The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration Essay

1583 Words Nov 16th, 2015 7 Pages
The New Jim Crow
In Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” the author makes a case that modern African-Americans are under the control of the criminal justice system. This includes African Americans who are incarcerated in prisons and jails as well as those on probation or parole. Alexander claims that there are more African Americans under the thumb of the criminal justice system today than were enslaved in 1850. Moreover, discrimination against African Americans is also at an all-time high in the housing, education, and employment sectors and with regard to voting rights. Many Americans have been deceived into believing that the civil rights laws of the 1960s eradicated these things from American society, but that is hardly the case. African Americans who are felons can have these rights withheld from them, and this is perfectly legal. Statistically, more people of color are felons than whites as a result of mass incarceration and racial discrimination. According to Alexander, there are no signs of progress today; rather, both issues are just as paramount as they were during the slavery era, having continued under the Jim Crow era of segregation and ultimately becoming a modern-day caste system against African Americans. Alexander’s book has raised awareness of this issue to the point of creating a new social movement. The point of her book is to illustrate how modern-day mass incarceration is the equivalent of…

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