This is not the first time that we hear the words “immigrants”, “refugees” or “migrants” used with “crime”, thus directly or indirectly inferring an intersection between these terms. Often, the word “criminality” is substituted for that of “violence”, as a synonym.
The criminology of mobility or borders is a subfield that is interested in several dimensions of immigration and crime, including that of its association in political discourse. In this case, it is common to use the fear of the Other, and more particularly of the foreigner, by a demonization, even a symbolic criminalization of immigration in the name of a so-called security. This then makes it possible to justify certain migration and security policies as well as border protectionism or even to put on a good face in an increasingly polarized world.
Often, I realize that the words “immigrants” and “people of color” have become interchangeable. A good example? If I say “street gangs”, what do you think?
Street gangs and Hells Angels
Apart from organization, structure, branching of networks and age of members, street gangs and the Hells Angels are not that different. They are criminal groups that mainly engage in drug trafficking and human trafficking. They are just as violent and do not hesitate to settle their conflicts by assassinations. While the gangs are racially indiscriminate recruiting, the Hells select only whites into their ranks, as their charter mandates.
However, when talking about gangs, it is common to refer to racialized people, mainly black people, thus inferring a link between race and crime. However, this association is never raised when it comes to the Hells, which is a criminal organization of white people.
Racialisation of crime
< p>The racialization of a criminal phenomenon amounts to associating a group of a population with a type of crime. The differential treatment between the gangs and the Hells is a good example. It is part of the fear of a so-called foreign, unsuitable and dangerous youth. Some pseudo-researchers have even gone so far as to say that these young people come from violent countries. Of course, violence is peculiar to the foreigner. Right?
Ask yourself: what does race bring to understanding a criminal phenomenon? Absolutely nothing. On the other hand, this kind of link contributes to the stigmatization and discrimination of communities. In fact, cognitive shortcuts of this type, far from being supported by science, nourish certain populist political discourses and are in no way part of a desire to better understand the complexity of the criminal act and thus find effective and sustainable.
So don’t let yourself be tempted by the siren song which contributes to your imprisonment in prejudice, rejection, racism and fear. Be bigger, stronger and kinder.
When you are accused of a crime and facing a criminal charge, you don’t want to go into court unprepared. You must seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers when the stakes are higher than a simple fine.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128