The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is a non fiction book written by Michelle Alexander, a well known civil rights lawyer, is a book that every American citizen should read. Alexander’s book cover is of three metal bars and two strong black hands holding them tightly. The book spent multiple weeks on The New York Times bestsellers list and has a foreword written by Cornel West, he is a well known and respected social activist. The book discuss how the new system of oppression for people of color in the United States is mass incarceration. Jim Crow laws were a systematic way to segregate and discriminate against black people. The new systematic way to oppress black people is prison. Alexander clearly states that her book was not written for everyone and that it has a “specific audience in mind-people who care deeply about racial justice but who, for any number of reasons, do not appreciate the magnitude of the crisis faced by communities of color as a result of mass …show more content…
A good example, of how she demonstrated this was on the very first page. Alexander gives an example of one man’s family, where no men for generations have been able to vote. First because of slavery, then Jim Crow, fear of the K.K.K., and now because he has been labeled a felon (1). She also successfully shows demonstrates how America’s drug war, poverty, and jail all go hand in hand. I think that one of the main points was that “the Age of Colorblindness”. This current time period is supposed to be post racial and the new generations much more accepting. The book proves that racism is not over, and it is just now carried out in a new way. Black men are the group that are most affected by the prison system and are more likely to be stopped by the police than any other group of
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It portrays how times have changed for white and African Americans in the American justice system. Suzanne Lebsock did a very thorough job of explain through a story of how different the courts acted depending on a person’s race. It shows the discrimination people showed to other people who were not like them. The way that Lebsock wrote the book is a little confusing at times, because she goes back and forth between ways of explaining a subject. Also, she repeats the same trial base line throughout the entire book, in thus repeating a majority of the book multiple times.
Michelle Alexander explains how our society uses Mass Incarceration to control those in the African American community starting with the War on Drugs. She discusses how slavery and Jim crow were used to control the African American community, and when those ideas became stale government officials were searching for a new way to control the community. Thus, Mass Incarceration became the new caste system. This book has opened my eyes in various aspects. I have a better understand of the justice system after reading this book that I have had from watching the news and other media outlets.
She mentioned that in the year 2004 more black men were disfranchised than in 1870's, the year 15th amendment was ratified. It also has a huge effect when black individuals take the decision to fight for their rights because the "criminal" label puts their arguments in question and makes it almost impossible for them to win a case, even if they are innocent. One of the complexities of finding a solution to this matter is the stereotypes that influence even the "well-intentioned" officers to suspect by just looking at their physical aspects and create these racial disparities. Another factor that plays a major role is the economic
It is an existing theory that our society is constructed via racial dimensions, and that racial equality is a figment of the imagination. This very principle is highlighted in Michelle Alexander’s novel, “The New Jim Crow.” The specific dimensions covered within the text include the unjust aspects of the federal drug policy, and by connection that of mass incarceration as well. Alexander claims that racism is still very prominent in present day society and is direct and frank about the heavy influence of white supremacy. One of the main arguments pushed by Alexander in this book is that mass incarceration is “ a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar
In the white man’s world, the strongest antagonist is an educated black woman, conscious of her value and power in society. Angela Davis is one of these black women. She was educated not only formally through schooling, but through experiences as an oppressed member of society. Davis illustrates how necessary knowledge of self, a sense of community, drive, and organizing are in the Freedom Liberation Movement. Angela Davis’s purpose for writing her autobiography was to preserve and validate the struggles, efforts, and intentions of the many men and women, including herself, educating future generations on the past, in hopes that they will continue the fight towards freedom that is not yet won.
The caste system locks people up behind bars, literally and fundamentally, and creates a new life; essentially, for many men and women in low-income black communities. During the Reagan Administration, “The War on Drugs” began. Overall, this lead to mass incarceration and African Americans were targeted even though a majority of the drug abusers were white. Since then, mass incarceration has become a prevalent issue in today’s society. Michelle Alexander does a phenomenal job at presenting her
Next, I believe the 1960s was full of segregation and people who were very violent against African Americans. It states in the text “People like Martin Luther King and Rosa parks were fight for African American civil rights.” This shows the fact that African Americans were actually fighting just to be like everyone else and get people to think of them the same as everyone else. They didn't get a fair trial or anything they had to prove to the white men and women. African Americans were biased and never accepted until the civil rights act was
She first supports her claim by chronicling America 's history of institutionalized racism and systematic disenfranchisement of African Americans. Then, she discusses America 's War on Drugs that disproportionately targets minorities and finally as she examines the hardship faced by felons she compares and contrasts Jim Crow Laws to mass incarceration. Alexander surmises that mass incarceration is designed to maintain white supremacy and sustain a racial classification system. Alexander 's book is relevant to my research paper because she provides evidence that the criminal justice system is rooted in racism and directly linked to the racist agenda of the white supremacist. Broussard, B. (2015).
Slavery is over therefore how can racism still exist? This has been a question posed countlessly in discussions about race. What has proven most difficult is adequately demonstrating how racism continues to thrive and how forms of oppression have manifested. Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, argues that slavery has not vanished; it instead has taken new forms that allowed it to flourish in modern society. These forms include mass incarceration and perpetuation of racist policies and societal attitudes that are disguised as color-blindness that ultimately allow the system of oppression to continue.
Race is one the most sensitive and controversial topics of our time. As kids, we were taught that racism has gotten better as times has passed. However, the author, Michelle Alexander, of The New Jim Crow proposes the argument that racism has not gotten better, but the form of racism that we known in textbooks is not the racism we experience today. Michelle Alexander has countless amounts of plausible arguments, but she has failed to be a credible author, since she doesn’t give enough citations or evidence for her argument to convince people who may not have prior agreement with her agreement.. Alexander’s biggest mistake when it came to being a credible author was starting off the book with a countless number of claims without any evidence in her Introduction.
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.
Slavery, Jim Crow, the ghetto, and the carceral apparatus are all structural institutions that share a mutual beneficial relationship where each has supplemented and historically progressed into more advanced subtle forms of oppression and racism. Past and current regimes served as social functions with the objective of encompassing African Americans in a permanent subordinate position. In each generation, newer developments of a racial caste emerge with the same objective of repudiating African Americans citizenship. The only thing that has changed since Jim Crow is the language we use to justify racial exclusion (Alexander, 2). These four regimes are genealogically linked because they all advanced and developed from one another.
Al Freeman 7/22/17 Extra Credit The article, Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color, by Karen Crenshaw discusses then race and gender issues surrounding violence against women of color. Crenshaw draws attention to the severity around issues of black women’s experiences of rape and domestic violence getting silenced, overlooked, and misrepresented. There are many political and structural aspects of intersectionality that Crenshaw focuses on within the article, including using an analysis of the violence against women of color to show how important it is to look at these issues through the lens of interconnected races.
The film 13th is a documentary that explains how the prison systems are another form of slavery and is built to effect colored individuals and colored communities. The film identifies and explained a loop hole in the 13th amendment, which banned slavery. The loop in the amendment is that slavery and involuntary servitude is illegal unless a person is convicted of a crime. This clause in the amendment led to the first prison boom in America and mass incarceration. This film opened my eyes to underlying aspects of things that I have had previous knowledge about.
Her central thesis is that mass incarceration is “The New Jim Crow,” or the new system of control used by the government to uphold racial class in the U.S. This book will be helpful to my research because it directly discusses the topic of race and the criminal justice system. Amnesty International. (2003). United States of America: Death by discrimination