Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Justice: An International Dilemma

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BOOK REVIEW: RACE, ETHNICITY, CRIME, AND JUSTICE: AN INTERNATIONAL DILEMMA Gabbidon, S. M. (2010). Race, ethnicity, crime, and justice: An international dilemma. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (ISBN 978-1-4129-4988-0, paperback, $ 34.95; 241 pages)

For over 10 years, Dr. Shaun Gabbidon, the son of Jamaican parents who was born in England and raised in the United States and is currently a Professor of Criminal Justice at Penn State University, has studied race and crime. In his latest book: Race, ethnicity, crime, and justice: An international dilemma, Gabbidon posits that colonialism has been a huge contributor to the development of criminal actions in racial minorities. He lays claim to the singular importance of colonialism on the justice system and racial minorities worldwide. Gabbidon positions colonialism at the forefront of racial and ethnic challenges in post colonial societies today.

Gabbidon credits his interest in colonialism and its impact on the international community in terms of race, ethnicity, and justice to the works of pioneers, namely Marshall, Tatum, and Agozino. These authors, according to Gabbidon, gave him a broader perspective on the pervasive nature of race and its influence on crime and the justice system on an international basis. Gabbidon's exposure to the colonial model has now been extended past the boundaries of the United States to encompass the entire world. With such a background, he wrote this book.

Gabbidon's objectives are to offer exposure to the scope of the race and crime interrelations around the globe and to compare and contrast the experiences of racial and ethnic minorities in the highlighted countries. He affirms that colonialism has shaped societies around the world. The author sees the brutal processes of colonialism as having an impact on racial minorities within the judiciary system today on a worldwide basis. Gabbidon further states that because of the colonial process of invasion and control, race based societies are created where the indigenous culture is suppressed, natives have less political power, and the criminal and justice systems are utilized to maintain control.

The research and discussion in this book are centered on Great Britain, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and South Africa. Each country is described by its early history, current conditions, and crime and justice among racial and ethnic groups. Gabbidon aims to discover the extent of the race and crime problems around the world. The author states that these countries were selected because they all had a strong colonial history with long and short term effects on crime and justice among racial minorities.

In Chapter 1, Gabbidon reviews the colonial model as the context for a discussion and investigation of race and crime in each country. In subsequent chapters, he highlights each country's racial and ethnic history, current demographics, and specific crime and justice problems. He concludes by comparing and contrasting race and crime in the specified countries. The author provides substantial data to support his claims regarding the status of race and crime among the citizens of the countries, with particular attention to ethnic minorities.

In this book, race is determined by color, biological notions, genetic inheritance, and specific traits. Ethnicity is associated with a group's cultural traditions, geographical ties, common language, and other commonalities. According to Gabbidon, there are five races: Ethiopians (i.e., African or Negroid), Mongolian (i.e., Asian), American (i.e., American Indian), Malaysian (i.e., Pacific Islander), and Caucasian (i.e., White) based on the classification by Linnaeus (1806) and Blumenbach (1865). While there are slight DNA differences in these groups, the author contends that the findings from the Human Genome Project confirmed a 99.9% common human genetic makeup.

Different countries use various terms to describe their ethnic minorities such as people of color, visible minority, or new minority. …