As Donald Trump becomes POTUS, we thought we’d share this important message (below) from the American Society of Criminology’s (ASC) Division on Critical Criminology. I encourage you all to take a few minutes to read it and pass it along. We’ve included the full-text below but also a link to the actual Division on Critical Criminology post.
The Executive Council of the Division on Critical Criminology and Social Justice (DCCSJ) expresses its strong dissatisfaction with the recent election of Donald Trump to be the next President of the United States. His past remarks and actions demonstrate racist and misogynist attitudes, along with Islamophobia and Xenophobia. We thus join with other scholars who have denounced the president-elect’s discriminatory statements and his cabinet appointees, which reflect a clear disregard for every person who does not conform to white, male, heteronormative, or other similarly privileged identities.
As criminologists, we believe that Mr. Trump’s stated positions on a host of areas including crime, law, justice, education, the economy and the environment are dangerous and threaten the present and future well-being of the poor, the working- and middle-classes within the United States and globally. Specifically, we believe Mr. Trump and his pick for Attorney General will lead to an increase in mass imprisonment, detention and deportation, and the resurrection of McCarthyism. Such policies will lead to a greater reliance on private prisons, a roll back in federal investigations of police involved shootings of minorities and/or deaths in custody, and generally threaten democratic rights provided in the U.S. Constitution. These sentiments and potential actions are in stark contrast to the values and principles that the DCCSJ have historically stood for, defended, and embraced.
We concur with scholars in other fields that now is the time to act and to refute the rhetoric of the incoming administration. We call upon all members of the DCCSJ to voice their dissatisfaction with the election of Mr. Trump, his picks for cabinet positions, and the ensuing policies and practices. We encourage members to use their expertise to take action against these picks in the manner they deem best. We appreciate that these actions vary and may include, but are certainly not limited to, calling state and federal legislators; testifying at local, state, and federal hearings; and holding public forums on criminal justice policy and practice.
In addition, we ask all members to ensure their research is publically available and easily accessible in order to assist policy-makers in refuting criminal justice policies that threaten the safety, security, and livelihoods of often already marginalized communities. It is also our hope that this research can support the development of better policies. The DCCSJ is committed to assisting the members with the public dissemination of their work over the next four years.
Given the political climate, we encourage members to continue discussing issues important to the DCCSJ—such as the critical analysis of media portrayals of crime, broadening understandings of criminality and its relationships to inequality, and focusing on peaceful solutions to societal harm—in their classrooms and through public engagement so as to help better inform the public. We must not be complacent and must strive to reduce higher education’s role in perpetuating racial, gendered, and classist (among other) inequalities in society.
We also call upon members to continue to critique the field of criminology and its contributions to the current U.S. justice system. We, as experts and scholars, must fight against the normalization or dangerous ideological positions as well as criminal justice policies and practices that roll back much needed reform.
As DCCSJ members, we will continue to fight for justice through research, teaching, public outreach, and activism.