The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness

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Ethnography Analysis:
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness was written by civil rights litigator, legal scholar and author Michelle Alexander. The book discusses the history of race and mass incarceration in the United States specific to African American man. Alexander argues, “We have not ended racial caste in America, we have merely redesigned it” (pg. 2), there has been a rebirth of a caste system in the form of mass incarceration since the years of slavery, Jim Crow laws and black codes. This book focuses on the increase of mass incarceration within the last few decades. Alexander compares the old Jim Crow to mass incarceration by stating “mass
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During this era, drug use was high, but instead of looking at this issue as a health issue it was looked at crime. People were being imprisoned for low level crimes such a possession of marijuana. Nixon also saw Black Panthers, the Civil Rights movement, Woman Liberation, etc. The words “crime” and “public enemy” was used as black codes when talking about black people. Law and Order was needed as per Nixon. This was a way to keep “black people in check” for a better lack of words.
It was during the Regan Administration laws were passed and money was poured into the state and local police departments to begin the fight on The War on Drugs. Police departments could purchase tools that could assist them in arrests that included military resources. During this time, Black men were disappearing from the communities in substantial amounts, for as little as marijuana possession. The sentencing for crack and powder cocaine was identical, black and Hispanic people were getting mandatory sentences as opposed to their white counterparts, who were receiving a slap on the
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Alexander (2010) argues, “In at least fifteen states, blacks are admitted to prison on drug charges at a rate from twenty to fifty-seven times greater than that of white men” (pg. 96). As a result of past rulings by the Supreme Court have halted individuals in claims of racial bias (Whren v. United States) or sentencing under the Fourteenth Amendment (McClesky v. Kemp). Alexander (2010) writes, “All of the needed reforms have less to do with failed policies than a deeply flawed public consensus, one that is indifferent, at best, to the experience of poor people of color” (pg. 221). The author is an advocate for a reform movement against institutionalized racism. Reading about case rulings by the Supreme Courts, were aspects of the research I particularly enjoyed. The shaped my understanding of the “colorblindness” that has played out in the United States legal

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