The Conflict Theory is based around power, control, dominance, disparity, discrimination, and the inequality that many people in society experience. Conflict is seen as necessary in maintaining social order. The powerful and elite people in society dominant the social order; laws are often passed to ensure that this group remains in control. Many times laws are passed because of the inherent threat to the nation which threatens the wellbeing of everyone and are carried out by law enforcement officials. While the initial laws may be necessary at the time for the safety and wellbeing of everyone, authorities can also abuse the law to ensure that the less fortunate people in society remain less fortunate. Abuse of power can and often does transpire through discriminatory practices which result in racial profiling, racial discrimination, and overall disparity and inequality of certain groups in society. Conflict separates the have’s from the have not’s and ensures that the “have’s” will always dominant the social order.
Some Positive aspects Some Consequences of of the act the act Allows the FBI, law enforcement officers, and Much controversy surrounds the enactment of prosecutors to share information that they this law; many people are willing to give up could not previously; created a united front. some of their rights in support of the war on Allows law enforcement to obtain a search terrorism. Others feel the moment the plane warrant from any jurisdiction where terrorist came into contact with the world trade center related activities have occurred; often times the government used that fatal, heart- many jurisdictions may be involved which in wrenching tragedy to infringe upon our rights the past would result in individual search spelled out in the Bill of Rights. warrants from each jurisdiction being required. The act violates our First, Fourth, and Fifth Increases the maximum penalties for terrorists Amendment rights. The checks and balances and anyone found guilty of helping, planning, system has been eliminated. or carry out terrorist activities. Anyone of us can be a target of “Sneak and Allows federal agents to use roving wiretaps Peak” searches and intrusion of private that are person specific and the right to records from the FBI. perform secret searches without the The act has been utilized to Racial Profile knowledge of suspected terrorists until a later many of our American citizens, mainly, our time. Muslim and Arab citizens.
ORIGINAL INTENTION END RESULTS The Stop and Frisk law was enacted from As with any law that gives law enforcement the landmark case Terry v. Ohio. the right to act outside of an Amendment, in this case, the Fourth Amendment, there is a Under this law, police no longer have to high probability that some law enforcement wait for a crime to occur before they are officers will abuse the law to further their own allowed to act nor are they required to get a agendas. search warrant or read someone their The “Stop and Frisk” law has been under fire Miranda Rights. because many people in society feel the law is An officer with “articulable reasonable being used as a tool to Racial Profile minority suspicion…may conduct a brief groups, especially African Americans. investigatory stop, including a pat down for While New York and Los Angeles have been weapons if the officer has reason to suspect in the headlines for using this law to Racial the person is armed and dangerous” (Harr, Profile, this is an epidemic that exists in every Hess, & Orthmann, 2012, p. 213.). state because while the law has good Only reasonable suspicion need to be intentions it leaves the door open for abuse. determined under the Stop and Frisk law, probable cause does not apply.
Immigration Law from the beginning of time has promoted racial profiling and racial discrimination. The Naturalization Act of 1790 – restricted naturalization to white people who possessed good moral character. Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1870 allowed African Americans to immigrate to the United States. The Chinese were excluded from further immigration attempts because they were bringing their own cultures, rules, and norms to American causing havoc. 1921 brought quotas and was further backed by the Immigration Act of 1924 which capped the number of people who could migrate to the United States from a different country based on the number of people from that group or country that were already present in the United States. Basically, only white people could immigrate to the United States without having a mathematical formula.
Arizona’s SB 1070 Law is different than past Immigration attempts made by the Federal Government because it was enacted due to the failure of the Federal Government to secure borders which consequently left the citizens of Arizona vulnerable and under attack from the drug cartels and other crimes which endangered the state and everyone who lives there. Basically, the government hung Arizona out to dry so Arizona responded by utilizing Immigration Laws that were on the federal governments books to help with the crisis. Arizona was sued along with the Governor for enacting a law that clearly promoted Racial Profiling…the question is where did the racial profiling start if Arizona used laws that were already on the books? Answer: The Federal Government. Not surprising, the part of the law that was most disputed by President Obama because it promoted racial profiling dealt with people in Arizona having to show proof that they were legally allowed to be in the United States if they were pulled over or detained for some other infraction by law enforcement officials, was upheld by The United States Supreme Court. Why? Part of the reason is that any State has the right to help the Federal Government with Immigration violations and the other part surely revolved around the fact that if they stated that Arizona’s Immigration Law was unconstitutional they would also have to do the same regarding the federal government because Arizona did nothing but adopt laws already on the books, in that area anyway.
Racial profiling is alive and welltoday in the United States. All of thelaws discussed in this presentationhave very good intentions whichrevolve around protecting ournation and all of us. However, theselaws also open the door for abuseof many of our American citizensbecause there will always be peoplein the criminal justice system thatwill abuse these laws because they
Harr, J.S., Hess, K.M., & Orthmann, C.H. (2012). Constitutional law and the criminal justice system (5th Ed., pp. 213, 356-359). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Immigration Law: An overview. Retrieved from: http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/immigration Lilly, J.R., Cullen, F.T., & Ball, R.A. (2011). Social power and the construction of crime: Conflict theory. Criminological theory: Context and consequences (5th ed., pp. 166-198). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.