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

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NYU Press, 1998 - Social Science - 203 pages
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When Americans are asked what concerns them most about the direction of the country, crime and racial tensions invariably figure prominently in the answer. In the minds of many, these two problems are inextricably linked. Yet opinions and beliefs about race and crime are often informed as much by myth and preconception as by fact and reality.

In this important book, Katheryn K. Russell surveys the landscape of American crime and identifies some of the country's most significant racial pathologies. Why do Black and White Americans perceive police actions so differently? Is White fear of Black crime justified? Do African Americans really "protect their own"? Should they?

Perhaps the most explosive and troublesome phenomenon at the nexus of race and crime is the racial hoax--a contemporary version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Examining both White-on-Black hoaxes such as Susan Smith's and Charles Stuart's claims that Black men were responsible for crimes they themselves committed, and Black-on-White hoaxes such as the Tawana Brawley episode, Russell illustrates the formidable and lasting damage that occurs when racial stereotypes are manipulated and exploited for personal advantage. She shows us how such hoaxes have disastrous consequences and compellingly argues for harsher punishments for offenders.

Stressing that journalists, scholars, and policymakers alike have an ethical imperative to disregard and refute inflammatory or wrong-headed work on race, The Color of Crime is a lucid and forceful book, impossible to ignore.

 

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203 pages of plain, unadulterated bullshit.

Contents

Acknowledgments
xi
Introduction
xiii
External and Internal Images
xvii
The Historical Record
xxx
3 Racial Discrimination or Disproportionate Offending?
xlii
4 Are We Still Talking about O J?
lxiii
5 The Racial Hoax as Crime
lxxxv
6 Science Scientific Racism and the Ethical Imperative
cx
8 Affirmative Race Law
19
Afterword
38
Appendix A PolicePublic Contact Survey
151
Case Summaries 19871996
157
Notes
175
Selected Bibliography
191
Index
199
About the Author
203

7 In Search of White Crime
cxxvi

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About the author (1998)

Katheryn Russell-Brown is Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. She is the author of Protecting Our Own: Race, Crime, and African Americans and Underground Codes: Race, Crime, and Related Fires (NYU Press).

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