Alexander, Michelle. The new Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness / Michelle Alexander. p. cm. |Includes bibliographical references and. library of congress cataloging-in-publication data. Alexander, Michelle. The new Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Paperback – January 16, The New Jim Crow is such a book. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.".

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Learn about the modern system of racial oppression with this book summary of The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander. Book Review: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. Article (PDF Available) in Journal of Policy Practice. PDF | On Sep 12, , Robert C. Hauhart and others published The New Jim Crow: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Ohio State University law professor Michelle .. African American men in New York City and elsewhere in the United States (Alexander, ).

Companies that earned millions on contracts to run or serve prisons have, in an era of prison restructuring, begun to shift their business model to add electronic surveillance and monitoring of the same population.

Even if old-fashioned prisons fade away, the profit margins of these companies will widen so long as growing numbers of people find themselves subject to perpetual criminalization, surveillance, monitoring and control.

Who loses? Nearly everyone.

Many reformers rightly point out that an ankle bracelet is preferable to a prison cell. Yet I find it difficult to call this progress. As I see it, digital prisons are to mass incarceration what Jim Crow was to slavery.

How the System Works

I would too. But hopefully we can now see that Jim Crow was a less restrictive form of racial and social control, not a real alternative to racial caste systems. While she seeks to inspire activists to challenge the system of mass incarceration, she must first establish the importance of her study, the permanence of the forms of discourse that maintain mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex, and the appropriateness of her analogy to Jim Crow.

She succeeds on these counts. As previously indicated, one may also wonder if invoking the sobriquet of Jim Crow is appropriate. Such debates have raged about the use of terms like genocide12 and ghetto. See Joseph D.

Osel, Black Out: See generally, ALEXANDER, supra note 1, at —27 focusing more on what can be done now and in the future to challenge the new caste system and focusing less on failed challenges of the past. See Henry H. Huttenbach, From the Editor: Uniqueness Redux: Trivialization by Any Name, 3 J.

The term was not pejorative. A more modern etymological distinction would refer people to the Warsaw ghetto where Jews were segregated during World War II. The argument about the misappropriation of the term ghetto centers around the historical legacy of the Jewish condition, particularly during the early- and mid- twentieth century.

The New Jim Crow

This, however, does not make her argument less sound or the book less readable and thought-provoking. It is only a minor sticking point that will cause some, particularly those who study rhetoric, philosophy, or history to pause before advancing through her well-written text. Her most important contribution is not that she has produced a readable text, nor that she has sounded an alarm that needed to resound across intellectual and activist traditions.

And it is not that she has provided insightful historical and legal analysis, which she certainly has.

Michelle Alexander

Wacquant, From Slavery to Mass Incarceration, supra note 5, at Sheridan Smith trans. Like most people, we tend to resist believing that we might be part of the problem.

Even if advocates oppose the system, they cannot escape it. As a result, many end up homeless and driven to crime once again.

Mass Incarceration – The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander

Alexander argues that, contrary to the views of many people, poor people of color simply want to live ordinary, safe, and healthy lives, but do not have the opportunities or resources to make this happen for themselves. While some people blame gangsta rap culture on the high rates of violence and drug use in African-American communities, research has shown that it is in fact poverty and lack of job opportunities that drives people to crime.

She finds it odd that, despite the ubiquity of this question, nobody gives the honest answer that a large percentage of them are in prison. Alexander argues that in order to address the problem of mass incarceration, we must become more honest about the fact that it is taking place.

Alexander reviews the many similarities between Jim Crow and mass incarceration. Both were created in order to redirect the anger of working-class whites away from economic issues and toward the scapegoat of people of color. Both systems racially segregate people to the point of creating two separate worlds, and both depend on legal and political disenfranchisement in order to survive.

Crucially, both systems also heavily depend on the association between black people and criminality. Having reviewed these similarities, Alexander moves on to note some major differences between Jim Crow and mass incarceration.

The most important of these is the fact that where Jim Crow was overtly racist, mass incarceration is—on the surface—race-neutral. As a result, there has not been an inter-class solidarity movement among African Americans working to end mass incarceration in the same way there was in the case of Jim Crow.

This has created divisions in the African-American community as well as among racial justice advocates in general, which Alexander urges must be solved in order for there to be any hope of achieving justice.

She is particularly critical of the silence on the issue among civil rights lawyers, who we would expect to have more awareness about it than the general public.See, e. The book is supplemented by the Preface, Notes, and Index. Black and brown people in ghetto communities must no longer be viewed as the designated enemy, and ghetto communities must no longer be treated like occupied zones.

Best Summary+PDF: The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

People are increasingly loath to talk about race and fearful of violating racial etiquette. The incentives seem warped toward incarceration. Alexander cites as an example the study of police stops on the NJ Turnpike that demonstrated that brown and black people were stopped at a rate far higher than their proportion on the road. In the letter, Baldwin urges his nephew to remain strong and promises that the fight for justice can be won.

The way forward will require mass mobilization to force the politicians and government to reverse the War on Drugs and replace it with a justice system focused on positive policies and action.