After arguing the failure of prisons, Mendieta establishes his agreement with Davis’ anti-prison rhetoric without introducing the author, her book, or other various abolitionist efforts, “I will also argue that Davis’s work is perhaps one of the best philosophical as well as political responses to the expansion of the prison system...” (Mendieta 293). The article’s author also assumes that readers are familiar with specific torture tactics used on prisoners,“...the United States is facing one of its most devastating moral and political debacles in its history with the disclosures of torture at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and other such prisons…” (293). Mendieta’s act of assuming that readers will already be familiar with Angela Davis and her work, as well as the specific methods of torture used by certain prisons, may cause readers to feel lost while reading the
Oppression is a continuous issue in societies globally. In United States history African Americans are a prime example of people that have been oppressed. During the 1800s and 1900s many reforms took place that was to help advance the lives of African Americans. Although the reforms were put into place African Americans continued to live in a society which they were oppressed, degraded, and seen as inferior. From this period of U.S. history many works of literature were created that expressed their views on how to approach and resolve the issue of oppression.
In her article “The New Jim Crow,” Michelle Alexander powerfully argues that the American prison system has become a redesigned form of disenfranchisement of poor people of color and compares it to the racially motivated Jim Crow laws. She supports her assertions through her experiences as a civil rights lawyer, statistical facts about mass incarceration, and by comparing the continued existence of racial discrimination in America today to the segregation and discrimination during the Jim Crow laws. Alexander’s purpose is to reveal the similarities of the discriminatory and segregating Jim Crow laws to the massive influx of incarceration of poor people of color in order to expose that racism evolves to exist in disguised, yet acceptable forms
In the 19th century, slavery and the Reconstruction was a sore subject for the South. Reconstruction forged civil rights for African-Americans, but once the North’s influenced waned in the South, the South terrorized African-Americans and blocked them from accessing their newfound rights. While Reconstruction may have brought civil rights, those rights were quickly squashed by the South’s racism. Even after certain freedoms were securely gained, every new attempt to make African-Americans equal to the white populace was contested. A large group of people were happy to see slavery ended and civil rights rise.
Worse than Slavery, by David Oshinsky, is a novel about post-Civil War America, and the life it gave free African Americans in Mississippi and other parts of the South. Oshinsky writes about the strict laws and corrupt criminal justice system blacks faced after they were freed, and while the contents of the book are not typically read about in history textbooks, it is important to understand what life was like for the freedman. Anyone interested in reading his book would profit from it. With the end of the Civil War came the destruction of the old system of slavery. Many white Southerner’s were outraged, but were forced to accept the newly freed blacks.
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.
In her other book chapter 5 “Are Prisons Obsolete?” Angela Davis conveys the ideology of imposers using racism’s and prison labor for profit in advantage to the elites. She expresses her claim by including the data of black males
In The Meaning of Freedom, activist Angela Davis critiques the plausibility of democracy and collective freedom in the United States. By examining parallels between slavery and the carceral state, Davis contends that the two systems mutually characterize black people as disposable and compels them to incapacitation. Focusing on the two oppressive systems’ reliance on the maintenance of ignorance, Davis discusses how this ignorance is connected to America’s dominant sentiments of capitalism and self-interest, which, altogether, perpetuate cycles of abuse that disproportionately harm communities of color and lower-class peoples. As a result, this propels the creation of social hierarchies which, because it inherently cultivates inequalities, causes America’s classification as a “democracy” to be impossible.
Angela Grimke introduces the horrors of slavery and racism through sensuous imagery and parallelism in her anecdote, emphasizes the need for women to act through an exclamatory sentence and friendly persona, and ensures women that their participation is effective through historical evidence in her speech “Bearing Witness Against Slavery.” As an angry mob of anti-abolitionists rage outside the lecture hall, Grimke must continually battle for her audience’s attention. She holds their focus with an intense pathetic appeal when describing her firsthand experiences with slavery and racism to establish the idea that excused racism in the north relates to empowered slave owners in the south. This becomes an ethical appeal when she calls upon women
Lucy McMillan, a scared and terrorized African American woman, testified that the Ku Klux Klan was going to beat her and burn her house solely because she was “going to have the land” (Doc 4). This shows how African Americans in the South face social continuity due to the constant racial discrimination they faced through physical violence and
CONCLUSION Angela Davis has spent her life fighting for equality and justice. Today is she one of the most recognized leaders in the ongoing civil rights and women’s rights movements and she is an inspiration to people all over the world. She utilizes leadership styles such as Transformational Leadership which focuses on the leader being charismatic and inspiring to those she is tasked with leading. Additionally, Angela Davis is known for her Authentic Leadership, which she uses to great effect by having solid values and being able to connect on multiple levels with those she is leading.
In John A. Salmond’s intriguing book My Mind Set on Freedom, he brings to light the hardships of the African American people during a movement that evidently shaped the future for a progressing country. Based on the fight for freedom in the heart of the Civil Rights Movement, Salmond thrusts you into an epic battle that occurred for the oppressed African American race in America. Salmond’s main theme throughout the novel was that many great people battled the great evil of slavery/oppression, and waged an inevitable battle of triumph. “ Nevertheless, the years between 1955 and 1968 saw the movement at its zenith, and it transformed the South and cleansed the nation of a great moral evil.”(162). In his viewpoint, Salmond explains the many occasions of racism throughout the South, and concedes their impact on the Civil rights movement; both good, and bad.
Imagine living in a society where the tone of one’s skin subjected them to unfair treatment and rules. This was the reality to African-Americans in the South from the end of the nineteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century. Richard Wright describes the experiences of living with Jim Crow laws in his essay “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow.” African-Americans were oppressed, especially the women, and forced to follow absurd rules. Many times, the police only encouraged these unlawful rules and targeted Blacks.
When an individual is autonomous, then his or her choice needs to be respected. Kant believes that the only thing unqualifiedly good is a good will and reject the use of others as mere means to an end. F2 Autonomy According to Kant, autonomy, when applied to an individual, ensures that the source of the authority of the principles that bind her/him is in her/his own will. The autonomy formula of Kant suggests that everyone “should act so that through your maxims you could be a legislator of universal laws” (Johnson).
From will to duty to maxims to universal law, Kant moves onto insisting that we must treat others as ends in themselves, and not as means. In other words, it’s wrong to use people, as people are not things. A rational being, has dignity and the ability to naturally act in accordance to universal laws which do not pertain to our senses or heteronomous forces, we are thus born with free will. Furthermore, being autonomous beings, we must will in a way which is good for the sake of moral law. In Kant’s groundwork, we can deduce that because we are rational beings with a duty to act in accordance with this idea of a categorical imperative, we don’t need foreign incentive to do the right thing.