Racism In The New Jim Crow And The 13th

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Social systems evolve with the advancement of political thought, science, and religion. The system of racism in the United States has so evolved, as the political will to end slavery solidified, and science proved that blacks were not different from whites as many pseudo-Darwinists claimed, and as religious mobilization in the South helped to end much racial segregation through unity. What is important here is that those systems evolved, rather than vanishing. Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow and the Netflix documentary 13th each discuss this phenomenon, from slavery to the prison industrial complex. But why have these systems evolved and been maintained? Though the systems are complex at every level, the concepts of ethnicity, power, capital, and loss aversion to these former all appear critical to the answer to this question. Both The New Jim Crow and 13th explain how slavery developed from existing socioeconomic conditions and needs. Planters wanted to maintain their modes of production and from there, profits. To do so, racialization of the workforce was a necessary step, for in the face of enlightenment thought, where all humans are born equal, what other option was there besides dehumanization? The planters already had social and economic capital. They also shared a Christian European ethnicity. What’s more, they had power. As can be seen when one takes a toy from a child (I wouldn’t recommend this), more pain is inflicted in loss than pleasure is received by
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