Nhan Loc Understanding The New Jim Crow
In the book The New Jim Crow: “Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” is written by Michelle Alexander talks about issues the racial caste and mass incarceration in the United States. Michelle Alexander argues that even Jim crow is over, but there’s still injustices in people of color communities. In her book “The New Jim Crow”, Alexander describes many social problems make African American people controlled by institutions. The author compares Jim Crow with mass incarceration is a form of controlling black Americans as Jim Crow law. Through Michelle Alexander's book, we can understand her argument that mass incarceration is a new form of legal discrimination just like Jim Crow law. The criminal justice system is biased toward the powers of privileges. Mass incarceration in America is “the new Jim Crow”, a new form of social control because the racial caste system segregates people away from mainstream society.
The old Jim Crow was a racial caste system in America that separate Black people from Whites like school and bathroom separations. Whites were privileged to have all of the superior public necessities , while blacks were free labors and viewed as inferior servants between 1877 and the 1960s. The Jim Crow system create racial caste that Whites are above all Blacks. Law was legal to prevent African Americans from going to the same school that Whites go to, and they could
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Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, examines mass incarceration in the United States, why the criminal justice system works the way it does towards minorities, the detriments associated with mass incarceration as it relates to offenders, and much more. In the introduction of her book, Alexander immediately paints the harsh reality of mass incarceration with the story of Jarvious Cotton who is denied the right to vote among other rights because he, “has been labeled as a felon and is currently on parole” (1). Other information Alexander presents in her introduction are her qualifications as an author of the book, and gives a brief summary of each chapter and how each one is laid out. Her qualifications are she is African-American civil rights attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and is also an Associate Professor at the University of Stanford Law School. From a critical standpoint, Alexander seems very qualified to write on the topic, being part of the marginalized group and also being an expert in the legal field of which the topic covers, enhances her ethos to where one could consider her an expert in mass incarceration topics, as they relate to African-Americans. Overall, the introduction of her book does a great job starting out giving a stark reality of topic at hand, giving brief statistical references about mass incarceration in the United States, and giving an outline for her book.
In The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander maps out the parallels between the old Jim Crow system and the new racial caste system of mass incarceration. There are many profound similarities between these two systems, such as historical parallels, closing the courthouse doors, and racial segregation.
Racism in the United States has not remained the same over time since its creation. Racism has shifted, changed, and shaped into unrecognizable ways that fit into the fabric of the American society to render it nearly invisible to the majority of Americans. Michelle Alexander, in her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness shatters this dominantly held belief. The New Jim Crow makes a reader profoundly question whether the high rates of incarceration in the United States is an attempt to maintain blacks as an underclass. Michelle Alexander makes the assertion that “[w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it” using the criminal justice system and colorblind rhetoric. (Alexander 2). The result is a population of Black and Latino men who face barriers and deprivation of rights as did Blacks during the Jim Crow era. Therefore, mass incarceration has become the new Jim Crow.
Though most citizens in the United States would agree that the prison system in the U.S. needs to be amended, do they see the prison system as a way to enforce the racial caste system? At first Michelle Alexander, the author of The New Jim Crow, did not see the prison systems as racially motivated until doing further research. After researching the issue, Alexander found the prison system was a way to oppress African Americans and wrote the novel The New Jim Crow. The New Jim Crow follows the history of the racial caste system and in the novel Alexander comes to the conclusion that the mass incarceration of African American is the New Jim Crow, or in other words a new system of black oppression. Though some might try to refute the idea of mass incarceration of African Americans, Alexander offers a well thought out argument with substantial evidence and data to compellingly link Jim Crow and mass incarceration and proves that it is an issue that should be on the radar of all U.S. citizens.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is a book by Michelle Alexander, a civil rights litigator and legal scholar. The book discusses race-related issues specific to African-American males and mass incarceration in the United States. Michelle Alexander (2010) argues that despite the old Jim Crow is death, does not necessarily means the end of racial caste (p.21). In her book “The New Jim Crow”, Alexander describes a set of practices and social discourses that serve to maintain African American people controlled by institutions. In this book her analyses is centered in examining the mass incarceration phenomenon in recent years. Comparing Jim Crow with mass incarceration she points out that mass incarceration is
The literature concerning of Mass Incarceration is relatively new; and when discussing racism most scholars have focused the discussion on matters of Jim Crow or Slavery. Mass incarceration or Mass Imprisonment, is defined as a rate of imprisonment that has reached numbers that are above the historical norm. Mass Incarceration is a term most sociologists used to describe the extremely high rate in which the United States has imprisoned individuals, and its impact during the 21st century. In contrast, according to Gilda Graff author of “Redesigning Racial Caste in America via Mass Incarceration”, she describes Mass incarceration as a new tactic in the history of racism. To Most Americans, Mass Incarceration is not a problem because it is
In the first chapter of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, “the Rebirth of Caste,” Alexander outlines the history of racial social control in America by a caste system based entirely of race. Slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration are the forms that have existed in this system built on caste. Alexander’s argument and her main idea is to write out how these forms were deliberately made and how the caste system continues to attain its aims of segregation in the present forms of incarceration. For the rest of the chapter Alexander expresses how factors such as economic collapses of low-income cities, racial prejudices, a large budget increase for drug vs. law enforcement, and an attack by media to convince the public on the reality of the drug war, incarcerated African American men. This paper will present a rhetorical analysis of chapter 1 and some of the introduction for further background.
Jim Crow is a term that came to be a derogatory epithet for African Americans. It is unknown who Jim Crow was or where the name came from but in the 1930s an actor named Thomas Dartmouth Rice would do a minstrel routine called “Jumping Jim Crow”. He wore blackface and mocked a crippled Black man that reinforced the idea that Blacks were inferior to whites. People liked this term and eventually used it as a designation for the laws that segregated Blacks (Wilkerson 41). Jim Crow became to be a racial case system exclusively in the South that enforced laws of racial segregation. These laws went against the U.S. Constitution that granted Blacks citizenships and equal rights. Jim Crow laws were horrifying because it gave whites the right to lynch Blacks at any given moment for any reason (Wilkerson 38). These laws reinforced a racial hierarchy that strengthens white supremacy.
In The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander introduces the idea as to how the modern prison system is used to imprison the African American population in the United States. Alexander seems to believe that the ‘War on Drugs’ has replaced previous forms of racial systematic oppression in the United States, such as slavery and Jim Crow laws. Alexander believes that to amend this form of systematic oppression it is necessary to disregard colorblindness in prison reform and approach modern prison systems as a form of racial oppression and increase affirmative action policies. Even though Alexander makes a valid argument, her identity politic approach seems problematic and antithetical to ending systematic racism in the modern prison system.
Our history, African Americans, is a unique one; it is one that can be described in a various amount of ways. However, no matter who you ask, the topic of slavery will arise, bringing forth the ideology of Jim Crow Laws then the infamous Civil Rights Movement, and presently we are enduring the issue of mass incarceration. Unlike slavery and Jim Crow, mass incarceration has not experienced a death phase. It seems as if, each time a method, to keep a certain ethnicity of people oppressed, fails another method rising to the challenge. In my opinion, mass incarceration is one that will be more difficult to overcome then the others. I hate to admit it, but W.E.B Du Bois’s statement remains true, “[T]he slave went free; stood a brief moment in the
The Jim Crow Laws were laws that divided the African Americans and the Whites in the U.S. The Jim Crow Laws followed along the lines of the black codes that were laws to keep freed black in line. The people from the South believed that African Americans were put on this earth to work, be slaves, and not have the same treatment as the whites. One example was if a black male offered his hand to a white woman they could be accused of rape. If they were accused they could be killed, beaten, or put in jail. This example was just one of the many things that happened with the Jim Crow Laws. Whites also had a more varity of things than blacks, for example they could eat at most restaurants as for African American very few would allow them. Some more
Jim Crow was a series of laws and practices that segregated African Americans and privileged the White. This had increased White supremacy by separating Whites and African Americans with unfair/unequal treatment. This included African American's lifestyle,etiquette and social areas were made to separate Whites as much as possible from African Americans, thus granting Whites with more lavished lives than those of the African Americans
The Jim Crow laws were a racial caste system that named black people as second class citizens. Society became a place where many Christian ministers were teaching that whites were of a higher class and that black people were not as intellectual. This created many social norms that today we would see as unfair. For example,
Michelle Alexander addresses the issue of Mass Incarceration by discussing it in terms of race. She explains her approach by taking the reader through a historical analysis of African Americans in American society. You cannot begin to comprehend the issue behind Mass Incarceration without taking race into consideration. System of racial caste system mass incarceration functions to place people in an under-caste system of second class system. She starts by introducing the topic of structural racism and how African Americans are controlled by sanctioned legal limits. Her justification is that Mass Incarceration is intertwined arrangement of racial and social control (4). The system not only controls African Americans, but also Hispanics, and when these subjects go head to head with the justice system they are crushed by racial stratified laws. Alexander describes racial stratifies laws similar to a “racial caste system”. She uses the term to describe a group of people who are racially locked in an inferior position by law (12). Throughout history, the United States has been
The New Jim Crow is a book about racism, and mass incarceration. Many individuals were punished for being African American, and that led to them being put in prisons. Alexander starts her story off with a comparison, one that is deep and meaningful to oneself. The comparison is between an incarcerated black male, Jarvious Cotton, and his family members which who were denied basic rights as a result of slavery. As far as racism today, individuals would like a change, but is unlikely. This book summarizes how racism and mass incarceration play a major role in society and how many African Americans are labeled as felons. Discrimination played a huge role as well, although Alexander stated that “today it is perfectly legal to discriminate,” (p. 2). Race, war on drugs, and mass incarceration are three concepts that Alexander describes as always having an effect on individuals that are considered black. The color of their skin puts a label on them and individuals automatically believe that