Jim Crow was not a person, it was a series of laws that imposed legal segregation between white Americans and African Americans in the American South. It promoting the status “Separate but Equal”, but for the African American community that was not the case. African Americans were continuously ridiculed, and were treated as inferiors. Although slavery was abolished in 1865, the legal segregation of white Americans and African Americans was still a continuing controversial subject and was extended for almost a hundred years (abolished in 1964). Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South is a series of primary accounts of real people who experienced this era first-hand and was edited by William H.Chafe, Raymond
Alexander, M. (2012). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Rev. ed.). New York, NY: The New Press.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is a book outlining and analysing the social constructs of the United States of America through the context of mechanics of the judicial system. It compares and contrasts the slavery, old Jim Crow law and post Jim Crow law eras in the means to highlight the racial discrimination against the Black and Brown community by the White elite. The author explores the court cases and legislation passed by the government to implement a national system geared to favor the White community and its effects on the imagery that has developed in the American mind set.
This novel written by Michelle Alexander presents research on the issue of colorblindness and mass incarceration of minorities in African American and latino racial groups which is a result of bias judgment. The author’s research indicates that people of African American and Latino ethnicity are more likely to be searched and imprisoned than white Americans although the crime rate of African Americans and Hispanics are roughly at the same rate or slightly lower than the white American crime rate. This is important to the criminal justice system in general because it shows that the government is encouraging an issue great civil rights activists have worked hard and gave their life fighting to improve.
The United States incarcerates at a higher rate than any other country in the world. In fact, the U.S. alone is home to 25% of the world’s prison population; this, however, wasn’t always the case. The rapid growth of the U.S. prison population can be traced two decades back to the declaration of the War on Drugs by President Ronald Regan in the early eighties and previously mentioned by President Richard Nixon. In an effort to reassure White Americans’ of their elite positioning in the underlying racial caste system in a time where inner-city communities were facing major economic collapses, the Regan administration called for the reinforcement of the sale, distribution, and consumption of illicit drugs,
The government publicized the emergence of crack cocaine as defense strategy to create a favorable public opinion for the drug war: “The media was saturated with images of black crack whores, crack dealers, and crack babies—images that seemed to conform the worst negative racial stereotypes about impoverished inner-city residents” (Alexander, 5). During the war, arrests and convictions for drug offenses saw an amazing increase, especially among African Americans. Because of the drug war, the United States now holds the highest incarceration rate in the world even surpassing more the world’s most suppressive nations. No other country imprisons more of their racial or ethnic minorities than the United States does: “The United States imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of Apartheid” (Alexander, 6). The War on Drugs fueled mass imprisonment in the United States in which African American were the main victims. Through this, the American justice system emerged as a system of social and economic control over the nation’s black
In “The New Jim Crow”, author Michelle Alexander argues that the war on drugs is just an excuse to target African Americans and keep millions of black people in poverty or in jail. Alexander thinks that racism is still very prevalent in today’s world. She believes that the criminal justice system uses the system of mass incarceration to control black people and exclude them from the political process. Many African American people are not allowed to vote because they have gone to jail and they are labeled felons for life. Alexander claims that both the war on drugs and mass incarceration contribute to the rebirth of caste system in America which puts African Americans into an inferior position in society.
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
The book “The New Jim Crow” Written by Michelle Alexander, Specifically chapter 5 compares and contrasts the two different eras of Jim Crow. When comparing the new vs. the old Jim Crow, the motives are similar, while their methods and means are different. The old Jim Crow is the blatant discrimination, exile, and removal of rights geared towards African Americans or people of color. While the effects are the same for the new Jim Crow, the methods of achievement are more ambiguous. The new Jim Crow utilizes incarceration to achieve their goals. Michelle alexander states in her book that “1 in every 14 black men was behind bars in 2006, compared with 1 in 106 white men” (61). The idea of incarceration, in this situation, mass incarceration is
Her thesis coins the term the “New Jim Crow” as a way to refer to the discrimination and inequity of the prison-industrial complex as a new form of bondage against poor people, and people of color. The New Jim Crow is a caste system which puts poor people and people of color into second class citizenship by incarcerating them and stripping them of their rights
In Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: The Age of Colorblindness, she argues that the debate on the war on drugs unfairly targets those of color; typically young, black men. She states how many African Americans have been in prison due to drug convictions and now carry the title of a felon with them for life. Alexander recognizes that the war on drugs was a policy with an attempt to crack down on drugs in certain communities, however, she still believes these policies target minorities. She supports this with the “stop and frisk” policy, which grants the officers with the ability to search individuals on their own natural “suspicion.” It is most obvious that poor black men are more likely to be stopped over white individuals. Although these
In Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow, she analyzes the use of the War on Drugs to not truly be against crack, but those of a minority; as well as considering the shift of using race to describe and discriminate in the Criminal Justice System, and in society. On top of the switch of who is able to define someone as colored, the Criminal Justice System is in a sense, the new Jim Crowe, seeing that the system affects those in the minority groups more than those who are not. It used to be that the everyday person could describe a person by their race or skin tone, which would then group minorities by their described race. Grouping these people made discrimination stronger, especially when history of how these people were treated is
Martin Luther King Jr. said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” (King, n.d.). If there ever was a man or women who stood in the midst of such challenge
The New Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness written by Michelle Alexander discusses the old racial caste systems and the system of mass incarceration, and she uses analogies to show different parallels and similarities between them. Alexander states it is creating a modern racial caste system.