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Mass Incarceration - The New Jim Crow

Updated: May 24, 2021

In Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow, there are so many statistics and factual evidence that all point to this historical fact it's uncanny that government has not made any effort to remediate the still existing remnants of the collateral damage of, yes, slavery. There hasn't been any "rehabilitation" of the black peoples. Others that have experienced life trauma are afforded, I dare say luxury, of treatment, support and counseling to overcome and move past these adversities. For black people of America, none of these luxuries have been granted or even considered. Instead, other practices of voter suppression, property confiscation or even denial, along with lesser opportunities to find work or develop a career are thwart with actual laws! It was only two generations ago that black people in America were not considered full human beings, let alone citizens, remember three-fifths *(3/5ths)? Why would anyone consider that just after a few decades that the sons and daughters of these same voters, at that time, would they think much more of us?

During a interview, Alexander (2020) in a discussion with civil rights activists, Angela Davis, it was mentioned that, Incarceration itself is a form of violence. Imagine if, when, a private citizen were to take someone away, technically kidnapping someone and putting them in a cage, that would be considered a harsh violent act, but when the state does it, it’s okay and accepted. Jails and prisons are sites of the reproduction of violence. Sending people to jail is putting them in a position that they will experience more violence than the alleged act that they’ve committed. State violence is not different that citizen violence. Why are we as a society okay with this? Is "conformity" that strong of a factor that people are willing to turn away when these injustices are happening, daily?

Art by Adrienne Gaither

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