The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration During The Age Of Colorblindness By Michelle Alexander

1854 Words8 Pages
I read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander published in 2012. The non-fiction book is 331 pages and features a forward by esteemed civil rights activist Dr. Cornel West. Alexander is civil rights lawyer who decided to write this book after dealing with young black felons restricted by the prison system. The book was a fascinating glimpse into the biases of the criminal justice system. The book is split into six riveting chapters. The initial chapter is titled “The Rebirth of Caste”. The thesis of this book is basically Alexander argues that a caste structure is alive in America. Black kids churn from rundown schools into high tech prisons. In her view, black Americans are treated as second class citizens. Alexander states that a power elite has ensured that they claim social regulation over minorities even as slavery and Jim Crow laws have disappeared. The author calls the current discriminatory system as a "racial caste" one. A key to sustaining this system according to Alexander is enticing to the anxieties and biases of lower-class whites. The writer then details the reasoning for selecting Africans to work as slaves back in the 1600s. Colonists were afraid of violent retribution from Native Americans and wanted to select a group of people who were unlikely to partner up with the poor whites. Alexander detailed the various newspaper campaigns that manipulated public opinion on Native Americans and compared it to modern
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