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.
Alexander depiction of the criminal justice system as the “new Jim Crow,” I agree with this depiction. Moreover, to understand what Jim Crow of the 1950’s and 60’s were, fully grasp Alexander depiction of our current criminal justice system. Described by Alexander (2011) Jim Crow laws was placed throughout the South that institutionalized discrimination and racism. Blacks were denied the right to vote, access to education, employment, and housing. Consequently, allowing Alexander to draw her depiction of the “New Jim Crow.” As described by Alexander (2011) The mass incarceration of minorities.The denial of employment, housing and voting rights to people convicted of a felony crime. Thus, illustrating the correlation between the passed Jim Crow and as depicted by Alexander, the current “New Jim Crow.” The racial and class disparities are intersectionationalty. We see intersectionality within our current justice system. To understand, the racial disparities within our justice system as described by Krimsky and Simoncelli (2017) one must first understand the laws and the classification of crime that these disparities stand on. Moreover, the mere difference between crack cocaine and powder cocaine holds different consequences under the law. However, these two illegal drugs are made of the same substance, one is in rock form, and the other powder. To highlight the discontinuous within our justice system, we find that blacks are more likely to use
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.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander published in 2012, is a 261 page book detailing how mass incarceration has become the new form of legalized discrimination.
Michelle Alexander is a noble civil rights advocate and writer. She is best known for her 2010 book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the age of colorblindness. Michelle Alexander writes that the many gains of the civil rights movement have been undermined by the mass incarceration of black Americans in the war on drugs. She says that although Jim Crow laws are now off the books, millions of blacks arrested for minor crimes remain marginalized and disfranchised, trapped by a criminal justice system that has forever branded them as felons and denied them basic rights and opportunities that would allow them to become productive, law-abiding citizens. In modern day, it is evident that
In her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, legal scholar Michelle Alexander presents readers with a harsh reality—that the Civil Rights-era achievements for black Americans have fallen in the age of mass incarnation. Alexander skillfully argues through a grounding of research and personal experience advocating for civil rights that the racial caste system, which began with slavery and was transformed in the Jim Crow era, has reared its ugly head again via the “war on drugs” and the prison system. She establishes a history of discrimination against Americans of color, and then poses the current unjust legal system and its repercussions for those in its grasp as the generator for a new wave of citizens living
In Chapter 5 of "The New Jim Crow" Michelle Alexander described mass incarceration as being normalized and the system "requires no justification". She believes that 'prisoners and those in the system are out of sight and out of mind. This makes the system more durable and harder to eradicate.' Alexander, explains the three-stage set up in the system. She describes them as the roundup, formal control and invisible punishment. She describes the steps as something that most people know but don't truly understand. She describes and includes racial indifference, which was nice because it's not just blacks like with Jim Crow but all races. Alexander also describes things like drunk driving which is considered a "white" crime and drug dealers/users is considered a "black" crime get different press from authority. While Jim Crow punished others for who they are, mass incarceration punishes people for what they do even small offences get extremely hard sentencing.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Alexander, 2010) discusses race-related issues specific to mass incarceration of black and Latino males. Alexander argues throughout the book that although the old Jim Crow laws don’t exist anymore they have only been redesigned and the purpose of this new system is to punish and oppress people of color and their communities. It is a set up to be or become a “criminal” and repeat cycles that never end for some as their past choices are permanent records. Those criminal records limit families and individuals from opportunities, politics, financial stability and employment amongst many other things.
The book, The New Jim Crow written was written by Michelle Alexander. It was published on January 5, 2010 and is 312 pages long. It is a non fiction book that talks about the re-introduction of the caste-like system that has already resulted in millions of African Americans being locked in jail. During the Civil Rights Era, African Americans were put into a second class status that rejected all of the rights that blacks had previously won in the Civil Rights Movement. This book talks about many situations where blacks in today’s society are treated almost the same as they were over 50 years ago. For example, Alexander opens up the book with the story of a man named Jarvis Cotton. Cotton is a black man who was arrested when he was younger and because of that arrest, he will never be able to vote again. Throughout the history of the United States, African American men have been deprived of their supposed “natural born rights”. Alexander also discusses how Jarvis Cotton’s father, grandfather, and his ancestors have all been unable to pursue their naturally born rights, but all for various reasons. Cotton’s great grandfather for example, was a slave in the South and his grandfather and father were daunted by the Ku Klux Klan. Voting is one of the many rights that African American people have not had just because of the color of their skin.Alexander says that even though it used to be acceptable to discriminate against African Americans, it’s no longer socially acceptable to
We all think that racism is over at this point and time, but in reality it still remains the same. The discussion in “The New Jim Crow”: Michelle Alexander discussed so many facts about how society treats each race differently. Alexander’s research is very motivating to read. She paints a devastating picture of the new Jim Crow and how it functions in the world we live in. She uses images that make you cringe but at the same time persuades you that it is in fact all true. The topic that stood out the most to me was how our prison system condemns many African Americans to the second-class status. This meant that African American men are discriminated by the police and the criminal justice system. In my opinion I agree with her. The reason is because hundreds of thousands of African Americans have served time in prison as a result of drug convictions and are branded felons for life and the tendency for colorblindness to act as a shield over racist practices.
“Orange Is the New Black” is a modern memoir that leads you through Piper Kerman’s experiences in Danbury, a women’s correctional facility, and shows you the life within the cold walls. Her words magnify the greatness within everybody, even the ones who have been thought to not even contain a heart, not even a soul within their body. The people who have been encaged, locked up behind bars. “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander is an extraordinarily-written modern book, completely opposite of Piper Kerman’s memoir. It shows the challenges that most of the colored and Latino men face once they are framed as a criminal, as well as the stereotypical treatment they receive as human beings. While Piper Kerman’s book shows the happiness and good in all the different types of people, gay, black, white, straight, transgender, Latino, Buddhist, Catholic, or a stone cold killer, Michelle Alexander points out the fact that African Americans are being treated the way they used to, being looked at no differently than slaves.
In the introduction to The New Jim Crow, the author acknowledges her own reluctance, because of her biases and assumptions, to accept the harsh realities that her experience and research came to teach her about race, drugs, and criminal justice in the United States. No matter how dedicated to racial and social justice as an African American woman, she failed to see the other America that was hidden from her in plain sight. A new “caste system”
The readings we did within the past few months, I connected more with these two articles: The case of reparations by Coates and Race, Wealth, and Equality by Oliver. Throughout the articles, we understand the struggle that black communities face because of the system that’s built to prevent them to succeed in life. As an African American in today’s society it has been difficult to find opportunities in life because of the injustice and discrimination that the particular community is experiencing. However, I will compare the two articles with two outside source I found the New Jim Crow by Alexander, she effectively argues in her book how racism is evolving over time, but Alexander poorly makes the analogy of The New Jim Crow, compare to the
The criminal justice system has many flaws that many people believe It is broken. The first step of fixing the system is by acknowledging that the system is broken. According to the documentary Fixing the System, the increase of incarceration is due to nonviolent drug offenses. There are more drug offenses than for homicide, aggravated assault, kidnapping, immigration, sex offenses, etc., combined. The cost for incarceration has dramatically increased as people kept getting incarceration due to the nonviolent drug offenses. President George W. Bush decided that building more prisons and jails was the best way to teach the lesson of war on drugs. Although incarcerating individuals’ due drugs wasn’t helping get rid of the problem because they
In the book, The New Jim Crow, Alexander (2010) discusses the battle society is currently facing against a racial caste system that was set in place by the criminal justice system. This new caste system, erected under the cover of providing security to the public from criminals, has divided the American society in to an us versus them culture. The us, being representative of the majority, and the them, representing minorities, especially African American men. The system put in place has accomplished this by manipulating the public view of African American men. Portrayed as common criminals, drug addicts, and abusers the media has convinced the public that black men are a danger to society. In this way, a strong association with criminal activity