The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Essay

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Essay

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The New Jim Crow
Michelle Alexander wrote a book called "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." The original Jim Crow was a racial caste system that segregated whites from blacks, where whites were privileged and viewed as the chosen ones while blacks were taught to be minority and used as servants between 1877 and the 1960s. The Jim Crow system kept whites superior to blacks with laws created to keep whites favored. It was a legal way to prevent African Americans from getting an equal education, from voting; it was a system of "Separate but Equal". In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed to outlaw discrimination due to ones skin color. Although this act was passed we still continue to live in a society where discrimination is quite relevant but systemized. Through Michelle Alexander's book we can understand her argument that there is a new form of legal discrimination although laws state that discriminating an individual because of their race is illegal. Michelle explains that there is a current mass incarceration among black men in the United States. The use of, possession of, or selling drugs is illegal but it has been systematically created that laws make it impossible to. She claims that the criminal justice system uses the War on Drugs as a way to discriminate and repress the black man.
The labeling perspective comes into play with Michelle's claim because African American men have been labeled to be the race that's attached to deviant acts. Because black men are attached to the deviant act of drugs, the criminal justice system created laws which make it where there is a mandatory minimum of time that has to be served for the smallest amount of drugs. Once he serves time in a correctional fac...


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...nterviewees explained how much he loved one of the drug dealers who introduced him to the hustle. He always provided him with money and goods until he felt he was old enough to make his own money and become a drug dealer himself. The film explains how children who grow up in these areas make rational choices because in their eyes selling and using is a norm and an option to survival. "You do what you gotta do" according to Shanequa.
This has unfortunately become a viscous cycle because the war on drugs are so strict its become a slavery or cast system that has taken so much of the black race and incarcerated them for drug crimes for as long as murder crimes. This system is dehumanizing and should be looked over and lifted. Every race uses and sells drugs, it is unjust to use drug laws just to control the black race under imprisonment for small crimes.



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