Academic journal article Ethnic Studies Review

The Color of Crime: Racial Hoaxes, White Fear, Black Protectionism, Police Harassment, and Other Macroaggressions

Academic journal article Ethnic Studies Review

The Color of Crime: Racial Hoaxes, White Fear, Black Protectionism, Police Harassment, and Other Macroaggressions

Article excerpt

Katheryn K. Russell. (New York: New York University Press, 1998) 148 pp., $24.95.

Is Crime a problem or color or race? What about the question of disproportionality: Do blacks commit more crimes in proportion to their percentage of the total population? Does disproportionality, as one measure of crime statistics, tell the whole story? What is black protectionism? Probably the most critical question Russell raises is does a racial bias exist in the reporting of crime statistics in the United States? This is not the first time such an issue has been raised. These are among the major questions dealt with in The Color of Crime.

In Russell's view -- and there is much evidence to support her -- the answer to the last question is yes. She is highly critical of some of the criminal justice literature published as recently as the 1980s, and she discusses it in the section on "Discrimination or Disproportionate Offending."

Although not all the research in the field is guilty of one sidedness, misreporting and faulty analysis is still a major problem in the field, as she correctly points out. …

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