The New Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

“More black men are imprisoned today than at any moment in our nation’s history. More are disenfranchised today than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race. Young black men today may be just as likely to suffer discrimination in employment, housing, public benefits, and jury service as a black man in the Jim Crow era–discrimination that is perfectly legal, because it is based one one’s criminal record…. This is the new normal, the new racial equilibrium. The launching of the War on Drugs and the initial construction of the new system required the expenditure of tremendous political initiative and resources.”

“The unfortunate reality we must face is that racism manifests itself not only in individual attitudes and stereotypes, but also in the basic structure of society. ”

–from the book.

This frightening book describes the construction and unfolding brutality of our society’s current structure. Essential reading. Yes, now.

Reviewed by Ryan


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