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.
This targeting led to the incarceration, imprisonment, chain gangs, prison farms and other correctional facilities for tens of thousands of African American men, women, and children.” The idea of mass incarceration being used to systematically oppress black people has traveled to the surface with Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, and Taylor talks about the effect of mass incarceration. In the book, Alexander highlights that the majority of the African American men are either in prison or have some type of criminal record making it unable for them to vote and get jobs. Alexander describes the criminal justice systems as the “New Jim Crow,” a modern type of oppression for African Americans. Mass incarceration rate skyrocketed during the Drug War and many African American were jailed for several years for petty crimes, shown in the documentary 13th by Ava DuVernay. Alexander book shows the oppression of African American and is a statement to change our criminal justice system that is targeted to victimize African Americans. Ultimately, Taylor points out that not only do the police have the power to destroy your body, but by using their power to charge African American men for petty crimes they able to effectively keep African Americans in a lower-class status, supporting the white suprematist view manifested in our police force.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness was written by Michelle Alexander to expose the truth of racial injustice in the system of mass incarceration through the comparison of the racial control during the Jim Crow Era. She reveals how race plays an important role in the American Justice System. Alexander argues about the racial bias, particularly towards African-Americans, immanent in the war on drugs as a result of their lack of political power and how the Supreme Court tolerates this injustice.
Many believe that civil rights movements have completely eradicated racial injustices and inequality in the United States. Michelle alexander disprove this myth in her book “The New Jim Crow.” Alexander claims racial caste did not die with slavery. She implies that the racial caste system in America has been reformed multiple times to meet “the needs and demands of current political climates” (alexander 52). She believes that mass incarceration which she refers to as “The New Jim Crow” is the current caste system in the United States. By elaborating on the history of racial caste in America and by including quotes from politicians such as Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, Alexander effectively persuades her reader that the United States has not achieved
During the Civil Rights Era, many black power movements strived to prevent the New Jim Crow from happening. The black man was being oppressed during segregation and treated like animals. The white supremacy, only visualize African Americans as slaves, people who should not be a part of the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X drove men and women to fight for his or her rights. However, that was not enough to stop the white supremacy from oppressing African Americans. The Civil Rights movement did put an end to public segregation. It did not put not put an end to the laws being made by the government, which is dominated by the white race. In the book, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander discussed how the Civil Rights and black power movements helped African Americans gain their equal rights, but did not help to gain political power. Mass Incarceration is where the African Americans’ lives end because of the social structure created by the government. Blacks are mostly in the lower class because after the Great Depression, Roosevelt only created laws for whites. This allowed the white community to build and move out the cities into better neighborhoods. Leaving the black community behind. The government placed businesses and built big buildings to keep all the blacks in one place. Base on how the black community was viewed as a race and social status, gives this race a higher chance of being behind bars.
In making the case that mass incarceration is the new version of Jim Crow, Alexander moves through a history of racial caste systems from slavery to Jim Crow. Alexander demonstrates this history by explaining that it was during these racially periods of American history that the platform was set for maintaining a black underclass through the use of race-neutral language. Slavery was an obvious racial caste system in which the laws, including the U.S. Constitution, were used to ensure that blacks would live and be treated as a distinct group. When
In The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander develops a compelling analogy on how mass incarceration is similar to the Jim Crow era, and is a “race-making institution.” She begins her work with the question, “Where have all the black men gone?” (Alexander, 178) She demonstrates how the media and Obama have failed to give an honest answer to this question, that the large majority of them or in prison. She argues that in order to address this problem, we must be honest about the fact that this is happening, and the discrimination with the African American communities that is putting them there.
In the new proactive book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander dives into the not so complicated racial issues that plague this country that we tend to ignore. In all of history, African Americans have had to constantly fight for their freedoms and the right to be considered a human being in this society. It’s very troubling looking back and seeing where we have failed people in this country. At the turn of the century, when people began to think that we had left our old ways behind, this book reminds us that we are wrong. Racism is still alive today in every way, just in different forms.
The third critical book review for this class takes a look at “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander published in 2012 by the New York Press. This book analyzes the problem with the incarceration system in the United States today that unfairly affects the African American community. This incarceration system is continuing to separate families, strip men of their freedom, and effectually make them into second class citizens upon release from prison as “free” men. She even describes that those who are convicted of these crimes are “relegated to a racially segregated and subordinated existence” (Pg. 4). Michelle Alexander is not only a published author but is also an active Civil Rights activist all while currently employed as an associate professor of law at Ohio State University. It is a very interesting read that coincides with where our class discussions have recently been. It argues that we as a country have not ended racial discrimination but just transformed it into a new type of caste system. It is an eye opening book that created an uncomfortable feeling while reading due to my level of ignorance on this topic prior to taking this class. I believe that this book will serve as an important narrative into fixing the race problems in this country because it brings to light what needs to be fixed. If any progress is made it will be because of books like this that expose the problems but starting to fix them will be the next step.
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
In this book The New Jim Crow Michelle Alexander gives a look at history racism of African-Americans in relations to slavery and brings us to into modern day racism. Not racism as a form of calling people names or by the means of segregation which would be considered overt racism condemned by society but by colorblindness and by a racial caste system. Alexander argues African-Americans are being discriminated against in the form of mass incarceration. “Mass incarceration refers not only to the criminal justice system but also to the larger web of laws, rules, polices, and customs that control those labeled criminals both in and out of prison” (Alexander 2012, pg 14). Upon reading The New Jim Crow I believe African –
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander tries to advance intellectual dialogue regarding mass incarceration in the United States. Alexander does this by carrying out a historical analysis of the process in which the correctional system controls African Americans through intentionally selected, and systematically sanctioned legal limits. In fact, the United States incarceration rate is not at peak by coincidence. Moreover, it is not coincidental that Black men and women make up the majority of this number. According to Alexander, this problem is a consequence of the “New Jim Crow” rules, which use racial stratification to eliminate black individuals in the legal sense. Black people and a small number of the Hispanic community face racial stratified laws when they face the justice system. This paper will support the claims that race is a major factor in the incarceration of black men in the United States, which includes the Jim Crow system, the slave system and the drag war. This process will also involve analyzing of some of the arguments presented within the book.
Racism is a thing of the past, or is it? Michelle Alexander’s, “The New Jim Crow,” main focus is on mass incarceration and how it occurs in an era of color blindness. Alexander also focuses on the social oppressions that African Americans have suffered throughout the years, until now. In this essay, I will discuss how the system of control was constructed, Alexander’s compelling historical analysis, and if the current system would be easier to dismantle. I would like to start by delving into how the system of control was constructed.
In chapter 5 of the book: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, she talks about the similarities and differences between the Jim Crow era and today's mass incarceration. She starts off with a hook, a reality that goes unnoticed. Alexander brings up the idea that everyone talks about how African American fathers are never present in their families lives or there isn’t a good population balance between the men and women. The truth is most are incarcerated and can’t get out for a long time. She goes on to explain it’s not entirely their fault they get locked up for, sometimes, reasons like discrimination. Their side of the story goes unnoticed because the media doesn’t cover this fact; it isn't shared