Sociology Sample Essay on Response to Race and Crime the Color of Punishment by David Cole

Response to Race and Crime the Color of Punishment by David Cole

The reason why this assignment is important is to understand the disparity that exists in the justice system in treatment of black and white offenders. There is a great difference that cannot be ignored between black and white people that are arrested and prosecuted for drug related crimes.

Content gained

From the class reading, knowledge and information on discrimination that occurs in the society was gained. Sociology is fundamental in understanding the welfare of human beings and contributing positively to solutions for problems faced in communities.

Class concepts related to sociology

Sociological class concepts that have been illustrated in this reading include functionalist theorists related to race and society. In order for relationships between different races to function, all the races in the society should be accepted and integrated. On reading this article, I was surprised by the reluctance and blatant refusal of political and justice leaders’ to change the discriminatory laws on drug charges against black people in the community. Reading this content assisted me to appreciate this class at a higher level especially in relation to race matters. I would like to be part of the change that would increase the awareness on current high racism levels in the society.


The article talks about differences in arrests made to black and white people in the United States. The justice system in the US separates the punishment between individuals charged with possession of cocaine and crack cocaine. Crack cocaine is a form of cocaine that has sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) added to it. Crack cocaine is cheaper, and holds a high prison sentence of up to five more years in comparison to cocaine charges. Most African Americans are usually arrested and charged on possession of crack cocaine primarily because it is cheaper, while a higher number of white people are found in possession of cocaine; which is more expensive. Statistics from prisons all over the country show a very high number of African Americans sentenced to high prison sentences.

If I was teaching this class, I would also have assigned this reading. It is important for people in the world to be aware of the existence of racism even in the 21st Century. Individuals all over the world assume that the United States of America is perfect in all areas. This article by David Cole proves that the country still has a long way to go if people are charged and prosecuted differently based on their skin color.