Over the last couple of years at Dominican University, I have taken numerous courses in sociology and criminal justice. I have learned a great amount about the criminal justice system. Michelle Alexander, who is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar, speaks on the assault against on poor and vulnerable people in American society. In the book, The New Jim Crow, Alexander’s work takes on the systemic breakdown of black and poor communities overwhelmed by a huge quantity of unemployment, social disregard, and forceful police surveillance (Alexander, 2010). Alexander’s “subtle analysis shifts our attention from the racial symbol of America’s achievement to the actual substance of America’s shame: the massive use of …show more content…
During the Reconstruction Era, African-Americans began to attain more political power. Therefore, African Americans began a large rally toward better social and economic fairness. This type of behavior startled the white supremacy and therefore, reacted with fear and violence (Alexander, 2010). This became the birth of Jim Crow, a series of firm anti-black laws. Whites believed that in order to “redeem” the South, it would be reinforced with a rising group known as the Ku Klux Klan, which “fought a terrorist campaign against Reconstruction governments and local leaders, complete with bombings, lynching, and mob violence” (Alexander, 2010, p. 30). Crimes were continuously imposed against the African Americans and the death rates became outrageously high. Segregated laws were put in effect in effort to drive separation between the whites and African …show more content…
In the process, Nixon increased the federal government’s role in fighting crime, and pressed for mandatory sentencing and “no-knock warrants.” According to Alexander, “The War on Drugs proved popular among key white voters, particularly whites who remained resentful of black progress, civil rights enforcement, and affirmative action” (Alexander, 2010, p. 54). When the “War on Drugs” took place, it allowed whites to express their hostility towards the black culture and black progress, without being visible to the charge of racial discrimination (Alexander, 2010, p. 54). By declaring the War on Drugs, it was another structure that was targeting African American men. Certain drugs were associated with the black community, for instance, crack cocaine – a form of cocaine that can be smoked. It was declared that for more severe punishment needed to
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Chapter 1 of “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander, that is also a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, wrote this chapter to inform us the history of racism in America, and if African Americans really treated equally. When the Emancipation Proclamation was passed, many whites were scared that the slaves are now free because they might want revenge, so the whites made a stereo type that all black men are criminals. When the Reconstruction ended, the south had a redemption. The convicts had no legal rights, so they became the “slaves” to help rebuild after the civil war. Then the prison population of blacks rose so the whites can use them as free labor.
The New Jim Crow When looking for a book about racial perception I wanted to find a book that looks at racial perception from a different perspective that I had not thought of. This information would need to be new and fresh and be able to open me up to new questions on racial perception. The first stop I made was to Ygnacio Valley Library. Looking around was not very difficult since racism and world conflicts have a shelf dedicated to themselves. I searched through the first couple pages of different books and took a glance at the table of contents.
Do you remember reading about the slave trade in our history books? And how Abraham Lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation which abolished slavery. But yet, under the 13th Amendment one is forced to involuntary slavery when convicted of a crime. Yes, it is the year 2017 and we can say slavery still exist. Saying that slavery was “Abolished” would be deceptive from my part, I believe it was put to an end but then reconstructed into the American Prison System.
Who killed reconstruction? An increase of freedom for slaves took place during the Reconstruction era which occurred twelve years after the Civil War. There was attempt to reconstruct the South which was ended in 1877 by the South. The South was filled with white supremacist, known as the Klu Klux Klan, that opposed Reconstruction and rights toward Freedmen.
Moreover, the aftermath of incarceration for convicted African-American felons entails that they are unable to vote. The constitution implements this idea that anybody can vote regardless of race or gender, but criminals are unable to vote. Criminals occupy the lower caste in society meaning that nobody wants to be like them ,stereotypes are associated with them, and nobody wants to advocate for them or their rights. Michelle Alexander explicitly describes the ongoing oppression by stating that “ Like his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great great-grandfather, he has been denied the right to participate in our electoral democracy” ( Alexander). Alexander is talking about the black man when she says “he” because majority of the
It is a well known fact that history repeats itself. This entangling cycle of repetition can be witnessed in the constant racist and prejudice state of American society. In The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander is able to bring to light the mistake people have been making through the process of repeating history, this mistake being the repeated use of racism and prejudice to successfully segregate society in order to accomplish a goal. Accordingly, during the time of slavery, a white lower class man by the name Nathaniel Bacon started a rebellion, uniting the poor whites and the blacks against the white elite. In response to this, the white elite used the repeated tactic of segregating whites from blacks and in their vulnerable state, gave
Watching “13th” was a confirmation of what I already knew. The institutionalization of black men is another form of slavery; it’s just the legal way to do it. Black men were perceived as dangerous and criminals from the moment they were “freed” slaves. They were targeted, feared and lied on as the years went on. A major example of this was the story of Emmet Till.
In 2010, author Michelle Alexander wrote the truly insightful book, The New Jim Crow. Throughout the book, Alexander displayed that by targeting African American men through the War on Drugs and racial biases within communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system is still functioning as a modern day system of racial control while hiding behind colorblindness. The New Jim Crow is an eye opening account of how African Americans are still being denied the very rights supposedly won from the Civil Rights Movement and makes one think about the modern day racial stigmas African Americans are facing. Although there has been many reforms to America, stigmatization is a still growing problem within the African American community and the lasting
In the first few years after the Civil War, not only was the South economically shattered, but it now had a large population of freed slaves to account for. Many Southerners were still opposed to African-Americans having equal rights, and they lasted out in violent ways without punishment. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was a group born out of hate and resentment towards African Americans. They were able to conduct a reign of terror over the South with impunity because they had justifications for their actions, making their atrocities seem less gruesome and terrible than it actually was, and many white Southerners still saw African-Americans as inferior which often bled into all aspects of their lives. Started in 1865 and originally a club for ex-Confederate soldiers1, the KKK grew into a massive terrorist organization with the mission “…in urging upon Americans the duty and necessity of preserving America’s precious race heritage2.”
In “An American Dilemma”, Gunnar Myrdal calls attention to discrimination plaguing law enforcement and justice systems in the South during the mid 20th century. Although his volumes of work were written nearly twenty years prior to the A.C. Hall case, Myrdal highlights troubling patterns of law enforcement and criminal justice that clearly manifest in A.C. Hall’s death and the incident’s aftermath. Myrdal unpacks how southern law enforcement conditions are rooted in the disenfranchisement of black communities, with far reaching consequences for not only the political climate of the region, but also for the trends of justice served to black defendants and plaintiffs. In many areas of the south, local governments employed judges, prosecuting attorneys, court officials, and high ranking police officers based on local elections (rather than appointments) and this practice led to low professional standards among these positions.
Michelle Alexander, similarly, points out the same truth that African American men are targeted substantially by the criminal justice system due to the long history leading to racial bias and mass incarceration within her text “The New Jim Crow”. Both Martin Luther King Jr.’s and Michelle Alexander’s text exhibit the brutality and social injustice that the African American community experiences, which ultimately expedites the mass incarceration of African American men, reflecting the current flawed prison system in the U.S. The American prison system is flawed in numerous ways as both King and Alexander points out. A significant flaw that was identified is the injustice of specifically targeting African American men for crimes due to the racial stereotypes formed as a result of racial formation. Racial formation is the accumulation of racial identities and categories that are formed, reconstructed, and abrogated throughout history.
Reconstruction caused prejudice and inequality. To elaborate, the creation of the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Codes were both in the time period of reconstruction, which caused chaos and violence throughout the Union. One of the goals of reconstruction was to repair the economy in the South, because it depended on slavery, which was now illegal, due to the thirteenth amendment. The South’s economic system now depended on Sharecropping, which caused former slaves to be in constant debt and was unjust to the black society. The reconstruction time period, was a time of dispute between the Union.
End to White Supremacy Racial discrimination and oppression both exists in the United States which limits non-Europeans to not be able to reach their full potential and strive in this horrid country due to the worst doctrine in American history: white supremacy. Throughout all history, non-Europeans have suffered from lack of equal rights and opportunity due to discrimination. White supremacy organizations have been made with the motive of terrorizing non-whites, as well as, caused environments to become hostile for mostly African Americans. Therefore, the ideology of white supremacy ought to be banned from the United States.
Annotated Bibliography Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New York: The New Press. Alexander opens up on the history of the criminal justice system, disciplinary crime policy and race in the U.S. detailing the ways in which crime policy and mass incarceration have worked together to continue the reduction and defeat of black Americans.
Racism has played a tremendous part in the history of the United States and is still a common problem in today’s society. Even though many races have endured racial discrimination, African Americans have experienced by far the worst forms of discrimination and hatred towards them. In the early 1920s, a wave of violent racial conflicts against African Americans began to emerge and was known as one of the most socially violent times of American history. During this time period, African Americans had to withstand Jim Crow laws, race riots, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. (Lecture Notes) Twenty years prior to the existence of Jim Crow laws, African American men were granted “full citizenship and equality” under the fourteenth amendment.