The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow

eBook - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
19
2
1
Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as “brave and bold,” this book directly challenges the notion that the presidency of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a “call to action.”Called “stunning” by Pulitzer Prize–winning...
Publisher: 2012
ISBN: 9781595588197
Characteristics: 1 online resource

Related Resources


Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

l
LucasHill
Jun 08, 2018

"Hundreds of years ago, our nation put those considered less than human in shackles; less than one hundred years ago, we relegated them to the other side of town; today we put them in cages. Once released, they find that a heavy and cruel hand has been laid upon them."

"As a society, our decision to heap shame and contempt upon those who struggle and fail in a system designed to keep them locked up and locked out says far more about ourselves than it does about them."

"The widespread and mistaken belief that racial animus is necessary for the creation and maintenance of racialized systems of social control is the most important reason that we, as a nation, have remained in deep denial [about mass incarceration]."

"It is fair to say that we have witnessed an evolution in the United States from a racial caste system based entirely on exploitation (slavery), to one based largely on subordination (Jim Crow), to one defined by marginalization (mass incarceration)."

"Drug crime in this country us understood to be black and brown, and it is because drug crime is racially defined in the public consciousness that the electorate has not cared much what happens to drug criminals--at least not the way they would have cared if the criminals were understood to be white."

Alexander argues that reductions in legal avenues provided to black prisoners; Supreme Court antagonism toward racial bias in cases; and more people of color getting taken up by law enforcement forces despite the fact that more white people commit drug crimes, leads to a situation in which mass incarceration does not serve to reduce crime but to induce racialized social control.

If you retain an ounce of social justice in your psyche, you will probably want to repeatedly throw this book across the room, but not because it is poorly written. It is because it is so well researched and argued that it boggles the mind that this reader could have been so blind as not to see it. I wonder how well book could be countered.

c
con03191509
May 10, 2018

The book is way to repetitive, but then glosses over some topics. could have been much shorter. Even so very interesting. New book with new information would be good.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Mar 22, 2018

This is a very important book to read, and I'd recommend it for that reason. I wanted it to say even more though. The book is repetitive, but then glosses over some topics. There could have been more about juveniles being charged as adults, jury selection, funding for public defenders, and the militarization of police departments. The book is only 8 years old, but already seems dated. I hope there is a second edition at some point that looks at how the Black Lives Matter movement, social media, police body cameras, and the Trump presidency have affected the rates of mass incarceration and public perception.

s
ScienceMommy
Jul 15, 2017

Wow. This book blew me away and helped me to better appreciate the racial challenges we are facing while educating me about important civil right's history I did not know.
.
Not only does author Michelle Alexander write with coherence and clarity, but she makes the material into a page turner, without exaggeration or hyperbole. The facts presented disturbingly connect the dots and substantiate her thesis that the war on drugs, in effect has created an underclass of Americans, who can be legally discriminated against in housing, employment, educational opportunities and exercise of basic citizenship rights that the rest of us take for granted. And oh -- the victims just happen to be the same people that we can no longer legally discriminate via the old Jim Crow laws --- but simply by catching them with a small amount of pot -- and no other evidence of wrong doing, they can permanently be part of an underclass composed almost entirely of people of color. The war on drugs has not only been a colossal failure it is The New Jim Crow!
.
This would be a FABULOUS choice for a book club too, so much to think about and discuss.

j
jessica_reads
Jan 18, 2017

One of the most important books I have read in the last decade. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

s
shayshortt
Oct 22, 2015

Perhaps the most important thing this book does is break down the differences between the racial hostility and open bigotry that most Americans recognize as racism, and the quieter, more insidious forms of racial bias that are now that primary form of discrimination faced by American minorities. Alexander demonstrates how Supreme Court decisions that eviscerate the 4th Amendment and narrowly interpret the 14th Amendment have allowed a racially unequal criminal justice system to flourish since the War on Drugs began in the 1980s.

Read my full review at http://shayshortt.com/2015/10/22/the-new-jim-crow/

d
DorisWaggoner
Sep 26, 2015

For a variety of reasons (including prior employment and volunteer work) I already knew most of the pieces of what Alexander writes about. But she puts those pieces together in a way I hadn't entirely considered before--i.e. War on Drugs = a way of keeping black and brown people down without whites having to talk about race in a "post racial" age. She writes very dispassionately, in order to not antagonize white readers, but you get her point. I did put it down several times, as she got repetitive, but am glad I persevered. She doesn't really provide a definitive answer to the problems, but she sure nails the problems. Now it's up to the country that incarcerates a higher percentage of its citizens than any other developed country in the world to finally start talking and find those solutions, together.

d
D061576739
Jul 08, 2015

I returned this book on the 7th in the drop box

s
StarGladiator
May 31, 2015

A commenter wrote: // What really shocked me about this book is how strongly it made me feel about the flaws in our criminal justice system. \\ Again and again it must be stated - - these ARE NOT flaws, it is by design. The major ISM above all other 'isms, is capitalism! The major investor in private prisons is the Vanguard Group, while the private equity firm, the Blackstone Group, was involved financially with Prison Realty!
The Vanguard Group is one of the Big Four investment firms invested in the majority of major corporations in America [and Europe]: BlackRock, Vanguard Group, State Street and FRM LLC [Fidelity]. BlackRock was spun off from the Blackstone Group, which was originally founded with Rockefeller family money.

f
fralukas
May 30, 2015

This book is hopefully just the beginning of a conversation that America needs to have with itself. If you liked this book, a great followup book would be Howard Zinn's "People's History Of The United States". The most shocking thing about this book for me was where my mind automatically went as I was reading it. I consider myself a hardcore liberal and yet still found myself going into the predictable places as I read it! Definitely a worthwhile read-I learned so much I never would have otherwise-even though I live in a very diverse neighborhood. Highly recommended!

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

EuSei Nov 16, 2015

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 1 years and under

BLUESJOURNEY Jun 14, 2012

BLUESJOURNEY thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 17 and 19

Quotes

Add a Quote

s
shayshortt
Oct 22, 2015

“Claims that mass incarceration is analogous to Jim Crow will fall on deaf ears and alienate potential allies if advocates fail to make clear that the claim is not meant to suggest or imply that supporters of the current system are racist in the way Americans have come to understand that term. Race plays a major role—indeed a defining role—in the current system but not because of what is commonly understood as old-fashioned, hostile bigotry.”

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at PMPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top