The Condemnation Of Blackness Analysis

876 Words 4 Pages
Paper 6
In his book The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, author Khalil Gibran Muhammad works to answer a series of questions surrounding the “statistical link between blackness and criminality” (1), focusing on the core historical actors and the circumstances that were constructed to allow for the current reality that while African-Americans make up 12 percent of the general population, they make up 30 percent of the prison population (4). The issue becomes less about whether or not the committed crimes are real, but more about how the concept of Blackness historically became intrinsically linked with criminal behavior– so much so that criminality is undeniably linked with the image of the Black
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What degree of citizenship did they deserve? To a similar extent– how will they coexist with the White population as well as the other minority populations? To summarize the inability at the time to pinpoint structural or ideological plans for the shift from slavery to freedom, Muhammad writes: “The slavery problem became the Negro problem” (20). One of the most fundamental elements of this shift was rooted in the undeniable fact that racial knowledge had previously lent itself to defining Blacks as chattel. The motivation to restrict slaves to the same status as livestock dominated the discourse surrounding race relations, which heavily carried over into the post-emancipation …show more content…
Terrorist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan didn’t need Charles Darwin or Morton to bolster their beliefs and execute their agenda, neither did more moderate white supremacists. Muhammad writes: “…new scholars of race and society shifted the scientific study of race toward a behaviorist paradigm, measuring inferiority not just by physical differences but also by the historical and contemporary behavior of ‘primitive’ races in civilized societies” (24). The body wasn’t the source for the difference, but instead the actions and impact of the racial group on its historical and present-day communities. This shift in support for racist ideology came at a time when the United States labor market began to change with the advent of fossil fuels and the rise of the country as a global superpower. The developing stark economic divide called into question the “sacred right” for all Americans to pursue their ambitions (24). However, no one wanted to address the masses of underprivileged groups that were demanding fairer wages, thus the elites needed to justify their successes. Suddenly, Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” concept was deemed relevant

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