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The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

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Analiese Barnes-Classen

on 30 April 2014

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Transcript of The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Chapter 2 - The Lockdown
Chapter 3 - The Color of Justice
14th Amendment
Whren v. United States
Supreme Court ruled that petitioners could not sure on the grounds of violation the 14th Amendment without clear use of racism.
War on Drugs
Media images created "us vs. them" philosophy (Alexander p. 102)
Images of crime in inner cities, stereotypes about "typical" drug user.
Supreme Court justifying violations of constitutional rights.
Chapter 4 - The Cruel Hand
When Congress revised the drug policy 1988, "the resulting legislation was extraordinarily punitive... including new 'civil penalties' for drug offenders." (p. 52)
"In this brave new world, punishment for the original offense is no longer enough; one's debt to society is never paid." (p. 139)
Ex-offenders are "ineligible for many federally-funded health and welfare benefits, food stamps, public housing, and federal educational assistance." (p. 140)
Chapter 6 - The Fire This Time
The author believes that pushing reforms through a broad-based social coalition, will not be enough, because "a new system of racialized social control" will eventually appear, assuming forms impossible to predict now. If a movement emerges to confront mass incarceration, it will have to cure the underlying causes and ills in the society at large, which needs to "cultivate an ethic of genuine care" for every individual, regardless of ethnic, gender, class, immigration status, or any other consideration.

After the American Civil War, the defeated southern states attempted to reassert their racial controls through a variety of legal measures.
Then however the constructive and fundamental amendments to the Constitution and federal civil rights legislation of the Reconstruction Era were passed.
African Americans were protected by federal authority and began making unprecedented political gains, but at the same time, the absence of land reform had prevented the southern blacks from achieving meaningful economic and lasting social progress..
This was followed by a white backlash and the "Southern Redemption", a movement that resulted in the withdrawal of federal troops from the South and the federal government ceasing its enforcement activity there, leaving former slave states to impose harsh laws on southern blacks.
Jim Crow laws were born out of opposition to The Populist party, which was a coalition between blacks and poor whites.
Southern establishments, began to adopt racially restrictive that new laws imposed segregation and black disenfranchisement in countless areas of economical, governmental, educational, public and social activity.
Chapter 1 - The Rebirth of Caste
"Over forty years, the War on Drugs has accounted for more than 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever before. Filmed in more than twenty states, The House I Live In captures heart-wrenching stories from individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs. From the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge, the film offers a penetrating look inside America’s longest war, offering a definitive portrait and revealing its profound human rights implications.

While recognizing the seriousness of drug abuse as a matter of public health, the film investigates the tragic errors and shortcomings that have meant it is more often treated as a matter for law enforcement, creating a vast machine that feeds largely on America’s poor, and especially on minority communities. Beyond simple misguided policy, The House I Live In examines how political and economic corruption have fueled the war for forty years, despite persistent evidence of its moral, economic, and practical failures."

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Chapter 5 - The New Jim Crow
Victims targeted are young and black.
Main purpose to concentrate power and money in predominantly white middle class and ruling elite.
Old Jim Crow was explicit involving attacks on African Americans-New Jim crow is discrete secretive, and based on racial stereotypes.
1 in 4 African Americans that grew up in the mass incarceration era are likely to have a parent behind bars.
75% of Black Males living in Washington D.C. can expect to go to jail or prison.
The House I Live In (2012)
Florida v. Bostick case, the US Supreme Court overruled the Florida Supreme Court and gave its approval to "consent searches", in which individuals approached by the police supposedly give their consent to being searched.
The federal oversight of the War on Drugs is provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which in close cooperation with many state and local law enforcement agencies provides training and federal guidelines (e.g. appearance and behavioral profiles of those considered to be promising suspects)
The implementation of military tactics in urban centers has most often taken the form of paramilitary SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) units. From the 1980s many SWAT teams were formed with federal help in localities, to be used primarily for serving drug warrants on suspected drug dealers. The SWAT raids, often ruthlessly carried out in minority communities, became very common (40,000 deployments in 2001)
Full transcript