The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Author: Michelle Alexander
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by Socrathustra   2019-07-21

Here is a direct link to the book. Seriously, you should read this. It is one of the most accessible books on the subject, and it's not merely "white men are all evil." It is a summary of good, mainstream scholarship. You will only come out better for having read it.

by Socrathustra   2019-07-21

We stole Africans from Africa. Yes, we "bought" the slaves from locals... at the point of a gun. The locals had little to no say in whether they sold to us.

Whether or not we were early adopters of abolition does not matter. Our country was founded with slavery written into it. Southern religion still clings to most of the ideas that justified it.

Lastly, "someone with a brain" can understand that "we criminalize being poor" means that we unfairly target the poor with our laws. We have harsh sentences for crimes of desperation like dealing or even possessing drugs, which is common when you barely have money to feed your family.

If you want to understand a tiny bit of what it is to be black in America, read The New Jim Crow or watch 13th on Netflix.

by MuvHugginInc   2019-07-21

What are your thoughts on the contents of this article?

Are you familiar with the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness? (

by xynix_ie   2019-07-21


Have you read anything by Michelle Alexander?

Here ya go:

Try not to use words you don't know the meaning of. It makes you sound like a moron.

by SpicyDragoon93   2019-07-21

The best book you could possibly read is a book called 'The New Jim Crow' by Michelle Alexander. It's about America's racist criminal justice system.

by whydidisaythatwhy   2019-07-21

Brilliant book, absolutely worth a read if any of y’all haven’t read it before:

by DoodleBungus   2019-07-21

You desperately need to read this book:

The entire system (the drug war and tough on crime laws) were basically designed to relegate black people and political opponents into a lower caste (the "felon" caste) and keep them there (by stripping them of rights and ability to work).

It's literally Jim Crow redesigned to meet constitutionality tests - i.e. color blindness. It sweeps up everyone indiscriminately, and unjustly - but it affects colored people disproportionately because... hey it turns out that's what it was meant to do in the first place.

by snakenecks   2019-07-21

The new Jim Crow is actual a very informative book and everyone should read it if they want to understand institutionalized racism in America

by Trimblco   2019-01-13

Yeah but he's black. The US criminal justice system was literally made for black men.

by happydepressedguy   2019-01-13

Good lord. Someone needs some Michelle Alexander in their life. (For context: she wrote The New Jim Crow and is one of the scholars featured in Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th. If you haven't seen her work, you need to.)

by titotal   2018-11-10

do you think MLK jr stopped pushing for social change after the civil rights act passed? Social justice has always been the actual goal of the movement, legislation was just one of the ways to achieve that.

Also, I would say that mass incarceration and police officers getting away with murder definitely count as civil rights issues.

by DoodleBungus   2018-11-10

>The only lesson these people learned during the civil rights movement was to keep it on the DL.

Incorrect. The only thing they learned was that if they're gonna keep doing it, they need to disguise it with language that allowed for presumption of colorblindness by onlookers. [

Oh did I say jail all black people? My bad, I meant jail all drug users. Oh hey look that poverty stricken area over yonder has a drug problem! What do you mean they're all black? I had NO IDEA. Hey, look, I'm not targeting black people, I'm targeting drug people.

>"You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities," Ehrlichman said. "We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

This wasn't keeping it on the DL, it is the literal definition of political correctness.

>the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

You see, as long as they didn't literally say this shit targeted black people, it was cool. No one could say anything because, hey, fuck those druggies, right?

This worked fucking WONDERS for the people out to marginalize people of color. Pretty soon even colored celebrities (Cosby for example) were vilifying the Drug People. They started co-opting the subversive language adopted by the right to target people of color in an effort to shame people of color involved in the drug stuff.

Problem is all those laws were basically designed to scoop up black people (and no one gave a shit about the white people scooped up in the process, they were drug people too).

No. They didn't change anything but their rhetoric. Neither did the majority of America. Even the Liberals were fine letting it all happen, so long as those police forces weren't policing their neighborhoods like a band of thugs.

Oh by the way Bernie understood this back in 1972, only a few years after Nixon started the crackdown on ~~black~~ drug people ...


by chemistNOTcookinMETH   2018-03-19

> based on a non statistically supported total bullshit argument

TBF you didn't refute anything either. Having a conversation about race relations is extremely difficult to have with an internet stranger. If you're genuinely curious about what white privilege is, and how it has affected this countries history, then I'd highly recommend The New Jim Crow . You might actually understand exactly what Kaep is trying to fight for, and why it's so important. Yes, Watt did something amazing. No one is taking that away from him. Kaep is trying to change what has been a problem for this country for centuries.

by enagrom   2018-03-19

You probably won't find someone to talk to you about feminism or BLM randomly in Starbucks, even in Harvard Square. Democracy center may be a good place, but I think the internet and books can be a pretty good source for to start with, so your in-person learning can be more meaningful for both you and the person who ends up taking the time to help you grow into it.

Feminism and BLM are both possible solutions to problems within society. Learning about the problems from the bottom up is a good way to have the necessary context to understand the movements.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is a must read. amazon link
Michelle also has a good bit of writing on the internet that is accessible.

Speaking of writers on the internet, the tireless journalism of Shaun King has had a real impact in bringing police injustice and BLM to the mainstream, so I think he is a good place to start, too. His Soul Snatchers series, particularly his most recent installment about the NYPD and Bronx DA's criminal conspiracy against Pedro Hernandez is a must read.

Feminism can be hard on the internet, too, because there are so many kinds/sects/schools of thought, but I think it's still a good place to start. I think a good launchpoint is from a context that is close to you, as a man. This guide to how feminism is relevant to men seems like a good starting point. From there, I think learning about feminism by reading articles from a feminist perspective might be a good approach. Academic analyses about feminism are boring and probably won't keep your interest. My favorite source as far as trans-inclusive, pro-gay, pro-safe space feminism is Autostraddle. Yes, it's heavy on queer lady content, but I think it's a good website with years and years and years of content so you can find things that interest you. The politics tab is probably a good place to start, as you can read about issues you may have already read about from mainstream sources, from a more casual and feminist lens.

Good luck.

by DesertCoot   2018-02-16

Oh got it. They shouldn't speak because their opinions are "wrong" according to you, plus you apparently don't even understand their positions. You think anyone is saying "the white man" is the problem? The problem is systemic racism which is way bigger and harder to tear down than personal racism. You talk about only wanting to hear from experts, look up some research on the factor race plays in every aspect of the criminal justice system and it is pretty clear. I'd recommend the book "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander as a starting point. That book opened my eyes to racism exists way beyond individuals.

I think it is misguided (and insulting) to suggest they don't care about the issues and are just using it as a marketing ploy, especially as it seems to benefit one more to stay out of politics as an entertainer or athlete. As to celebrities mostly being left leaning, what about most coal miners being right leaning? There is nothing mathematically impossible (nor improbable) about people who share similar financial and social conditions being aligned politically.

by fluffyjdawg   2018-02-16

This is simply not true. You should read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

by tonyjaa   2018-02-16

This isn't a fucking game where after I "get" to play the race card you then get to say something ignorant, lazy and wrong. Race is a serious deadly issue that requires deep empathy and knowledge. Things you lack. You think that comment makes you look good because you whitewashed history and appealed to classic liberal values? You look like a cocksure child in University. Ignorant to the depths of your own ignorance.

Read a book