Essay on The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration

1011 Words Nov 2nd, 2015 5 Pages
“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 disadvantage when these males are removed. These males are incarceration under the War on Drug policies, which allows the justice system to imprison people for long durations under non-violent charges. The mass incarceration of black males starts a cycle that hinders the African-American community. “Mass incarceration matters to communities as both result and cause”(Kilgore). A racial uplift movement can be instigated by and educational approach to crime that helps to prevent, resolve, and recover disadvantaged communities. Now is the time to fight back…

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