Race, racism, and policing: Responses of Ethiopian Jews in Israel to stigmatization by the police

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12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Immigrants who believe they suffer from stigmatization and discrimination may still demonstrate positive attitudes toward government authorities. We explore this trust–discrimination paradox by examining perceptions about police and policing among Ethiopian Jews in Israel, an immigrant racial minority. Drawing on data collected from focus groups and survey results, we find that levels of trust in the police among Israelis of Ethiopian descent are equal to or higher than among veteran Jewish Israelis. Nevertheless, Ethiopian Israelis also report negative perceptions of the police that are rooted in strong feelings of stigmatization by these government agents. While trust in the police may reflect Ethiopian Jews’ desire for integration, participation, and inclusion as legitimate and equal members of nation and state, we demonstrate that they use various de-stigmatization strategies whose aim is to downplay the importance and depth of their discrimination by the police. These strategies, we argue, allow Ethiopian Israelis to maintain positive attitudes toward the police.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-706
Number of pages19
JournalEthnicities
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Ethiopian Jews in Israel
  • Trust in police
  • de-stigmatization strategies
  • immigrant minorities
  • minority integration
  • racism and discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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