Essay about Mass Incarceration of African Americans

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“Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.”(Lyndon Johnson). For generations in the United Stated, ethnic minorities have been discriminated against and denied fair opportunity and equal rights. In the beginning there was slavery, and thereafter came an era of racism which directly impacted millions of minorities lives. This period called Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system up in till mid 1960s. Jim Crow was more than just a series of severe anti-Black laws, it became a way of life. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were positioned to the status of second class citizens. What Jim Crow …show more content…
Just like race is a social construct and exists only in our minds, with no biological evidence, so is the assumption that most prisoners convicted of drug offense are African Americans. It is a myth that we as a nation have moved beyond race, Racial caste is alive and well in America. Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, explained how our treatment of criminals has created a new racial caste system, and the only way to make change is by massive social change and Civil Rights movement. The criminal laws often focus on psychoactive drugs used by the minority populations. Minorities are disproportionately targeted, arrested, and punished for drug offenses. For instance, Black, Latino, Native American, and many Asian were portrayed as violent, traffickers of drugs and a danger to society. Surveillance was focused on communities of color, also immigrants, the unemployed, the undereducated, and the homeless, who continue to be the main targets of law enforcement efforts to fight the war on drugs. Although African Americans comprise only 12.2 percent of the population and 13 percent of drug users, they make up 38 percent of those arrested for drug offenses and 59 percent of those convicted of drug offenses causing critics to call the war on drugs the “New Jim Crow”(drug policy). The drug
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