Sunday, March 8, 2020

classism and the criminal essays

classism and the criminal essays While searching the web for articles on classism, I had the fortune to come across a fascinating site called the Anarchist Black Cross Network. What captured my attention was a speech by Clarence Darrow to the inmates in the Chicago prison in 1902. Being impressed by his philosophy, I determined to learn as much as I could about who Darrow was and what he did. During the process, I have come to appreciate Douglas O. Linder for his article, Who is Clarence Darrow, (1997). Clarence Darrow was a political activist and trial lawyer. Linders article summarizes Darrows famous speech to the inmates, which highlights his philosophy and also covers some of his more famous trials. Darrows main belief is that there is no such thing as a criminal; society causes people to exist in whatever manner they do, that is whether they are inside of or outside of a prison. He states to the inmates that most people outside of prison are criminals in an acceptable way i.e. the gas company, retailers, etc. When Darrow looks at advertisements all he sees are lies. Darrow views selling for profit as a societally acceptable crime. I believe that Darrow views himself as a Robin Hood of sorts, exposing the richs exploitation of the poor as crime. He was a visionary for his time: reading his text, I felt as if the views were very modern and could have been written recently. Darrow expresses that humanity is forced into crime because of poverty. He gives examples. The first is kidnapping. Darrow states, This crime is born, not because people are bad; people dont kidnap other peoples children because they want the children or because they are devilish, but because they see a chance to get some money out of it. The second is burglary, he states that no one stumbles around in the dark in a strangers house; no one takes that risk, unless they are desperate and h...