Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow Laws

analytical Essay
1219 words
1219 words

Jim Crow laws were laws created to strengthen racism and segregation. It was a white person’s desperate attempt to maintain a sort of superiority over black people. Nowadays it might seem impossible for laws promoting racism and segregation to exist, but they do. Concealed by inconspicuous phrasing there are still laws to this day that allow blacks and other minorities to be taken advantage of solely based on their race. The book written by Michelle Alexander titled The New Jim Crow outlines the major problems associated with the American judicial system, mainly the War on Drugs. Alexander brings to light many issues that primarily affect blacks and other minorities from this she derives that America has a new set of Jim Crow Laws. Given the …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that jim crow laws were created to strengthen racism and segregation, and that the lack of influence in politics allowed white people to create laws that affect minorities differently.
  • Opines that the war on drugs is the single most damaging thing to happen to america's inner cities ever.
  • Compares the war on drugs and jim crow laws. the war on drugs is fought in the inner cities where mostly black people reside.
  • Explains that the reagan administration hired staff to publicize the emergence of crack cocaine in 1985 as part of a strategic effort to build public and legislative support for the war.
  • Analyzes how alexander hits the nail on the head with his statement. instead of equally fighting against all drugs that affect the united states, the administration responsible for the drug war focused on blacks and poor inner-cities.
  • Argues that the 'new jim crow' laws aren't inevitable, but that discrimination starts at the lowest level of drug law enforcement, the police.
  • Analyzes how alexander touches on political disenfranchisement, which is basically removing the right to vote. she relates this passage to the jim crow laws, where the united states government did everything in their power to stop blacks from voting.

Now in a more politically correct society, if law makers wanted to pass legislature that adversely affected a specific racial group they would have to do so incognito. The War on Drugs might not say in plain text that blacks are affected differently than whites but they are, similarly to the Jim Crow laws. This unequal treatment has always been inevitable to happen because white people have always had more influence in the government. After the Jim Crow laws were abolished there was a period where equality wasn’t something impossible to think about. After the War on Drugs started it took all of that hope away. The drug war is not fought equally throughout the United States, instead it is fought in the inner cities where mostly black people reside. An excerpt from Alexanders book describes how blacks were targeted by the media which fed from the Regan …show more content…

She quotes the fifteenth amendment and its passage about voting rights, “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied ... on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude” (143). She then relates this passage to the Jim Crow laws, where the United States government did everything in their power to stop blacks from voting without violating the fifteenth amendment. They had poll taxes that blacks couldn’t afford, they had a literacy test where blacks couldn’t pass because they were denied education and they had a grandfather clause where if your previous generations could vote so could you. This all relates back to the idea of the white law makers and government officials creating legislature that does not clearly state discriminatory policies, but the way it affects the citizens is based on race. Currently the United States denies felons the right to vote. The problem with this is that the mass incarceration of African-Americans (specifically relating to the drug war) leads to an inaccurate representation of the African-American versus white vote. Because blacks are more likely to be arrested and suffer more severe punishments than whites for similar crimes leads to a larger percent of white people voting. With a disproportional amount of white people versus black people who have the right to vote it leads

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