The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration

Decent Essays

Main Thesis
Americans think they live in a colorblind society and do not discriminate based on race. The fact is Americans have Barack Obama as their president. Some might argue as long as there are exceptional blacks there are no excuses for all blacks to succeed. Although, Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness, challenges American’s colorblindness by bringing to light the mass incarceration of African Americans. Jim Crow laws are no longer legal, but there is a new way to segregate: mass incarceration. The mass incarceration of blacks has created a racial underclass; a population with second-class status based on their criminal records (Alexander, 2012).
The War on Drugs
Once the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes, it is no longer legal to discriminate based on race in public accommodations, employment, education, and federally financed activities (Alexander, 2012). This law creates fear and uncertainty in working-class white communities since they live near black communities. Now blacks will be competing with working-class whites for jobs and included in their children’s schools. In the 1960s working-class whites are historically aligned with the Democratic Party, but the Republicans see an opening to win their votes after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Republicans exploit working-class white’s fears of blacks and discuss the need to restore “law and order” (Alexander, 2012, p.46). Once working-class white

Get Access