Mass Incarceration In Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow

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Michelle Alexander in her book "The New Jim Crow" argues that Mass Incarceration is similar to Jim Crow; Alexander believes that caste systems such as Jim Crow and slavery are similar to the existing system of mass incarceration. In addition, Alexander accuses the U.S. criminal justice system, implying their laws undividedly target African Americans through the War on Drugs and racial limitation. In comparing mass incarceration with Jim Crow, Alexander points to compelling parallels regarding political disenfranchisement, legalized discrimination, and symbolic production of a race. Alexander, moreover, effectively offers a rebuttal to the counterargument that the New Jim Crow does not carry the same level of racial hostility as the Old Jim…show more content…
For instance, Alexander supports her argument by telling the story of Jarvious Cotton, his father could not vote because of the voting poll taxes and literacy test back in the Jim Crow era, and now as a felon and currently in parole, he is being denied the right to vote (alexander 1). Alexander, using this story as an example perfectly fulfills and persuades the reader into her argument, that even through time, the similarity of discrimination is the same between mass incarceration and Jim Crow, where the U.S. criminal justice system deprives them of the right to vote. Therefore, Alexander also mentions an example about mass incarceration. For instance, the story of Drake, a Vietnam veteran, who spend five years in jail and as 2004 elections arrived, his voting rights were under a $900 dollar fine (Alexander 159). This example successfully convinces the reader Alexander did not only gave an example where the Jim Crow law took place, but also included a recent alike situation where the similarities are not quite…show more content…
Consequently, Alexander successfully persuades the reader into believing her argument, as she mentions that after being in jail, they lose some of the public benefits that the government offers for low-income individuals; for instance, she mentions a story of a man with felony conviction, denied to even try to fill in an application for section 8 (Alexander 144). This is a good example that subjects legalized discrimination; ex-felons are being excluded and denied the chance to regenerate their lives and start moving towards a better future, just as Jim Crow where African Americans were deprived of the right of housing. Another example that perfectly supports her argument is when she talks about difficulty for someone with a criminal background to find a job, for a fact when you fill in a job application they ask about your criminal background. For example, Alexander mentions, “a 2002 survey of 122 California employers revealed that although most employers would consider hiring someone convicted of a misdemeanor offense…less than a quarter of employers were willing to consider hiring someone convicted...”(Alexander 149). This is a
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