The New Jim Crow By Michelle Alexander Essay

The New Jim Crow By Michelle Alexander Essay

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The New Jim Crow
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is a thorough and thought provoking analysis of mass incarceration in America. Through this book Alexander explores the dynamics of the criminal justice system and the propaganda that enables it which have led to the establishment and maintenance of a racial undercaste system that has been perpetuated by a felony criminal record. Within this book Alexander provides a history of the disenfranchisement of the black male from the overt racism of slavery and Jim Crow to the colorblind drug and sentencing policies of the 20th and 21st century.
The purpose of this book is to educate. The facts of what mass incarceration has done particularly to African American communities are astounding but also little is known to the average citizen. “Americans are ashamed of their racial history, and therefore avoid talking about race or class...” Alexander points out that a large percentage of African Americans are blocked by the discriminatory practices of this colorblind criminal justice system, which end up creating an under caste where upward mobility is severely restricted. The rhetoric of law and order and tough on crime has produced a mainstream sub consciousness and deliberate criminalization of the black male figure. Alexander explains that even though crime occurs equally across ethnic groups it is the black male who suffers greatest from the implementation of justice because subconsciously to society the black male equates to criminal.
She explains that this race based adaptation of justice was not sudden but rather built into the criminal justice system as a necessity to keep blacks in a constant state of subordination from the very beginning. “The structure of the original ...


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...rict/revoke/amend these practices next to impossible.
When Alexander calls for a social movement as a way to make effective change I completely agree with her. As she stated the cases that make it to the Supreme Court are those when the defendant has actually been involved in some sort of criminal activity. However the African American and other minority groups are affected by these policies on a large scale daily as well as society as a whole.
I believe that Michelle Alexander made a well formed argument as to the gross miscarriage of justice that is our legal system and how the norms of racial control are so institutionalized that anyone could believe that this system was colorblind. However it is race precisely that needs to be addressed publicly and legally so that these unfortunate disparities do not continue and are not replaced or redesigned in the future.

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