Discrimination of African Americans in Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow

Topics: African American, Race and Ethnicity, Racism Pages: 2 (895 words) Published: January 15, 2014
The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander, is a book about the discrimination of African Americans in today's society. One of Alexander's main points is the War on Drugs and how young African American males are targeted and arrested due to racial profiling. Racial profiling, discrimination, and segregation is not as popular as it used to be during the Civil War, however, Michelle Alexander digs deeper, revealing the truth about our government and the racial scandal in the prison systems. She writes, "… in major cities wracked by the drug war, as many as 80 percent of young African American men now have criminal records and are thus subject to legalized discrimination for the rest of their lives. These young men are part of a growing undercaste, permanently locked up and locked out of mainstream society. (Alexander pg.7)"

In our nation today, we hardly think of discrimination as being a big issue, but Alexander shows that our prison systems are proof of discrimination. Other studies help support this by saying that, "African Americans make up 57 percent of the people in state prisons for drug offenses." This colorblindness has become a part of our daily lives. We can not see how much our nation is affected by racism until we stop and actually listen to those who have fallen victim of being placed in prison due to their skin color. Not only are African Americans racially profiled, they are also punished much worse than Caucasians by being sentenced longer in prisons and losing all of their rights once they are released back into society. As if it is not bad enough, being in prison for many years and having a felon label tattooed on their foreheads, colored people are exiled from everyday life. They can not vote, they can not buy a house, they can not work in many places, they can not have a normal life. They are looked at differently by society in turn putting them in a racial caste system,...

Cited: Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow. New York: The New Press, 2012. Print.
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