While the disproportionate level of black incarceration reported in this book is shocking enough to rally the objective minded into accepting the idea that racial bias is to blame, with deeper thought we can see how easily disparate causes may be conflated in this issue.
Is it honest to lump the high number of incarcerated black males into the same group as if all of them are victims, even if the legacy of unfair discrimination prejudices us in that direction? How many of the jailed group got there legitimately? The idea that the “get tough on crime” philosophy decried in this work is a conscious effort to herd black men into jail is the sort of comment that depends heavily upon white guilt, a tactic worn threadbare from overuse. Are we expected to follow some kind of quota system so that only a proportionate number of black offenders are taken off the street?
The author insists that the war on drugs is a vehicle of oppression. But having identified it as such, why does she not encourage resistance to this exposed enemy? Why not rally African-Americans to reject illegal drugs and the culture that sustains those drugs, now that the way forward is clear? Instead she uses the malady as an excuse, blaming the usual suspects, as if a group can truly grow strong by compelling another group to lift them out of a pit. Nay! I have seen and known far too many tough and admirable African-Americans to buy this argument.
And as other reviewers have noted, to conveniently leave out the pivotal detail about Ricky Ray Rector’s execution—that he damaged his own brain with a suicide attempt—leaves a hole in her credibility one could drive a truck through.
eye-opening, chilling, anger-producing
Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States
It's much more than a tidbit - it's a call to action for me and my fellow U.S.ers to become aware of what we've allowed to happen because of our indifference to what's going on with the imprisonment of young black men while young white men are ignored for the exact same actions.
Everyone should read this book and then alert others to what's going on.
The New Jim Crow lays out facts that support the way many minorities have felt for decades.
I particularly enjoyed the education I received on the implementation of the War on Drugs and its unusual timing.
Her ability to encapsulate the the spirit of the person who was speaking in that moment was fascinating. Whether it be a male or female, she was able to fluxuate her tone to embody that person's essence.
The most moving part of the book was when she broke down the response to Drinking and Driving vs. the response to crack cocaine sales and usage. It was at this juncture that all doubt about what was being said in this book was extremely irrefutable.
Assata was my all time favorite book until I heard this fascinating truth. This book is as big of a "must read" as Roots, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Miseducation of the Negro, etc. Thank you so much Ms. Alexander for this rivoting tale.
It's in the upper middle.
No this was the first
No this was the first; however, her reading of the book made it interesting.
I felt that this book was one sided. It put too much focus on blacks being locked up; however, there were points made about self responsibility.
Books like these are good due to the facts that they give; however, it does not offer any suggestions for prevention and being a countable for ones own actions.
Extremely well written. Provides a clear and easy to understand presentation of the harsh reality Black Americans have to live each day in a country that is supposed to be "the land of the free." Michelle Alexander brings to light many of the issues that white Americans are blind to but are happening before their very eyes to their fellow American brothers and sisters.
An outstanding read. As we ask for, and push for more "law and order" in our so called ghetto areas. We all need to read this book. No matter what race you are, or your economic background, this book will enlighten you on our current justice system. This book tells about America's history, and what we all need to do to secure a prosperous free future for all.
This book effectively brings into question systems and beliefs that have hindered America by disadvantaging others.
This is a stunning, carefully documented, shattering book that will challenge everything you think about the criminal justice system and race politics in our country. Should be required reading.
Painful and necessary. I didn't know about how the war on drugs came to be. It is time to care about the folks targeted by this war.