Michelle Alexander Mass Incarceration Essays

1607 Words Jun 23rd, 2012 7 Pages
Michelle Alexander who was born in 1968 is an associate professor of law at Ohio State University also a civil rights advocate and a writer. She is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar. In recent years, she has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor of law and directed the Civil Rights Clinics. Alexander published the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. In it, she argues that systemic racial discrimination in the United States has resumed following the Civil Rights Movement's gains; the resumption is embedded in the US War on Drugs and other governmental policies and is having devastating social consequences. …show more content…
“We have managed decades after the civil rights movement to create something like a caste system in the United States,” says Alexander “In major urban areas, the majority of African American men are either behind bars, under correctional control or saddled with criminal record and once branded as criminal or a felon, they’re trapped for life in 2nd class status.” It’s not just about people having a hard time getting ahead and climbing the ladder of success. It’s about a rigged system. Drug convictions alone accounted for about two-thirds of the increase in the federal system and more than half of the increase in the state system between 1985 and 2000, the period of the drug war’s greatest escalation. There are more people in jail and prison today, just for drug offenses, than were incarcerated for all reasons in 1980. Drug convictions have increased by more than 1,000% since the drug war began. The enemy in this war has been racially defined. The drug war, not by accident, has been waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color, despite the fact that studies have shown for years that people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites. White America just maybe ought to pay attention. With more and more Americans falling out of jobs and into debt, criminal records are a whole lot easier to come by than life-sustaining employment. Contrary to the

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