- New Jersey Prisons End Ban On 'The New Jim Crow' After ACLU Protests
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - Michelle Alexander
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With a new preface by the author.
New Jersey Prisons End Ban On 'The New Jim Crow' After ACLU Protests
Alexander does a fine job of truth-telling, pointing a finger where it rightly should be pointed: at all of us, liberal and conservative, white and black. See more. New York Times Bestsellers. Books by Michelle Alexander. El color de la justicia. You may also be interested in. A Matter of Law. Kids for Cash.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - Michelle Alexander
Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues. Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown Girls. Sensible Justice. Alternatives to Prison.
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The New Jim Crow | The New Press
Librarian updates. This confirms that you are a human visitor and prevents spam. Today, Jarvious Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole. Denying African Americans citizenship was deemed essential to the formation of the original union.
Hundreds of years later, America is still not an egalitarian democracy. The arguments and rationalizations that have been trotted out in support of racial exclusion and discrimination in its various forms have changed and evolved, but the outcome has remained largely the same.
An extraordinary percentage of black men in the United States are legally barred from voting today, just as they have been throughout most of American history. They are also subject to legalized discrimination in employment, housing, education, public benefits, and jury service, just as their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents once were. What has changed since the collapse of Jim Crow has less to do with the basic structure of our society than with the language we use to justify it.
In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow.
We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. I reached the conclusions presented in this book reluctantly. Ten years ago, I would have argued strenuously against the central claim made here—namely, that something akin to a racial caste system currently exists in the United States.
My elation would have been tempered by the distance yet to be traveled to reach the promised land of racial justice in America, but my conviction that nothing remotely similar to Jim Crow exists in this country would have been steadfast. As an African American woman, with three young children who will never know a world in which a black man could not be president of the United States, I was beyond thrilled on election night.
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Yet when I walked out of the election night party, full of hope and enthusiasm, I was immediately reminded of the harsh realities of the New Jim Crow. A black man was on his knees in the gutter, hands cuffed behind his back, as several police officers stood around him talking, joking, and ignoring his human existence.
People poured out of the building; many stared for a moment at the black man cowering in the street, and then averted their gaze. What did the elec- tion of Barack Obama mean for him? Like many civil rights lawyers, I was inspired to attend law school by the civil rights victories of the s and s.
Even in the face of growing social and political opposition to remedial policies such as affirmative action, I clung to the notion that the evils of Jim Crow are behind us and that, while we have a long way to go to fulfill the dream of an egalitarian, multiracial democracy, we have made real progress and are now struggling to hold on to the gains of the past. I thought my job as a civil rights lawyer was to join with the allies of racial progress to resist attacks on affirmative action and to eliminate the vestiges of Jim Crow segregation, including our still separate and unequal system of education.
I understood the problems plaguing poor communities of color, including problems associated with crime and rising incarceration rates, to be a function of poverty and lack of access to quality education—the continuing legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. Never did I seriously consider the possibility that a new racial caste system was operating in this country. The new system had been developed and implemented swiftly, and it was largely invisible, even to people, like me, who spent most of their waking hours fighting for justice.
I first encountered the idea of a new racial caste system more than a decade ago, when a bright orange poster caught my eye.