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jim crow

By amyg68313 Oct 03, 2014 649 Words
Old Jim Crow VS New Jim Crow
The Jim Crow laws were racial laws mostly against blacks; they promoted racial discrimination. Laws like colored sat in the back of vehicles, colored had a different water fountain, and colored people could not vote, or live in certain areas. The Jim Crow laws were more than laws, they were a way of life for some whites. It was a way of life that saw blacks as inferior beings. Even after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were passed, did it really help rid our nation of prejudice? The way I see it, racism is everywhere in the criminal justice system. Maybe it is not as “in-your-face” easy to see, but the racism is there and the book, The New Jim Crow helps show how this racial phenomena is happening. The New Jim Crow is written by Michelle Alexander and it is a book exposing the racial issues we are still having today in our criminal justice system. From the mass incarceration of Black and Hispanic men, to the legal discrimination after being labeled a felon, and the similarities of the justice system during the Jim Crow days and now. Alexander explains how the country hides the racism by saying they are “getting tough” on crime, drugs, or anything that will make society feel safe. She goes on to explain the way a felon is discriminated after serving time. Alexander demonstrates how the Jim Crow laws have not been ended, simply redesigned to fit our society now. It may not be the exact Jim Crow laws, but the same concept of racism and depriving people of their rights applies. First I want to point out that there is still a lot of racial profiling done by law enforcement. Racial profiling is done a lot through traffic stop violations. If a black male is seen driving in a predominately white community, he is seen as an intruder and will be stopped by law enforcement. More Black and Hispanics are in the criminal justice system than whites, whether that is in jail, prison, probation, or parole. I believe that people of color are being targeted and then given sentences that are outrageous. If you put a black and a white man under the same circumstance in trial, the black man will most likely get the harsher punishment. One major example of this is the The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, it gives a more severe punishment to those abusing crack then those abusing powder cocaine, because blacks are more associated with crack cocaine. The most noticeable of the New Jim Crow, is the laws and rules against someone who has been labeled a felon. Once someone has been released from prison, it is very hard to get back into society. They are deprived of their voting rights’, discriminated from certain employment, housing, and education. Does that not sound similar to the Jim Crow Laws back in the 19060’s? Once an ex-convict has to check the box of “have you ever been convicted” it is basically like throwing the application in the trash, because they will not get hired. Some housing will not allow felons to live in on their grounds, so if a family member is trying to go back to their home, they may not be allowed. It could cause their family to be evicted. Ultimately they are not given a second chance and discriminated for serving their time. It is hard for us as a society to see that we may still be committing racial discrimination, because this is the “land of the free”, the place where people come to live out their dreams. However, we need to look closer and figure out a way to repair the broken criminal justice system, so that we can live up to all the good things said about our country.

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