Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness By Michelle Alexander

1179 Words 5 Pages
In Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Alexander calls mass incarceration the “New Jim Crow.” In this way, Alexander connects the past of the Jim Crow era to the present way in which criminals are treated today. The Jim Crow era refers to the racial caste system of laws and policies once set in place during the end of Reconstruction through the late 1950s by which white southerners reasserted their dominance over African Americans by denying them their basic civil rights in order to maintain racial segregation in the South. Mass incarceration, on the other hand, refers to a white power structure of racialized social control that, like Jim Crow, operates to humiliate, degrade, and control black people into an inferior position through law and order. After analyzing the racial aspects of mass incarceration, Alexander evaluates the world which ex-offenders enter once released from prison. She notes that there are …show more content…
In this manner, a “cruel hand” has been placed upon them because of the numerous restrictions and limitations placed on their humanity. One of the key confinements placed on criminals and clear parallels between Jim Crow and mass incarceration is legalized discrimination. Many of the practices of discrimination that reduced African Americans to second class citizens during Jim Crow continue to apply to this day to significant portions of the black community, provided they have been labelled a felon. Jim Crow discriminated against black people through voting, housing, public assistance, education, as well as employment. “The New Jim Crow,” in the same light, denies voting and employment rights to felons, after simple charges such as minor drug offenses, which Alexander noted was heavily enforced within minority

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