


The Sentencing Project




    • Explain “3 strikes and you’re out” laws.
    • How did “Tough on Crime” sentencing change prison populations?
    • How are prison sentences racially disparate?
    • Explain three ways the “war on drugs” has affected minorities.
    • Are minority sentences more or less equal in predominantly white communities?