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The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow

Escrito por Michelle Alexander

Narrado por Karen Chilton


The New Jim Crow

Escrito por Michelle Alexander

Narrado por Karen Chilton

avaliações:
5/5 (299 avaliações)
Comprimento:
16 horas
Lançado em:
Jun 13, 2012
ISBN:
9781464048258
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Nota do editor

Leading a revolution…

Alexander makes her case that the War on Drugs created a new racial caste system in a highly readable and compelling way. This provocative work has shifted how we think about civil rights and prison reform.

Descrição

Civil rights advocate and accomplished lawyer Michelle Alexander broaches a topic worthy of national conversation. Alexander argues that criminals convicted by our justice system face the same obstacles- legal discrimination and disenfranchisement- African Americans faced during the Jim Crow era.
Lançado em:
Jun 13, 2012
ISBN:
9781464048258
Formato:
Audiolivro

Também disponível como...

Também disponível como livroLivro

Sobre o autor

Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar. She is a former Ford Foundation Senior Fellow and Soros Justice Fellow, has clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, and has run the ACLU of Northern California's Racial Justice Project. Alexander is a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary and an opinion columnist for the New York Times. The author of The New Jim Crow and The New Jim Crow: Young Readers' Edition (both from The New Press), she lives in Columbus, Ohio.


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  • This provocative work has shifted how we think about civil rights and prison reform. Alexander makes her case that the War on Drugs created a new racial caste system in a highly readable and compelling way.

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Avaliações de leitores

  • (5/5)
    What a spectacular book. I was a bit skeptical of the title going in--it's a bit Godwin-esque to compare all racial injustices to slavery and/or Jim Crow. But she addresses that head-on, with a bit of skepticism on her own part. Having recently read The Warmth of Other Suns and seen some of the ways that Jim Crow actually played out in real life, though, I could certainly see the pervasive parallels that Alexander draws here.

    America's prison system is incredibly racist in its implementation, that I knew. But what this book illuminates so well are the facts that (a) the system was transformed along racial lines in a discrete, systematic way and (2) the worst iniquities of our criminal justice system might actually be the lives we force felons into after prison. The concept of "civil death" underlies so many of our laws that pertain to convicted people, and it's all out of proportion to the petty crimes that most of them committed. Beyond which, it has broader implications for the black community that do, indeed, recall Jim Crow.

    Finally, while the final chapter seemed a bit rushed, I did accept a lot of her prescription for where to go from here. It might seem contradictory to say that, on one hand, we can't pretend that the current system is equally harsh to all races, and on the other, that we have to address this in a manner that helps both racial minorities and whites. Her appeal to King's sense that it's time to move beyond civil rights and toward human rights is, I think, dead on.
  • (5/5)
    When the United States now has a prison population of nearly the same size and proportion as Stalinist Russia during the Great Purges, you know there's something deeply wrong with this country. (We have 760 per 100,000, the Soviets had ~800.) 1.6 million people out of 300 million are in prison today in America (The Gulag held 1.7 million in 1953). That's more than all of Hawaii. This population includes almost 100,000 minors, and even an increasing proportion of the elderly.

    How did this happen? Racial prejudice through law is not new, of course. After the end of slavery, southern Democrats enforced racist laws, effectively cutting off the newly freed populations from voting rights, jury duty, and so forth. This was the first Jim Crow.

    There was a brief refuge with the Kennedy and Johnson administrations of the 1960s, and the civil rights movement. The Voting Rights Act killed the first Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Bill and desegregation did too. However, after the assassinations of the late 1960s, when JFK and RFK and the Reverend King and Malcolm X all fell, bloodied martyrs, war riots and a fear of the loss of public order choked the American public.

    In 1968, Richard Nixon promised them law and order, to be 'tough on crime'. He used covertly racist advertising, setting the 'inner city' and the 'peacenik' against the 'silent majority'. He began the War on Drugs. Then came Ronald Reagan, who described welfare fraud, and whipped up racist panic about crack babies, crack heads, gangbangers. His stories were lies. Drug usage was on the decline among black communities when he made his first self-righteous crusades in 1982. But here, the laws were biased, punishing crack over powder cocaine. Crack was cheap, favored by blacks, and cocaine, used by whites, was not as heavily prosecuted. The majority of drug users are white (being the majority of the population) but the majority of those imprisoned are black.

    What is the state of drugs today? Drug abuse/dependence among white and black youth is roughly equal, ~8% as of 2013. However, blacks are ten times more likely to be apprehended by whites It has remained at this point since the beginning of the drug war, and even after the exponential increase in police spending in the drug war.

    How is the new Jim Crow implemented beyond drugs? First, through searches and seizures, and the dismantling of the 4th amendment. Second, through the pressures of the judicial system. Third, through the extremely harsh treatment which these prisoners now receive.

    The legal protections of the fourth amendment have been largely curtailed in the drug war. Property can be confiscated and homes invaded on unproven allegations. 'Material self-interest' allows law enforcement to target anyone, anywhere, for any reason.

    The judicial system has been complicit in this new aggressive policy. Mandatory minimum sentencing has led to disproportionately long sentences for even minor counts of personal possession. Heavy mandatory penalties against non-violent offenders - e.g., fifty years prison for minor amounts of personal possession, are now upheld by the Supreme Court. So there goes the Eighth amendment as well.

    Government privatization of the prison system, with market incentives gone perversely wrong. When prisons are privatized, what is their means of making a profit? Tacit support of 'tough-on-crime' laws, increasing prisoner intake, earning a profit by cutting out amenities, keeping their 'guests' there as long as possible. Imagine a hotel with mandatory attendance, how else would they make money?

    Twenty years ago, former prisoners could at least earn a living with manufacturing jobs. They'd stay out of the customers' eyes. Now, these jobs have vanished. What's left are those jobs at the very bottom, or nothing at all.

    This is the Gulag Archipelago of our age. It is a hidden state within a state, where we dump our poor, our tired, our huddled masses. This book is essential reading, not just for the activist or the politician, or the social worker, not even only for those in poverty who know this already, but the average American voter. It is time to stand up against the George Wallaces and Jan Brewers and Joe Arpaios of the world. Time for the Freedom Riders of history to march again against bigotry, and this time to fight for a more lasting place in the sun.
  • (5/5)
    In this book, Alexander examines the connections between the War on Drugs, racial caste, and disenfranchisement. She lays it all out with stunning clarity.This is one of the most important books I've ever read. In my opinion, it should be required reading for all Americans.
  • (4/5)
    Professor Alexander’s sweeping denunciation and expose of the evils of mass incarceration bring nothing to mind so much as Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Like Jean Valjean, a minority kid busted on a minor drug charge ends up as a felon in prison, then an outcast from our society. Laws and policies deprive him of the right to vote, of public assistance, and even of housing. Mass incarceration is leading to a new racial caste system.But the author goes farther, showing how the misguided War of Drugs has unleashed a militarized police force against poor people of color. At the same time, drug crimes committed by suburban white people largely go unpunished. When detected, white drug offenders are much more likely to be sentenced in state court, where the penalties are much less severe than in the federal system. Alexander argues that the war of drugs would stop tomorrow if it were pursued in white suburbia as diligently as it is in poor communities of color.
  • (5/5)
    Definitive text on the lives of African American males and the institutionalization of segregation and racism from the Old South in America. Alexander painstakingly routes the path from Cornfields to Cell blocks for the black male population in America and the disenfranchisement of a sector of society that was never intended to have the legal vote by the old boy network to start. Do you want to know the plan or path for minorities in this great democracy? Here's a blueprint. Get it, read it, mark it up. It's embedded in the cornerstones of this society.
  • (5/5)
    It took me three years to finish this book--but that really doesn't say much in itself.In the beginning, I found it troublesome to read because of my ignorance. At the end, I found it repetitive. Alright! I get it! But even the ending had factual matter that I wasn't aware of.This IS a book that all of us should read. ALL, as in everyone. No demographic gets a free pass, since, as Alexander so hammers into our heads, there is NO ethnic group, social class, or economic stratum that is untouched by this fact of American society.
  • (5/5)
    Great book! I’ve learn so much about mass incarceration and who it really affects!
  • (4/5)
    ... but if your strategy for racial justice involves waiting for whites to be fair, history suggests it will be a long wait.”

    How do I review this book? How do I even begin to talk about how much this book affected me or how much I learnt from it? I wish I had a physical copy so that I could write in its pages, in the margins, and fill all its blank spaces.

    Michelle Alexander expertly and deftly unpacks a new kind of racism in this book. It's subversive, subconscious and involuntary, reinforced with images of young black men in the media, all of their portrayals fitting a certain stereotype. She talks about how a certain demographic (of young black men) are systematically, consistently and meticulously searched, arrested, tried and convicted of minor drug offences, and put in jail for such lengthy terms that they would shock any other first world country.

    She discusses all the subtle ways in which the American judicial system and its processes are geared against anyone who isn't a young white man, and how all these attitudes and often outlandish laws can be traced back to political or social movements.

    The author can be quite radical and sometimes says I don't necessarily agree with, but she has found facts and data when there reportedly was none, and she knows her shit.

    Alexander admits to the fact that she only had time in her study to talk about young black men, that she had no space to talk about young latino men or young black women or any other person of colour in the book. (Though she urges the reader to write these books and make the information known.) She insists that she painted the study with a broad brush, a time to merely reflect, with few ideas or solutions.

    ... the audiobook is 13 hours long. The book is 300 pages. So despite the fact that she only spoke about young black men, who were often first-time offenders, and had no time to talk about women in the justice system, or latinos or other people of colour but did not run out of things to talk about is astonishing.

    I will say that this book is really dense, and while it is sometimes a lot to take in, I learnt a lot.

    Whether you agree with Alexander's ideas or not, I think this is an important book for anyone to read
  • (5/5)
    Read this book. Read this book. Read this book. Read this book.
  • (3/5)
    So many good facts...but little great conclusions. Fairly subjective work mostly in line with the author’s ideology.
  • (5/5)
    An excellent book, but be prepared to feel depressed about how the entire system, all the way up to the US Supreme Court, has enlisted racism to fight the “war on drugs.”
  • (5/5)
    Reading this books during the climate we are currently in was much needed. It put so many things into perspective in regards to the war on drugs and our current imprisonment system and how these systems were used to target people of color for so many years. Michelle Alexander does a great job of supporting her book with an insurmountable amount of data and research! This was such a great book!
  • (5/5)
    This book is so informative, if you consider yourself a human rights advocate, this is a must read!
  • (5/5)
    It was provokingly good read! Powerful and enlightening. Highly recommended
  • (5/5)
    Very in-depth and mind blowing! We have so much work to do to dismantle mass incarceration!
  • (5/5)
    Must read for anyone and everyone interested in helping dismantle the US’s oppressive prison industrial complex. Each chapter is filled with more and more horrendous examples of how incredibly flawed our justice system is. This book will make you or keep you fired up in the pursuit of justice.
  • (5/5)
    A - thorough, incisive and revealing book that all black people should read. It should be a must read for all inner city school kids. This book is not just mind-blowing, it is terrifically written and supported with facts and figures to buttress every points made. An instant classic that will be cited for generations to come. I had goosebumps reading it and I will definitely purchase it as gifts for my friends, little cousins and younger stars in high school. Thanks Michelle.
  • (3/5)
    Was good to hear this perspective...thought provoking, but too repetitive.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing, inspiring, full of good information. I fully recommend this book
  • (5/5)
    Written a decade ago and so timely. Even as the world is on fire today. We need to hear where we have been to know where we should go. This book is a great start if you need one.
  • (5/5)
    Yeah, I thought I knew what this was going to be but it was more. If you’ve never thought about mass incarceration, the war on drugs, and the racist roots and impact of each, you should read this.
    If you have already done significant work educating yourself on these topics, I still recommend the book, because the author goes into such detail and makes illuminating connections between different aspects.
  • (4/5)
    This has a lot of good statistics and the author argues her case convincingly. It was particularly interesting for me to see how (intentionally) vague rules can be used as a political tool in America, in this case to allow unconscious racial biases to be brought to the forefront.
  • (5/5)
    The most important book I have read in years.
  • (4/5)
    This is a powerful book on how the criminal "justice" system and which crimes we decide to punish has effectively created a new Jim Crow, where many African Americans serve years of incarceration, have their franchise taken away for life, and suffer from a system designed to punish black and brown people more than white people. I wish everyone in America was aware of what's really going on. Michelle Alexander has put together a compelling set of data that proves her case and serves as a call to action.
  • (5/5)
    This book is incredible and indispensable, but the more I listen the more it seems this version of the audiobook is out of order :(
  • (4/5)

    2 pessoas acharam isso útil

    This is a very thought-provoking book, and I recommend it. It is certainly seriously flawed. Read quickly past the introduction (it gets much better!). She does not present statistics well or honestly. There are big exaggerations. (Do poor people not vote because they're "terrorized," afraid of losing their government benefits, or because it's inconvenient or difficult, or just not worth it?) It is unnecessarily adversarial to civil rights organizations, and her criticism that they are too lawyerly is ironic given that the strongest part of this book is in its legal history. She uses biased language, and often gives extreme quotes without saying who said them (so you have to look in the notes to see that this was an extreme view, not mainstream as presented). And what about black women? They don't exist? Despite the flaws in the arguments, I still found them very interesting, and the broader worldview is compelling in many ways.

    2 pessoas acharam isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    There are plenty of other reviews that go into detail on why this is a worthwhile read. For me, this provided the legal cases, statistics, and laws that have turned mass incarceration into another form of a second class caste. Chapters are thoroughly cited with end notes in the back. Even though this was initially published 7 years ago, not much has changed and unfortunately remains relevant, especially in the age of a president who promises to bring "law and order" specifically to "troubled inner cities".

    Not much else to say other than if you don't know much about the impact of the War on Drugs or what happens to citizens after they've been labeled as felons, this is a must read.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    Every American should read this book; non-Americans can read it to feel relief that they don’t have such a system and possibly think about tacit discrimination in their countries as no nation can be free of such systems, though clearly most will not be on such a large scale. Michelle Alexander looks at the American prison system with a focus on the War on Drugs and how it is used to control minorities, specifically young African-American men. The book is clearly written, well-organized and cites statistics, case studies and personal accounts to give both the large-scale impact and the personal costs of the mass imprisonment of drug criminals. Alexander claims in her introduction that she didn’t want to write an enormous tome describing the injustices but her book is actually quite comprehensive. She lays out the stepwise progression of the system to its current form, where it can function with no necessary overt racism, generally hidden from view and on a massive scale. Alexander writes with an impressive clarity and sticks to a straightforward, factual tone even when dealing with enormous contradictions and injustices. Her prose flows well so the book never feels dry. She’s able to summarize historical eras, complex court cases and theoretical arguments simply and clearly but includes important nuances and looks at positions on both sides. In fact, she frequently lays out the arguments for the current drug war and punitive system then dismantles them with statistics and examples, logical counterarguments and enlightening juxtapositions.Alexander starts the book by giving a short summary of the two previous systems used to control blacks – slavery and Jim Crow, the set of laws and customs that developed after the Civil War and Reconstruction that kept minorities as a second-class citizen. Her biggest claim is that the War on Drugs and the prison system is the new Jim Crow, a highly emotional charge that is given strong support here. Whatever one thinks of that comparison, though, the author’s case-by-case depiction of the loss of any meaningful constraint on police actions and the long list of extremely harsh and unfair restrictions on not only those convicted of drug charges but those either charged but not convicted or just arrested for drug crimes is staggering. The beginnings of the current drug war are traced – a War on Drugs was actually declared before the spread of crack, long seen as the scary boogyman of drugs. Ronald Reagan is given much of the blame but Alexander is highly critical of Bill Clinton’s reforms and is doubtful of some of Obama’s actions. Being “tough on crime” became an easily coded way to appeal to the rightmost elements as well as poor whites and Republicans and Democrats would both use it – no one wanted to be seen as having sympathy for criminals. Alexander shows how government money was used to incentivize the arrest of large groups of drug criminals – almost all black or brown, she notes – and led to the militarization of police tactics. To point out some of the worst abuses – police are allowed to seize the property of drug criminals, giving them another incentive for arrests. Even those only arrested and not charged can have their property seized and a cumbersome process must be undertaken to try to get it back, leading to the idea of a piece of property having “guilt”. Laws were only reformed (and not by that much) when some especially corrupt police departments targeted white millionaires, hoping to seize a large estate if even a small amount of drugs was found and actually taking a helicopter. Out-of-proportion mandatory sentencing and punitive three-strikes laws are often discussed but Alexander gives the disparities of the crimes and sentences in detail.Alexander covers a list of Supreme Court cases and all result in giving police and prosecutors almost unlimited discretion in who to arrest and charge. Any limits in stopping and searching people are almost never used in fact – the issue with obtaining “consent” to search, for example. Police can stop someone for pretty much any reason – looking too nervous to too calm are acceptable reasons cited. They can also use race, as long as it’s not the sole reasons. Prosecutors regular overcharge drug criminals to force plea bargains and it’s well-known that public defenders are spread too thin. In choosing a jury, prosecutors can cite almost any reasons for rejecting a potential juror – the one given in the Supreme Court case was that the guy’s hair was too long. In fact, many of the decisions state that a racial bias cannot be charged unless there is clear evidence of someone doing something solely based on race which is unlikely. Statistics were not acceptable as evidence of bias. Attempts to obtain evidence showing racial bias couldn’t be pursued as in one case where the court decided that the evidence necessary to decide the case (a list of white defendants who weren’t transferred to the harsher federal system) was the evidence being sought in a Catch-22.Restrictions placed on felons after release make a person more likely to engage in further crimes. For example, a number of court and imprisonment costs can be billed to felons and their wages can be garnished 100% - making it not unlikely that former convicts would turn to illegal methods to make a living. Housing and unemployment issues will come as no surprise but Alexander also discusses costs associated with transportation or a lack of it and the outflow of potential service jobs from the cities to the suburbs. In several harsh regulations pushed by the Clinton administration, people can be barred from public housing if drugs are used on their premises, even if they didn’t know about it, or if people living with them use drugs outside of their residence. Despite the fact that extremely high percentages of young black men are incarcerated, there is still a stigma and shame attached. In the next section, Alexander compares the current prison system to Jim Crow though not focusing on what might be obvious. Her final chapter is not so much suggestions as critiques of some of the current ways of dealing with the problems (admonishing black men, using lawsuits as a primary way to effect change, making affirmative action the centerpiece of current civil rights pushes, promoting colorblindness as a solution) and a call for a new grassroots movement akin to the Civil Rights Movement. Alexander ends on a hopeful, fiery quote by James Baldwin but this book will make all but the most hardened feel dispirited.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    The author demonstrates that drug laws are enforced more harshly on people of color. Non-whites use illegal drugs at much the same rate as white people do, yet white people are subjected to far fewer arrests and convictions (and do less time in jail or prison). The criminal justice system has locked up a large percentage of our African-American population, and the prison industry depends on the continued warehousing of these souls for its profits. Local law enforcement agencies have reaped the benefits of property which is forfeited as a result of illegal drug arrests. And our nation as a whole feels that discrimination has come to an end, because we can see black faces on TV, black doctors and lawyers, and of course a black family living in the White House. All in all, the USA has imprisoned a higher percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid. This book is well-researched and sharply written. Overall, this is a devastating critique of the situation.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    Overwhelmingly depressing, but convincing in its argument that after the formal dismantling of Jim Crow in 1964, a new technique to maintain a racial undercaste: the War on Drugs. Although antidrug laws are race neutral, their enforcement are not. While whites and blacks use and sell drugs at approximately the same rates, enforcement efforts target blacks to the end that mind-popping levels of incarceration never before seen on the planet have been achieved, with 80% or more of prisoners coming from minority groups. Even when released these felons are denied any benefit that might allow them to productive reintegrate into society: they are permanently denied food stamps, public housing, as well as the right to vote. They cannot find employment. The cumulative effects on the individual and the group is devastation on a massive scale. But because this is tauted as colorblind and individual responsibility, these massive incarceration works escape censure for their racist foundations and effects. It is an appalling situation. The author is light on how the problem might be solved, but one hopes that, perhaps eventually, enough social will can be mustered to effect the fundamental changes that will be required to truly correct this injustice.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil