Racial Disparity And Correctional Population
Sample - 1784 words essay topic, essay writing: Racial Disparity And Correctional Population
Disparity and DiscriminationDiscrimination is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "The action of discriminating; the perceiving, noting, or making a distinction or difference between things; a distinction (made with the mind, or in action)".Discrimination has existed both in the United States and throughout the world for as long as records have been kept. In fact, it was religious persecution (discrimination) that led the first colonists to our shores. Within 75 years of their arrival, the colonists had begun to institute the practice of slavery in order to maintain their agricultural production in a fashion that would eventually enrich those who owned the largest, most fertile tracts of land. This in turn created a financial disparity not only between the land owners and those (non-slaves) who worked the land on their behalf, but every other colonial functionary (i. e.; the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker). Within years of the initial adaptation of this practice, more disparity could be seen between the more profitable plantations that used slaves and those who did not, therefore allowing the wealthier, more profitable landowners more and more access to the political powerbase within these new territories. It was around this time that the land owners used this disparate access to power to institutionalize discriminatory policies against the native peoples who inhabited the desired land. As our nation grew this practice continued well beyond even the abolition of slavery.
Even as the emancipation of the slaves signaled a marginal change in our moral outlook as a nation, it did not change the way the landowners looked upon their former slaves. In their emancipation, the former slaves experienced absolute social disparity relative to their former status as slaves, and economic disparity relative to their ability to obtain gainful employment outside of the lowest level manual labor. Public policy of the time forbade them access to any political remedies to such disparity. All of these policies were based on racist views not held by all citizens, but maintained by those who were able to exploit disparate access to political power, therefore thwarting the efforts of those who would try to change the situation. Even as the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 70s produced remedies to some discrimination and disparity they exist today as part of our national fabric
They no longer exist within the actual policies, but in the personal outlook of those affected by these former policies. Today, although we have laws to address the discrimination experienced in past years, they have in no way abated accusations of discriminations of all types. Whether actual or perceived, discrimination and the conflict that it cultivates continue to be part of our nation's daily rhetoric. Disparity, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "The quality or state of being of unequal rank, condition, circumstances, etc.; inequality or dissimilarity in respect of age, amount, number, or quality; want of parity or equality", exists today not so much as a byproduct of discrimination but as a byproduct of public policies such as taxation and zoning laws as well as the hindrance of previous generations to overcome past discriminatory policies. The grand children of people who were denied the right to vote are just beginning to enter a society as adults under the protection of law meant to address past wrongs.
At the same time, others in the same society experience various types of disparity related to socio-economic conditions that have nothing to do with race, but rather social class or geographic location relative to access to various resources that might aid them to overcome these disparities. There was a time when Americans thought they understood class. The upper crust vacationed in Europe and worshiped an Episcopal God. The middle class drove Ford Fairlanes, settled the San Fernando Valley and enlisted as company men. The working class belonged to the A. F.L.-C. I.O., voted Democratic and did not take cruises to the Caribbean.
Today, the country has gone a long way toward an appearance of classlessness. Americans of all sorts take for granted luxuries that would have dazzled their grandparents. Social diversity has erased many of the old markers. It has become harder to read people's status in the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the votes they cast, the god they worship, the color of their skin. The contours of class have blurred; some say they have disappeared.
But class is still a powerful force in American life. Over the past three decades, it has come to play a greater, not lesser, role in important ways. At a time when
education matters more than ever, success in school remains linked tightly to class. At a time when the country is increasingly integrated racially, the rich are isolating themselves more and more. At a time of extraordinary advances in medicine, class differences in health and lifespan are wide and appear to be widening.
The term digital divide emerged in the mid 90s to describe the gap between those who have ever and those who have never used a computer or the Internet. Yet, the latest research and most current platforms have documented the fact that the digital divide is a host of complex factors that shape technology use in ways that serve to exacerbate existing educational inequalities. In time, we have seen this term evolve, and become even more relevant, as more school sites, libraries, and public places gain access to the Internet. The current definition of digital divide still focuses on the disparity between individuals who have and do not have access to information technology (IT). In Dillon South Carolina parents drop their children off at an old schoolhouse built in 1896, where rain pours through the ceiling, and walls literally crumble.
It's a school in America, and in some ways, it's not all that unusual. Most public schools support themselves largely with local property taxes, and that creates huge disparities new buildings in one district, ancient facilities in the next. That 1896 schoolhouse visited is in Dillon, S. C., and the man struggling to keep it open is District Superintendent Ray Rogers. 'I'm not a finance director and I'm not a Philadelphia lawyer. But I can tell there's a whole lot of in between as far as these school districts in South Carolina,' says Rogers.
'And we know we are at the bottom. We don't have to ask anybody.' That's because in Dillon, the property is almost too poor to tax. The tobacco and cotton economy which powered the Dillon S. C. economy has gone bust so that the 19th century schoolhouse that opened 30 years after the Civil War is today the school through which every child in the district must pass. In the middle school, there are no science labs or foreign language classes. And teacher salaries are among the lowest in the state.
. Forty miles southeast, and 100 years ahead, is a school in Horry County, built in 2003. 'We've built 19 new schools in the past seven or eight years,' says Gerrita Postawalte, superintendent of Horry County schools. Her new classes have the latest, science labs with wireless Internet, foreign language in middle school and an orchestra program. Just as in Dillon, about 80 percent of these kids are on a free or reduced price lunch program. But they're in one of the best schools money can buy because of the surrounding communities that contribute to its tax base.
Horry County includes Myrtle Beach, golf and all the property taxes that come with them. That tax base also supported half a billion dollars in school construction bonds over the last 10 years. Horry County takes in nearly $1,800 more per student every year than Dillon does. . A research group called The Education Trust looked at funding gaps between rich and poor school districts, state by state.
It found that the 10 worst are New York, Illinois, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont, Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama and Michigan. "If Horry County were a state, our achievement scores would be higher than several states in the country,' says Postawalte. 'No, we deal with the most important things in people's lives and that's their kids,' says Rogers (Dillon S. C. School Superintendent). 'And when you, me, the state, the legislature or whatever, when we sell these kids short we can't be proud of ourselves. We can't be proud of our community, we can't be proud of ourselves as a state, we can't be proud of ourselves as a nation.' And new research on mobility, the movement of families up and down the economic ladder, shows there is far less of it than economists once thought and less than most people believe.
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