The System Of Mass Incarceration Essay

The System Of Mass Incarceration Essay

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In today’s world the majority of people when asked would consider themselves racially accepting and certainly would not consider themselves racist, some might even use the term colorblind when describing their beliefs and behavior. This ideology stems from the subliminal messaging that government officials and white supremacists employ to coerce society into thinking that America is a ‘colorblind’ entity, where all racial barriers are dismantled (Study guide 16). This system keeps society segregated and traps African Americas and Hispanics in a second class citizenship (The New Jim Crow). The system of mass incarceration has created an underclass of Americans who are unable to actively participate in society because of the restrictions placed on those with a felony conviction, creating a system strikingly similar the Jim Crow laws of the early 1900’s (NJC).
Mass incarceration began in unison with the war on drugs during the Nixon administration in an effort to gain more votes. Initially, the majority of the budget consisted of drug treatment opportunities, although this began to change once citizens voiced their desire for ‘law and order.’ Nixon then became more committed to spending money on enforcement of drug laws instead of treatment (How I live doc). Ironically, however, Nixon declared the war on drugs when usage and prevalence were on the decline in the United States. It was not until the 1980’s when the CIA introduced cocaine to the streets that drug use increased. President Ronald Reagan then exploited the public’s fear of drugs to win votes by using dog-whistle politics. He accelerated the war on drugs by introducing minimum sentencing laws. This placed more African Americans in prisons for longer periods of time for n...

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...nda, and media campaigns instills fear amongst the public and convinces them to get behind the idea. However this is really just ruining the lives of millions of people. White supremacists in a plea to return to the past have developed this system to keep African American families in an undercaste where they are discriminated in many of the same ways that occurred during the Jim Crow era. Even though this system is not as overt as the Jim Crow laws, it traps African Americans in much the same way. Most Americans believe that race is no longer an issue in the United States, however, it is quite obvious that America is far from colorblind. Racism is still a prevalent issue today; while the face of segregation and discrimination has changed, the system behind it has only solidified as evidenced by the millions of African Americans who are shackled by mass incarceration.

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