Honor’s College Freeman Research Journal


Jordan Davis

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Monika Rasmus


The United States is a multiracial, multiethnic society. The major racial/ethnic categories in American society are white, African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American. Racism, an insidious social problem in the United States since the founding of the country, is the belief that members of one or more races are inferior to members of other races. Racism in the United States has been directed primarily by the white majority against racial and ethnic minorities. Historically, the white majority has singled out racial/ethnic minority groups for differential and unequal treatment in the areas of housing, employment, education, and criminal justice. As a 20-year old young African American male, these racial disparities directly affect my future success and my peer group. Since the presidential election in 2016, racism in America has become more accepted, overt, and tolerated. Criminal justice experts distinguish between legal and extralegal factors to explain racial disparities in criminal justice. Legal factors include seriousness of the offense and prior criminal record. These are legitimate reasons for disparities because they pertain to an individual's criminal behavior. Extralegal factors include race, class, and gender. These are not legitimate factors upon which to base decisions because they relate to group membership rather than criminal behavior.



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