by Alex Mikulich, Ph.D.
The perversity of the criminal justice system is perhaps most apparent in the way the U.S. has created a “school-to-prison pipeline.”
The criminalization of blackness, deeply rooted in U.S. history and culture, is being reproduced at the earliest stages of socialization, including the elementary and secondary school systems. The school-to-prison pipeline encompasses a wide range of punitive practices, including so-called “zero-tolerance” discipline, inserting police into schools, creating alternative disciplinary schools, and building secured juvenile detention centers.
As the United States leads all nations in the rate at which it incarcerates its citizens and disproportionately incarcerates citizens of color, it also arrests more children under the age of 18 than any other nation. Whereas the U.S. arrests 336 per 100,000 children, the second-highest arresting nation, South Africa, arrests 69 per 100,000.
By Dr. Alex Mikulich
Over 100 years ago, in his introduction to The Souls of Black Folk, W.E. B. Du Bois wrote: “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.” Despite claims that we live in a “post-racial” society after the historic election of Barack Obama, the fact remains that the color line and racial hierarchy endures in the 21st century. At issue for the Jesuit Social Research Institute, from the perspective of Roman Catholic social teaching and thought, is the persistence of disproportionate advantage for white Americans in relationship to pervasive and persistent disproportionate disadvantage for people of color in every sphere of life including health, wealth, income, education, housing, and the criminal justice system. More than one issue among others, the contradiction between Gospel values and practices of racial inequality is scandalous. The contradiction between Roman Catholic and American claims for universal human dignity and equality, and the reality of social, political, and economic advantage that white Americans consciously and unconsciously accept and assume, betrays this scandal. This article continues here.
Honoring Our Sacred Obligations -- Mikulich
The Monstrous Elegance of White Supremacy -- Mikulich
Six Myths of Payday Lending -- Mikulich
Race and the 2012 Presidential Election--Mikulich
The Payday Shark in Your Bank Account -- Mikulich