The Echoes of the Mind (157-2) Stratification continued


The effects of stratification affect every facet of living. Educational and concomitant employment opportunities for subordinate groups are less than for dominants.

Health and social status are also aligned. The lower the social status, the greater the prevalence of morbidity, health problems in general, and higher mortality.

For lower-status groups, unhealthy habits, such as smoking, alcohol drinking, and drug taking are higher, and health-linked behaviors, such as regular exercise, are lower. This can partly be attributed to a self-debilitating lifestyle, which is largely cultural, and befits subordination.

Along similar lines is criminal activity. Statistical analyses of crime in the US and UK suggest that ~22% of incarceration can be chalked up to discrimination in the so-called justice system. That implies ~78% of the overrepresentation of minorities in prisons is a function of criminal behavior within subordinate communities. In the US, blacks, while comprising ~12% of the population, commit nearly 50% of the violent crimes.

(Greater criminality among subordinates has been statistically seen for the indigenous peoples of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, US, Canada, and Finland; Arabs in Israel; Koreans in Japan; foreign immigrants in the Netherlands; Caribbean immigrants in England; and native Algerians under French occupation (before Algeria’s independence).)

Subordinate groups not only perpetuate crime, but also are the direct victims of it. American blacks are again exemplary. Most of the violence visited upon black males is by other black males. Young black men are almost 10 times more likely to be homicide victims than white males in the same age range.

It has repeatedly been argued that minorities are inherently inferior. The subordinates-are-savages is nothing more than a legitimizing justification for social stratification by dominants. It has the ring of truth only because oppression warps the minds and morals of those who are victims of it for generations unending.

What is perhaps more surprising is the decency that most in repressed subordinate groups manage to sustain. Once again, American blacks are exemplary. As a social group, they often display an abiding, resolute spirit to overcome the obstacles imposed on them – the truest sense of honor.