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 …show more content…
In society people have gathered and formed opinions and beliefs on what oppression is. “Governor Wallace of Alabama blocking the schoolhouse door; we think of water hoses, lynchings, racial epithets, and “whites only” signs” (108) are things, explained by michelle, are things that formed the incorrect idea of what oppression actually is. While this form of oppression is during the original Jim Crow era is face forward and very obvious, it has altered and skewed our views on oppression and racism as a whole. Mass incarceration has formed this idea of a bird cage, with the idea that If “one thinks about racism by examining only one wire of the cage, or one form of disadvantage, it is difficult to understand how and why the bird is trapped” (108). The system that traps and oppressed African Americans during the modern era is a much more structural intricate system. Rather than being oppressed by governors or signs, the modern day Jim Crow oppresses people by a larger systematic system. This system consists of shutting down businesses and job opportunities in poorer communities which then leaves a need for income. This income is then fixed by false hope in the form of crack cocaine. Crack cocaine is then attacked and then becomes the main target in a war on Drugs set by the President. The appeal of targeting this drug becomes incentivized by money and benefits. Which in turn leads to the Mass incarceration of these poorer communities (African Americans). After going through the penal system these people are then legally allowed to be discriminated upon, leaving them without housing, jobs, work, or simply a voice in society. Which ultimately leaves these people oppressed and exiled from society. The oppression of African Americans is very prominent, whether it is obviously blatant actions from governors and signs or a complex structural system that traps these people in a
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The article “Life Sentences”, Christopher Shea describes various statements which I strongly agree with and have a strong position towards, such as the difficulties ex-convicts go through in attempting to find a living for themselves after prison and the amount of money America invests in prison. After almost 60 years, it seems as if our world has not progressed or learned anything from the Civil Rights movement, till this day African Americans are treated with no respect and are constantly being put down. Shea portrays in the article the hardships prisoners go through when reentering society in trying to find a job but, especially male African American implying how our world is still racist towards “different skin colors”. By far
In her book “The New Jim Crow” (2010), Michelle Alexander, a civil rights lawyer and an activist in the civil rights movements, that many people think has long been concluded, argues that the results of prison go well beyond the walls of the facility and can even have a perpetual effect on a person's life. Alexanders exact words on page 142 are “ Once labeled a felon, the badge of inferiority remains with you for the rest of your life, relegating you to a permanent second-class status.” Alexander supports her claim by interviewing people and describing their experiences in prison and their life after prison. She also informs the reader of laws that make it harder for felons to not only get jobs, but also limits their access to housing, and
“The New Jim Crow” Summary “The New Jim Crow” was written by Michelle Alexander based off of her experience working for the ACLU of Oakland in which she saw racial bias in the justice system that constituted people of color second-class citizens; Which is why the comparison had been made to the Jim Crow laws that existed in the nineteenth century. Alexander notes comparisons in white resentment, colorblind language, segregation in neighborhoods, legal discrimination, etc., while the difference are the lack of activism that is shown in response to these injustices. Goes over the entire history of slavery; Documenting the Civil War, the Jim Crow laws, and then the civil rights movement to the War on Drugs that Reagan, in 1980, began in order
C. Vann Woodward drove a specific theme throughout his book that racial segregation, later known as Jim Crow in the South, did not begin immediately after the end of the Civil War in 1865. Racial segregation, however, took a slow route and prevailed towards the end of the century when issues started to pop up due to the Civil Rights movement; furthermore, before Jim Crow came about there was a distinct period of assimilation between races in the southern states. Many historians believe that the laws were the problem; moreover, the problem was deeper. Woodward begins his thesis by stating that the structure of Jim Crow “was born in the North and reached an advanced age before moving South” (C.V.W pg.
Alexander explains the process of mass incarceration, which was another form of slavery and is keeping blacks very oppressed from the outside world. Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Regan both had parts in creating the war on drugs, which was meant to put all the people using drugs into prison. The war on drugs put a record number of people in prison, with a large amount of the prison population being black people. Baldwin says that white people won’t face the cruel conditions blacks have always been accustomed too, and that is clearly shown with mass incarceration, as the population of blacks in prison was much higher than whites, even though blacks have a disproportionate amount of people in America compared to white people. While the politicians and police officers were trying their best to put African Americans into prison, they preached that these laws were ‘color blind’.
Another component of the prison-industrial complex are courts. Our court system is overburdened with cases of poor people who cannot pay bail, as well as public defenders whose caseload are so large that it does not allow them to dedicate the proper amount of time to each case. Many times this results in a large number of public defenders pushing for defendants to take plea deals. This infringes on a defendant 's fifth amendment right to trial by jury (see appendix 1). Many of the people targeted by police for surveillance are those who later face time in court fighting for their freedom.
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
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Alexander, M. (2012). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Rev. ed.). New York, NY: The New Press. Michelle Alexander in her book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" argues that law enforcement officials routinely racially profile minorities to deny them socially, politically, and economically as was accustomed in the Jim Crow era.
For example, open Black support of harsh punishment and law enforcement may seem hypocritical because in reality these policies and practices contribute to mass incarceration of Blacks. Alexander clarifies that Black support is more complex than it appears and can be attributed to a combination of complicity and wanting better safety for their communities and families (Alexander, 2012, p.210). Alexander also offers a unique perspective throughout the entire book by explaining how the systems of slavery and oppression have affected White individuals and not merely in the form of privilege or the dismissal of White people as simply as racist individuals. I resonated with one particular section discussing the "White victims of racial caste" (Alexander, 2012, p.204); the author 's anecdote of a white woman falling in love with a Black man and due to miscegenation laws could not have children. I could relate to this story on a deeply personal level in that my own parents experienced extreme and countless hurdles due to their interracial relationship and having biracial
When the phrase Jim Crow is uttered, many people feel a rush of inept thoughts and bad memories due to the social taboo against talking of the lowest point in America’s history. Jim Crow was not just a set of laws aimed to oppress the lives of all black people, but a movement by the citizens, black or white, that caused a corrupt mindset in all men and women. Many people tried to stop the social force from continuing in individual spurts of courage, but they were not able to stop Jim Crow as individuals. An individual’s own personal courage cannot fight against Jim Crow, because a single person would not be able to stop an entire movement embedded into the minds of millions of people, not to mention how the social pressure against it was too strong to even fathom fighting against it.
Lastly, violence against black people was very prominent during the Jim Crow era. The statistics for the amounts of black deaths from violence is outrageous. Fremon wrote, “In 1890 until 1917, on average, two to three blacks in the South were illegally hanged, burned, or otherwise murdered every week” (Fremon 37). Two to three black people were killed every week. The amount of abuse was so much and was for random minor “crimes” and sometimes black were even falsely accused.
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.
Even more when she explains how slavery, although no longer in the form it was before, has been masked into a different form being the mass incarceration of people of color when she mentions society’s colorblindness. With this in mind, one of the main reasons Alexander compares mass incarceration and Jim Crow South is due to many of those who are incarcerated being stripped of their rights, the very rights given to them by the Civil Rights Act. Once those who are incarcerated are let back out into society they are denied legally their rights. Rights such as voting, obtaining employment, housing, welfare, and are stigmatized as being the forefront that all who are black are offenders. This notion has led many to believe how similar the after effects of mass incarceration and Jim Crow South are.
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.