To begin with, it is important to underscore the fact that FBI operations including crime rate publications play important roles that ensure that the life, liberty and property of Americans are well protected. This is done much more through the publications of Uniform Crime Reports which avails crime rate information to the general public. However, just as the FBI caution against ranking postulates, there is a possibility that readers of the crime information on the FBI website might knowingly use it subjectively and mislead the public or unconsciously make blatant conclusions.
To eliminate as much as possible the tendency for subjective analysis of the crime information, the FBI has developed a cautionary notice to all users of their site. Such initiative can be linked to a variety of reasons that seem to further the indiscriminate nature of FBI operations. First of all, the FBI only serves as a channel through which crime rate information are conveyed. Such information usually comes from police jurisdictions that offer their corporation to the FBI uniform crime report unit. Therefore, with such complexity in arrangement, it becomes very difficult for FBI to verify the authenticity of the information they are given. Consequently, it is possible that the information provided by a particular police jurisdiction might lack the true face of facts of crimes in that region. The reader is, therefore, warned through the disclaimer to be thorough and critical in analyzing the crime facts on the website (Quattrone and Jones, 1980).
Secondly, there is a possibility for visitors of the website to take the face value of a report as it is. This is particularly dangerous and can mislead the whole country. It is to be recognized that the diverse causes of crimes and variations in each jurisdiction makes it fatal to compare the crime rates for different localities or for different time periods. Social scientists agree that causes of crime in one area might not necessarily be the same to those of other states, hence giving a face value comparison of different states without a complete background of facts of crimes is like committing impunity to knowledge. In summary, the cautionary notice given on the FBI website serves as a tool for eliminating selective and subjective analysis of crime (Smith, 1996).
In this section, we are concerned with giving definition of various terms related to crime. First in the list is Prejudice. Prejudice is a term that many scholars and theorists attribute to bias. That is, it is a formed negative opinion or attitude towards an individual or a group. More importantly, such negative attitude towards another group or individual is found to have no justification whatsoever to warrant such actions, but rather based on misinformed prejudgment (Smith, 1996).
The second term related to prejudice is stereotype, and it is what always gives effect to prejudice. In simple terms, stereotype is the belief upon which prejudicial feelings and attitudes are built by majorly offering a simplistic generalization of issues that does not take into consideration the broader perspective of events. That is, instead of using concrete and elaborate methods to analyze particular information, a stereotype approach will simplify the situation leading to misinformed and subjective results. For example, when somebody makes an erroneous statement that generalizes all Italians to be Mafias (Smith, 1996).
Three other related terms in the hate crime site are discrimination, race and sexism. Discrimination, which is derivative of the other two terms, is actually behavior like any other that is characterized by the prejudicial treatment or consideration of an individual. Discrimination, which is negative behavior, is in large part the outcome of a prejudicial attitude that has stereotype effects. However, there are other factors other than prejudicial attitude that give effects to this vice. These factors include personal belief and several other motivating external factors. Racism, on the other hand, is a form of subordination or discrimination. It can be looked in two perspectives. It can be viewed as individual’s discriminatory behavior and attitude towards people of a particular race. Also, it is seen as the institutional behavior or practice to subordinate or discriminate people from a given race. Sexism or gender discrimination as well is defined as the subordination or discriminatory behavior directed towards people of a particular sex (Van Rooy et.al 2003).
The other two related terms are in-group and out-group, which all have significant correlation to the stereotype thought. In-group is the shared sense of belonging that embodies members of a particular group. Such embodiment purposely results from a sense of identical characteristics. Out-group, on the other hand, can be defined as a group that is perceived or seen as different from one’s own group. Conformity is another term that seems to maintain the vice of prejudice. It does this act by making people accept the prejudicial stance of the society. Conformity is therefore seen as a way of accepting and practicing the standards set by the society. Social categorization, which is also closely related to prejudice, is the tendency for a group to differentiate itself from others based on the social characters that members of that particular group share. Institutional support is the tendency for existing institutions to entrench prejudice through policies and to some extreme through legislation (Van Rooy et.al 2003).
Institutional prejudice is the kind of discrimination or subordination that seems to be entrenched in the various mechanisms of state operations. Personal prejudice, on the other hand, is the kind of discrimination that stems from individual bias or negative attitudes (Turner and Reynolds 2010).
It is possible that racial or ethnic discrimination could be imminent in executing arrests, especially where prejudice is entrenched in the institutions of government. In America before changes brought by the civil movement, arrests were seen to be racially and ethnically directed towards the blacks or people from outside the America. Cultural diversity in deed does have an effect on the kind of law enforcement adopted in a state. In an area where there is cultural diversity, the law enforcement system must take into consideration all these diversity in setting its operation styles (Turner & Reynolds, 2010).