Response Paper to Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness"

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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness was written by Michelle Alexander to expose the truth of racial injustice in the system of mass incarceration through the comparison of the racial control during the Jim Crow Era. She reveals how race plays an important role in the American Justice System. Alexander argues about the racial bias, particularly towards African-Americans, immanent in the war on drugs as a result of their lack of political power and how the Supreme Court tolerates this injustice.

Statistics show that African Americans commit only fifteen percent of drug offenses, yet they comprise up to 90% of incarcerations for drug offenses in communities throughout the country. Besides that, although the majority of illegal drug users and dealers are white, three-fourths of all people incarcerated for drug offenses have either been black or Latino. There is clearly something wrong with this picture. The big question is: why is it mostly the minority that is suffering? Looking at it in a Marxists point of view, the answer is pretty simple. It is easier for the officers of the law to exploit those of no authority, e.g. poor blacks, than those who can easily buy their way out, e.g. affluent whites. Although the majority of illegal drug users and dealers are white, three-fourths of all people incarcerated for drug offenses have either been black or Latino. “African Americans––particularly in the poorest neighborhoods––are subject to tactics and practices that would result in public outrage and scandal if committed in middle-class white neighborhoods.”(Alexander 96) What Alexander is trying to convey is that poor African Americans who receive this kind of treatment have no choice but to accept it since they have no resources to take legal action. As one former prosecutor voiced out, “It’s a lot easier to go out to the ‘hood, so to speak, and pick somebody than to put your resources in an undercover [operation in a] community where...
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