Components of Mass Incarceration
Mass incarceration of African Americans is one of the biggest problems that we as a society face today. Many of our African American men are either in jail, or on parole for crimes that are committed by whites everyday. Police often overlook those crimes when it comes down to whites but they do not for blacks. Hence why a lot of black men are missing from our society and locked away in prisons for years for such minuscule crimes. Yes they have committed a crime and need to be punished, but, at the same time white men are walking around committing the same crime, where is their punishment? Alexander raises these very pertinent points in “The New Jim Crow.” The three components of mass incarceration are denial, mainstream media and historical influence.
Alexander states, “Today most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarceration.”(181). What this means is that as a society Americans are either blinded or oblivious to the fact that there is a lack of education of how mass incarceration affects the African American communities. In many African American households they are missing father figures due to the fact that they are in jail. As Alexander mentions denial plays a huge roll in this. We know that a large number of African American males are in prison by watching mainstream media but yet we don’t care enough about it. According to Alexander “we tell our self that they deserve it.”(182). Americans have been painted a picture to see African American men as a whole, as criminals especially when it comes to drugs. When in fact white males are prone to do the exact same crimes and not be targeted by police. Mainstream media helps to greatly contribute to these lies that we are being fed about mass incarceration. Shows such as “Orange is the New Black” depict a different story. The show focuses on a Caucasian woman who is in jail for soliciting drugs. While she is in jail...
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