Norris, A. N., & Billings, J. (2016). Colorblind ideology, mass incarceration, and controlling racial images: An intersectional analysis of presidential rhetoric from 1969–1996. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 1–21. http://doi.org/10.1080/15377938.2016.1256847
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10789
Ample research exists on the relationship between mainstream constructions of racialized images and perceptions of criminals. Fewer studies, however, have assessed the influence of political rhetoric in the construction and the mobilization of images of criminals as the “racial other.” This study employs a qualitative content analysis guided by an intersectionality framework to answer the questions: to what extent Presidential rhetoric influenced images of criminals; and how was colorblind language used to facilitate this process? The examination of Presidential speeches related to crime policies, given from 1969 to 1996, revealed that criminal activity was primarily articulated as being committed by “young Black impoverished males.” Through the use of colorblind strategies, race, while not explicitly referenced, was the most salient dimension of the imagery of criminals depicted in Presidential rhetoric.
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice. Used with permission.