Professor Jones on Race & Inner City at 2017 Miami Book Fair

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Racial profiling and police killings will be the focus Professor Donald Jones’s discussion at the 2017 Miami Book Fair International, in conjunction with his latest book, Dangerous Spaces: Beyond the Racial Profile.

Professor Donald Jones

"One of our most acute observers of race and the war on crime in urban America turns his insight to the new frontiers of fear and social control in an America still at war with itself," said Professor Jonathan Simon, Adrian A. Krager Professor of Law, Faculty Director, Center for the Study of Law & Society, UC Berkeley, School of Law.

The book is an eye-opening, unapologetic explanation of what racial profiling is in modern-day America: the systematic targeting of communities and placing of suspicion on specific populations.

“The problem of the 20th century was the problem of the color line,” Jones said. “But in the 21st spatial metaphors of inner city and underclass have replaced the line drawn by color. In the past, we targeted individuals based on their color. Increasingly, now, we target neighborhoods. Thus in New York’s “War on Guns,” Giuliani and his predecessors targeted so-called high crime areas. It just so happened that these neighborhoods were inhabited predominantly by people of color. This “spatialization” of racism faced by blacks in New York is emblematic of a national pattern. Blacks in the inner city, Hispanics at the functional equivalent of the border, Arabs at the airport often find themselves in the crosshairs of suspicion, perceived less like citizens than as suspects. My book weaves together history, storytelling, and social theory to explore the paradox of how amid post-racial America race and place are dangerously intertwined.”

The free-flowing conversation about race and social justice will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 18 in room 202 on the second floor of building eight at 300 NE Second Avenue, in downtown Miami, 33132.

Jones grew up in East Baltimore, just a few blocks from where the television show The Wire was set. A graduate of New York University School of Law, he currently teaches constitutional law, criminal and civil procedure, and employment discrimination. Jones was awarded the James Thomas prize by Yale University recognizing him as one the leading scholars in the country for his writing on civil rights. Dangerous Spaces: Beyond the Racial Profile (Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture) is an eye-opening, unapologetic explanation of what racial profiling is in modern-day America: the systematic targeting of communities and placing of suspicion on specific populations. Dangerous Spaces offers concrete solutions in the form of a civil rights restoration act that addresses the problem of racial profiling through a set of innovative community controls on the deployment and power of police.

Jones is the author of two other books: Race, Sex and Suspicion: The Myth of the Black Male (Praeger 2005); and Fear of a Hip-Hop Planet: America’s New Dilemma (2013). Jones’s work weaves together law, history, and human narratives to explore the gulf between formal equality and the social disadvantage people of color still experience in their lives.

The event is free and open to the public. See details and information.