Inequality-When Crime and Punishment Collide

Inequality-When Crime and Punishment Collide

Why is poverty a social issue: Poverty is a “condition” with the standard of living below the minimum needed for maintaining adequate diet, health, and shelter. Society judges people in poverty for their appearance, clothing, weight, skin, cleanliness, where they live, what they do or do not own, their education, etc. People need money to live and increase their income, to change the things society deems unacceptable. Nevertheless, the judgments keep them from obtaining jobs that are not minimum wage, thus trapping them in the “condition” of being poor.

In 2010, 46.2 million people in America, totaling 15.1 percent of the population, lived in poverty. Those numbers are not nearly accurate enough due to not being able to calculate households containing more than one family, those who have no physical address, and many other factors. The percentage allows us to know that at least 15.1 percent of the people in America are living in poverty. Black people (at 27.4 percent) and single women (at 31.6 percent) of the 15.1 percent represent an excessively high percentage of families living in poverty.

Institutional racism and gender inequality make it harder for women and people of ethnic backgrounds to make an equal wage. The unequal distribution of wealth leads to a substantial social gap with a small group of people fitting into the upper-class, middle-class, and forever growing lower-class.

The best way to be in America is white, rich, and male. The second-best way to be is a rich white female. If not born to be a rich white man or woman, then be a poor white male or a rich black male, but heaven forbid a poor black male or a poor white or black female shall exist. A rich white man has the best access to the best education, healthcare, and neighborhoods. They are not forced into vast amounts of debt (that follow them for the remainder of life) to get an Ivy-League education, and they can pay for it out of pocket or are awarded scholarships for their esteemed background. 

Nothing forces the “well-off” to access state welfare or face the penalty of a fine at the end of the year for not having insurance. When not dependent on Medicaid to receive medical attention (which only pays for specific things and small amounts). Not to be forced to choose between eating processed foods with additives and fat or not eating, because if one cannot afford healthy food. They are not having to choose between living in extreme amounts of pain from a condition yet to be diagnosed or going to the doctor and not being able to afford rent. The choice to live in quiet white suburbia where the neighbors are equally privileged and crime is scarce is available.

Not having to fear getting pulled over by the police or being denied a loan based on ethnicity. The ability to have a more simplified life, merely because the problems faced do not come from the color of one’s skin, is referred to as “White Privilege.” Those with white privilege will not have issues, yet the issues had will not encompass race. White privilege allows one to create societal issues rather than be born into them, which is freedom.

The poor strive to be middle class, the middle class intends to be productive, and the rich want to stay vibrant, and luckily for them, they most likely will, but upward mobility and economic success is commonly pipe dream. 70% of Americans will forever be middle class, while 43% will stay stuck on the bottom. A lack of quality education and facing discrimination, and the lack of jobs paying above minimum wage all play a considerable part in inequality. Poverty deeply connects with teenage pregnancy, divorce, poor health, drugs, and crime. Consequently, poverty does not just affect those afflicted with the “condition,” but the repercussions of poverty affect a considerable proportion of America.

Don’t Be Pusillanimous-

Passive Resistance Doesn’t Pack the Same Punch

Evading systemic oppression by choosing not to partake in the system, in likeness to Sovereign Citizens is submissive at best. Rather than apathetic resistance, why not take action. A passive political lifestyle or complete failure to engage in rectifying social issues, is equally as problematic as actively engaging in the maltreatment of Americans. I would implore the politically and socially inactive citizens of America to give into the proverbial lashings society forces upon them, and actually do your part.

Instead of avoiding issues as you can or rather accepting them, choose to wear the emotional, physical, and psychological scars from the constant beating; issued by inequality as a symbol of strength and fortitude.

Choose to admit; that a social hierarchy places straight, white, American men as the front runners in society. Creating a pyramid one of a different class is unlikely to climb. Especially for the underprivileged, people of color, women, and let us not forget the LGBTQ+ community.

First, realize that individual and systemic racism and sexism are still alive! Then surrender to the fact that anyone society deems unsuccessfully socialized will face obstacles in their life that the wealthy white male population will never have to deal with, at least not in the same magnitude.

Many citizens take issue with our systems in America. The criminal justice system, judicial system, healthcare, mental health, and foster care systems all deal with apparent struggles. However, little to no action by individuals is being taken in attempts to create change. Even the best intentions and ideas on how to solve the issues of America do little good without action.

Understand that it is challenging to decide where to begin. Correcting one issue often leads to observations of new difficulties; that is how the world works. Attempting to find a plausible way to initiate positive change without taking away or altering one’s civil rights granted in the Constitution is challenging to say the least.

Examining the idea of re-writing the Constitution brings about a million questions. Is there a better way for the government to run? How do we start to make changes in a way that would create a peaceful environment? A society where people maintain all the freedoms they believe to be entitled to and keep a balance. Many times, one man’s beliefs interfere with another man’s ideas.

The government’s design is to maintain a balance while upholding the control of the people, all the while letting it appear as though the American people are in power in the form of democracy. The only way to participate in the roles and rulemaking is to become part of the government. Once one earns their position, they will still need the help from the American people and the mental strength to stay true to one’s original values and determination, join the legislative fight and make a positive change.

Until one decides to admit to the inequalities in life, they will never gain the power to have a prominent and influential platform to fight against those same inequalities that oppress the American people. Surrender as a choice has a specific power attached to it as a conscious decision. It could lead to freedom because any path taken by choice will be a more fulfilling path.

If having trouble with the idea of surrendering to authority, discrimination, and blatant disregard for civil rights, one must change their perspective. To submit to the design that a diverse human being will never be as powerful as their wealthy white male counterparts; without choosing to work ten times as hard, it is to give in to the system to fight against it, making it a conscious, informed decision to accept all the faults of the design.

Making a choice is empowering. To surrender to the rules of the oppressive regimes in society would be an act of free will. Though not as a victim, but instead as a participating party. Choose to overcome the obstacles and join the fight. Eventually, taking part in changing the rules and, in turn, fixing the issues by contributing to the correction of the process. Making improvements to head towards a society where every citizen uses their voice, and every voice is respected.

Give into the regulations of the system, and work hard to get into a part of the structural hierarchy where one’s skills are beneficial. Fight to move up in the pyramid; it only takes one action to make a positive change. Fight, and then dig your proverbial nails into the ladders of life and climb. Read “The 10X Rule”-By Grant Cardone. The ascent of that social pecking order can change a person, do not let it. Work ten times as hard as one’s privileged counterparts. Become victorious against all the odds, and let the world hear that voice.

Survival of the Whitest

In 2017, there were 325.7 million people in America, and of those people, 39.7 million Americans lived in poverty. That is approximately 1 in 7 people living in poverty. Almost 8% of the people experiencing poverty were white; that is 2 out of every 25 people, leading one to presume that 23 out of 25 people were people of color. 

Herbert Spencer (English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, sociologist, and liberal political theorist) coined the phrase “survival of the fittest.” Spencer believed this to be Social Darwinism, i.e., society’s way of eliminating the weak and preventing those with defective genes from reproducing or thriving in our capitalist society.

In reality, a combination of the following theories; Structural Discrimination TheoryBias TheoriesFunctionalism, and Conflict Theory represent modern American society. The theories above explain deviance, poverty, and criminogenic among the ethnically challenged; each theory may also apply to gender and sexuality.

We know both nurture and nature influence aspects of personality. Therefore, one must agree with the “Biological Deficiency Theory” and the cultural deficiency aspect of the philosophy. When one grows up observing a specific type of behavior from their parents, neighbors, and friends, the chances are higher that they will subconsciously embed those behaviors as “the norm” and adopt them into practice. Even if one’s actions are adaptational to promote survival, there is still a high probability that one’s offspring will mimic those behaviors, thus perpetuating a cycle of non-social/deviant behavior and the adverse reaction accompanying such behavior. 

“The Bias Theories” explain prejudiced attitudes reasoning behind the continuously held bias toward minorities. There may be a simple solution to the structural inequalities or systemic racism that many minorities face. However, the first step would be an acknowledgment on a massive scale. Many people experience discrimination daily and sometimes without realization. It is easy to forget that others may judge prior to personal knowledge, expecting others to fit into a box structured by implicit bias. One may excuse negative behaviors from a person as a personality issue rather than a side-effect of their discriminatory beliefs. Also, people fail to recognize their aptitude for bias.

The most significant theoretical value lies in the “Structural Discrimination Theory.” “Slavery is over; stop holding a grudge?” Many have heard this line of thinking, especially during discussions on stratification. Had slavery never existed, black people would be on an even keel regarding institutionalized racism. The social setback occurs at the moment of conception and continues into adulthood.

Everything is connected; for example, if one’s parents are lower-class ethnic people that did not graduate high school. Then most likely, they have jobs that pay minimum wage, with little to no benefits. The lack of insurance may have prevented access to birth control, leading to pregnancy. One without insurance seeking treatment finds lower care standards; in hospitals and centers that do not require insurance prior to treatment. Having a child without insurance will likely place a person in debt. If one’s parents live in debt, they may resort to residing in low-income apartments to save money and provide food. Low-income residences often have schools that cannot afford to pay teachers who genuinely want to teach or have access to the proper educational tools, leading to a lackadaisical group of teachers and less opportunity to give students an equal education.

Those without proper education generally also have issues with “socialization.” Society views those deemed unsocialized as deviant. When one faces treatment of those who are deviant, it creates a belief, which creates a stigma, which leads to actual deviance and potentially criminogenic thinking and behavior. Criminogenic behavior by people of color “supports” the discriminatory ideologies of the uneducated. At no fault of their own, a child born may face mitigating circumstances that inevitably create an environment that sustains and perpetuates cycle discrimination.


American society operates with a “point system.” Class, Gender, Race, and Education are the qualifiers. The preferred gender is male, and the superior race is white, and if one does not begin with those qualifiers, they automatically have two fewer points than those who do. An educated and wealthy ethnic male can never be as powerful as a lower-class, white male. However, a wealthy, educated, ethnic male is on equal footing as an uneducated, lower-class educated white woman. An educated and wealthy ethnic female can only ever be as successful as an uneducated but wealthy man of color, or a lower class, uneducated, white woman.

Sexual orientation causes a fair amount of discrimination as well. However, it is unlikely to see equality in race, class, and sexual orientation prior to gender equality.

In conclusion, if one wishes to be among the most powerful in America, it is simple, all they must do is be a rich white, educated male, or accept that it will take them ten times as much effort to be equal to an uneducated, lower-class male born into the superior race.