Zach Bova Professor Leguizamo Core LLC: Human Behavior in Perspective 20 October 2015 Summary of “The New Jim Crow” In Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow” she analyzes how there is a pattern of young black men getting incarcerated because of the war on drugs, and how the policies that have been set by the federal government are discriminatory. She is suggesting that law enforcement is abusing their power in black communities and that the war on drugs is actually giving them the right to do so. With these policies set in place police are allowed to stop and search a person if they believe that they look suspicious in any way.
When Ronald Reagan and George Bush first declared a War on Drugs in America, they opened a bunch of chaos, crime, social injustice, and a lot of heartache in the black community. The Drug War policies and laws that was implemented, violates human rights, and force police officers to aggressively pursue nonviolent criminals. This system was perfectly designed to gain social control rather than relieve neighborhoods from drugs, which have a lot of citizens questioning was this a major success or failure. Since the war on drugs have been declared, Americans have experienced nothing but an elevated level of mass incarceration, while drugs and violence have reached an all-time high in our communities. The prisons in America are leading the world
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
Stand Your Ground Law The Trayvon Martin case. This automatically should ring a bell in the mind of millions. This case sparked a deep debate about the systematic racism that is embedded within our government, and how legislation that are passed can continue to allow this to happen. Legislation such as the Stand Your Ground law, which is the defense that George Zimmerman used in his prosecution of the murder of young teen Trayvon Martin In the 2013 case of Florida v. Zimmerman ( Kessler) The Stand Your Ground Law is a highly controversial topic.
In the 1800’s, African Americans were affected by the Jim Crow Laws in the South because of the discrimination. The Jim Crow Laws were a set of strict rules preventing blacks from having the same privileges as whites. These laws affected blacks and treated them differently because of the color of their skin. From having different ways of transportation for African Americans, to not letting them use the same restroom, the Jim Crow Laws had a tremendous impact across America. Throughout my research, I learned how the blacks were affected after the Jim Crow Laws were passed.
Do you believe there is a new Jim Crow in America 's justice system? Well, in the book The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Alexander believes that America 's criminal justice system is racially biased. Furthermore, she believes that the legal system is trying to punish African Americans. There are many people that believe Alexander statements is very bold and not true. Adam Gopnik who wrote the article How We Misunderstand And Mass Incarceration believes that America criminal justice system is not racially biased, but the system has political motives.
The law is meant to protect and serve Americans, until those in power use it against lower social classes. Time states, “As the evocative language of these laws suggests, the crime of vagrancy had long historical roots. Since the 16th century, vagrancy laws had been used in England to uphold hierarchy and social order (Goluboff).” For African Americans, these laws were created and used against them to incarcerate them. Seven Guitars by August Wilson historically demonstrates how vagrancy laws and systemic racism effected African Americans.
King. America learned at this time that there is a problem with excessive force being used in American policing (“5 Ways the Rodney King Beating and LA Riots Changed America”). After America saw the police drag Rodney out of his vehicle, put him on the ground face first, and beat on him excessively, many Americans felt that the police were using their power in wrong ways. Because of this, changes in the way police are hired and a focus on police relationships with the communities they serve happened. It also brought on many discussions of how juries are made up and where trials take place.
Racial bias in media affects everyone, whether it be directly or indirectly. Getting your information biased can bias your opinion, too. Even The Society Pages, who did a study on this, found that,”Biased reporting, in other words, changes the minds of viewers, literally” (Wade). If an average white person, who has little opinion about the colored race, sees a news report saying that four black men were arrested in a burglary investigation he probably would think much of it. If the pictures of those men were their mugshots after they had been dragged out of their homes, maybe even in the middle of the night, making them look menacing the white man might’ve thought that they were awful men.
Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow is a truly thought provoking book attempting to show the enduring issues of racial inequalities in our Criminal Justice system. Racial inequality in America is a huge and controversial topic, especially in reference to America’s system of Criminal justice. In “The New Jim Crow” Alexander focuses on the racial undertones of America’s “War on drugs”. Alexander uses the chapters of her book to take us on a journey through America’s racial history and argues that the federal drug policy unjustly targets black communities.
Even before our nation’s founding, people of color have been discriminated. Decades pass and the criminal justice system is still “racist” labeling people of color as criminal, meaning black equal criminals therefore is fine to discriminate people of color just because they’re criminals. In “The New Jim Crow” the system targets black men because they are associated with crime, meaning crime stands in for race. In the other hand, As Heather Mac Donald writes in her book “The War on Cops”, “The criminal-justice system does treat individual suspects and criminals equally, they concede. But the problem is how society defines crime and criminals” (154).
As with an addiction the more you are told to stop, the more you are drawn in. Because of viewership, Americans have essentially become “chained to their image-displacement machines like lab animals to dispensers of morphine” (Nelson 308). All over America, there is a demand for power
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
The U.S. Supreme Court encountered various difficulties in trying to overthrow Jim Crow. After the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) decision, it makes things difficult for the court to overturn its “separate, but equal” ruling. Heading into the 20th Century, Black civil rights in America, particularly in the South were met with swift opposition. It was in large part due to the Supreme Court ruling that gave those states the power to enforce discriminatory legislation. In Robert J. Cottrol book, “Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution”, he described the Jim Crow era as it dealt with public education.
I also read that the police would wait until the Sailors beat up the Chicanos during the Zoot Suit riots to arrest the Chicanos for fighting instead of both the Sailor and the Chicano. This discrimination and brutality against Chicanos from the Los Angeles police has been going on for a while now and it needs to stop. It’s one of the most disturbing and unheard of parts of history. Douglas Monroy was trying to educate the reader about the tough times of being a Chicano in Los Angeles but in reality he’s just trying to show the tough times for Chicanos overall in