Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration?

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“Felony is the new N-word. They don’t have to call you nigger anymore”(Kilgore). The N-word was a label given to African-Americans to serve as a verbal means of oppression. In similar ways, the word felon is now being used as a means of keeping African Americans out of work, reinforcing negative stereotypes, and perpetuating the white-black class divide. Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, introduced the preceding quote when arguing that mass incarceration is just another form of racial oppression, the modern versions of chattel slavery and the original Jim Crow. The original Jim Crow laws were implemented to marginalize African-Americans, and that is the case of mass incarceration today. Policies like the War on Drug, akin to Jim Crow Laws, target a specific demographic, which happens to be African-American males. The African-American community is places at a social …show more content…
The United States has the highest rates of incarceration world wide, with more than 1.5 million of the population behind bars and those under correctional supervision bring that number to 7 million (LA times). While mass incarceration does affect all Americans, incarcerations rates suggest it is racially motivated. African-Americans are six times more likely to be incarcerated than whites, constituting almost half the prison/jail population. There has been a rise of Latino, and Mexican arrest due to policies on immigration. Even though the attention has been shifted to other minority, arrest rates for African-Americans are still the most incarcerated minority. This goes to show how minorities have multiple policies going against them. The rise of Mass population prevents class solidarity among black and whites, with most of the black population incarcerated, Caucasian remain superior in social

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