Michelle Alexander Mass Incarceration

Topics: African American, Crime, Racism Pages: 4 (1601 words) Published: June 17, 2012
Michelle Alexander who was born in 1968 is an associate professor of law at Ohio State University also a civil rights advocate and a writer. She is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar. In recent years, she has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor of law and directed the Civil Rights Clinics. Alexander published the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. In it, she argues that systemic racial discrimination in the United States has resumed following the Civil Rights Movement's gains; the resumption is embedded in the US War on Drugs and other governmental policies and is having devastating social consequences. She considers the scope and impact of this current law enforcement, legal and penal activity to be comparable with that of the Jim Crow laws of the 19th and 20th centuries. In The New Jim Crow, Alexander argues that mass incarceration in America functions as a system of racial control in a similar way to how Jim Crow once operated. Alexander’s work draws attention to the racial disparity that exists in the criminal justice system. Alexander notes, “Race plays a major role-indeed, a defining role – in the current system, but not because of what is commonly understood as old-fashioned, hostile bigotry. This system of control depends far more on racial indifference (defined as a lack of compassion and caring about race and racial groups) than racial hostility – a feature it actually shares with its predecessors.” According to the Youtube video “Michelle Alexander: Drug War Racism” She argues that although Jim Crow laws have been use eliminated, the racial caste system it set up was not eradicated. As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim...
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