FREE PDF ✓ BOOK The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Æ MICHELLE ALEXANDER

TEXT È The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness ´ Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of ColorblindnessRace with the election of Barack Obama the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status much like their grandparents before themIn this incisive critiue former litigator turned legal scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that w You need to read this I don’t pretend to have a terribly high opinion of the US Like Australia it is a settler society that really needs to reconcile and make amends with its own past For instance until very recently the US had a holocaust museum but no museum to slavery The history of slavery and of Jim Crow is a stain that marks the entire sweep of US history – and that stain is red because it is in bloodThe problem is that since the US has never reconciled itself with its past it finds it impossible to see how the stereotypes and common sense assumptions that pervade its national consciousness remain profoundly racist In fact a large part of the point of this book is to show that ‘colour blind’ visions of US race relations today are perhaps the largest problem facing people of colour From slavery to Jim Crow to the criminalisation of black America the thing that makes the new racial system so effective is that it is hidden in plain sightEffectively the US has an injustice system rather than a justice system I mean the system is constructed to create criminals it is created to destroy lives – and it does so in ways that make the pathways of escape from the systematic injustices of ‘law and order’ so narrow that hardly anyone can make it through Well when I say that that only really applies if you are black or brown White people are much less likely to be caught in the structural traps set by the criminal injustice system – but hasn’t that always been thus?The problem is the ‘war on drugs’ By any measure – well other than counting the wealth of the owners of private prisons in the US and criminalising huge numbers of black and brown people – the war on drugs has been an abject failure The US now has a uarter of the people imprisoned in the world It is uite amusing hearing people from the US go on about their love of freedom – it displays a level of double speak that would make Orwell blush But the war on drugs has been used most effectively to put black and brown America back in their place after the Civil Rights victories of the 1950s and 60s As the author points out repeatedly here whites and blacks use drugs at similar rates they commit most crimes at similar rates although there is evidence that whites are actually likely than blacks to use drugs however the social stereotypes are that blacks are the drug users and drug dealers and that stereotype is then realised in the way blacks are treated by the police force and then by the criminal justice system and then by the prison system and finally in how they are treated after they leave the prison system A white person caught with drugs is treated better by the criminal justice system at every single stage than a black person is They are less likely to be arrested in the first place less likely to get a conviction less likely to end up in jail – and all of this while being just as likely to commit the crime But the system has been so rigged by its assertion of ‘colour blindness’ that even the profiling that clearly happens and the disparities in sentencing that are blindingly obvious cannot even be complained about since everyone already knows that ‘racism doesn’t exist’ any – I mean President Obama was black wasn’t he?I’m not going to list the examples she gives throughout this of the jaw droppingly horrible treatment of people – I kept finding myself making involuntary noises throughout reading this Honestly there were points in this so shocking I almost laughed out loud it was like something from an incredibly poor taste comedy show – you know called Justice in America The chapter where she details how police are encouraged to confiscate ‘the proceeds of crime’ is so disturbing that Kafka could have written it No in fact Kafka would probably think it was too over the top and so even he might have shied away from writing itThe worst of this is that it isn’t all that clear to me how the gross injustices detailed in this book are ever going to be overcome Defining blacks as criminals has been a master stroke – I mean it makes it nearly impossible for even the left to support the mostly black men who have had their citizenship rights removed from them – being someone who supports blacks is bad enough but someone who supports criminals? Who is going to do that? Potentially not even fellow blacks Really this book would make you weep A part of this where I made one of my little noises was where she said that prisons are often placed out in the country you know where mostly white people live – where the prisoners then swell the local population but since they are prisoners where they aren’t allowed to vote This gives these mostly white areas representative power given their larger population and it simultaneously takes representative power away from the black neighbourhoods were the prisoners would otherwise live Three fifths compromise anyone? Yep it’s just like being back in the good ol’ days when a black person’s vote was worth only three fifths of that of a white person’s – the things changeThe use of shame to keep black people in their place is particularly disturbing but has proven stunningly effective This book is a case study in discussing how effectively shame can be deployed as a form of symbolic violence against an entire populationLike I said this really needs to be compulsory reading Once again I’ve come away from reading a book utterly despising both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama Sure I would be forced to support either of them before Trump – but the harm they both did as Presidents is beyond disgusting

Michelle Alexander ´ The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness KINDLE

Jarvious Cotton's great great grandfather could not vote as a slave His great grandfather was beaten to death by the Klu Klux Klan for attempting to vote His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation; his father was barred by poll taxes and literacy tests Today Cotton cannot vote because he like many black men in the United States has been labeled a felon and is currently on paroleAs the United States celebrates the nation's triumph over In February of 2016 a powerful article appeared in The Nation “Why Hillary Clinton Doesn't Deserve the Black Vote” The name of its author—Michelle Alexander—struck me as familiar Then I realized she was the Ohio State law professor who had caused some stir five years ago with her book The New Jim Crow a book which demonstrated how our criminal justice system was in effect little than a system of racial oppression It was then I decide I had put off reading The New Jim Crow long enoughAlexander has the credentials and the experience to know whereof she speaks After graduating from Stanford Law and clerking for Justice Blackmun she went to work for the California ACLU specializing in criminal justice reform It was there she began to realize that the American criminal justice system was not designed to reform criminals or to control them or even merely to punish them; instead like the Jim Crow laws in the old South its result was a virtual caste system a method of social control that excludes black people in general—and poor black males in particular—from full participation in American society Its most noticeable effect is mass incarceration today the United States locks up people per capita than any other country in the world and the number of black people in prison is three times greater than their percentage of the general populationBut The New Jim Crow demonstrates that it is not merely the large number of people in prison but the severe curtailment of their rights after they leave prison that generates much of the system's hopelessness Felons are excluded from public housing welfare employment opportunities and even in many states the right to vote These felons—a significant percentage of the urban black population—become an underclass unable to rise an underclass filled with pariahs who are excluded from America's freedomsAlthough many people see the rise of mass incarceration as a response to the crack “epidemic” of the 80's Alexander argues persuasively that it was instead a retaliation against the civil rights gains of the 60's and 70's “Law and Order” had for years been a code phrase for racial control exploited by Nixon and others but it was Reagan's “War on Drugs”—unleashed two years before cocaine was any kind of a problem—that put the system in operation But it was not until the '90's when Bill Clinton signed the the 1994 crime bill which Bernie Sanders voted for and subseuently ended “welfare as we know it” that the system achieved the merciless efficiency that it maintains to the present dayThis is an important book and one that progressives like myself—who have put the Bernie shirts away and now display a Hillary sign on the lawn or at least displayed one until some joker in the neighborhood stole it—should read carefully and take to heart It outlines the formidable task whoever may be president that we have ahead of us in the years to come

BOOK The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

FREE PDF ✓ BOOK The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Æ MICHELLE ALEXANDER ´ ➸ [Reading] ➺ The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness By Michelle Alexander ➭ – Jarvious CottoE have not ended racial caste in America we have simply redesigned it Alexander shows that by targeting black men and decimating communities of color the US criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community and all of us to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in Americ The New Jim Crow is essential reading for Americans who don't or haven't followed these issues closely over the last 30 years It's a well organized thoughtful accessible read neither too light or too cluttered with footnotes If you have followed the reasons for and impacts of the US approach to incarceration on the African American community and be honest with yourself on whether you've read a few WashingtonPost or Atlantic Magazine articles from time to time or really dug in over time on the data and history there's little new here but it's a good reminder and summary anyway If you want to wake up friends or colleagues about the reality of the so called War on Drugs mandatory minimums 3 strikes laws disparities in sentencing between users of powder cocaine vs users of crack cocaine and other salient facts covered in The New Jim Crow you might find it even effective to invite them to watch The 13th a Netflix documentary with you It does an even powerful job of communicating the same fundamental facts with the added bonus of Alexander Angela Davis Jelani Cobb Henry Louis Gates Newt Gingrich and others speaking directly to the viewer