In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination - employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service - are suddenly legal.
©2012 Michelle Alexander (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC
I was shocked and amazed at the content and how truly ignorant I was on the subject matter. I liked the fact that Ms. Alexander not only gave the historical context, facts and examples but also what we can to do to change it. This was a great book!
To know that the whole government is involved in the plot to incarcerate, control, and obliterate the rights of its citizens.
The New Jim Crow has been reopening my eyes to the modern system of enslavement that still exists in our drug war culture. It’s a mechanized system of mass incarceration that ingests people and spits out corpses with the brandished label of a “criminal.”
Too often we can create tunnel vision excuses for panoramic systems of injustice because we only analyze a problem based on the top 10% of the iceberg that’s in our face, meanwhile a behemoth lurks beneath the surface unnoticed. Michelle Alexander’s work in this book helps complete the picture. She dives down to get beneath the superficial anecdotes. She relays the history, identifies tipping points along the way and uses broad strokes and individual stories to make the message clear: Slavery may have ended, civil rights may be written into law, but there is a still a purposeful and intentional modern Jim Crow war against communities of color, and African Americans in particular, that can’t be denied.
I strongly suggest if you’re a person of justice or seeking understanding, that you pick up The New Jim Crow.
This is a piercing, courageous book that connected a lot dots for me. Michelle Alexander lays out a compelling, sturdily reasoned case that may explain a lot of very sick things in our society. The “war on drugs,” incentivizing biased police enforcement, unfair stereotyping of minority youth, prison profiteering, and fear of discussing racial issues are not the only perpetuating factors. Anyone who cares about social justice would appreciate this book. It interestingly written, although a bit repetitive and I believe the author could have said more about how the system perpetuates crime and violence. The reader Karen Chilton is one of the best I have heard in many hours of audible.com listening.
The content of the book and the way the information was narrated.
The facts that were presented
She made it nice to listen to while riding in the car. Some of her voice narratives were good as well. Her voice was easy on the ears.
No. The entire book was a moving experience. Especially the facts on drug use among different races, yet the amount of disproportion of incarceration in our justice system.
This book should be read/listened to by all who consider themselves active in the social justice movement. The facts in this book were well presented and gives answers to many questions that other ethnic groups may have about the troubles faced in the minority communities and people of the lower economic class.
I recommend this book to everyone - it contains ideas that we, as a free democracy must face - how can we assure equal opportunity for all.
This book provides shocking statistics, surveys and testimonials arguing that the War on Drugs has become a war on young black men and is moving a huge percentage of these men into the control of our prison system, often for trivial amounts of drugs.
I thought the narrator read as if this book were a story instead of the important thesis it is. Occasionally the narrator put the emphasis on the wrong words in a phrase, suggesting she was just reading words and not understanding the facts she was reading. Lastly, she pronounced 'lenGth' as 'lenth' and often pronounced 'd' as 't' as in 'Baldwin', 'administration', 'would' and others. It is not the Government 'Accountability' Office, either.
A sobering look at our legal system (along with education and affirmative action) and the horrific effect it has had on the lives of black men (and thus all of us interested in a fair society).
'The War on Drugs' uses the 'Shock and Awe' of our legal system to annihilate the lives of black men.
Is the United States still a racially divided country - using the legal system to discriminate against young black men?
Not only is the 'War on Drugs' lost, but it has annihilated an entire segment of our population - young black men.
How our legal system, through the 'War on Drugs' has destroyed the lives of young minorities, especially blacks.
This book has at least 30 new and inter-related concepts about the war on drugs, the massive incarceration of black men, arrests for tiny amounts of drugs the horrible life of anyone who becomes a felon. the problems with a 'color-blind' society and much more. Slavery and Jim Crow laws in their time may not have been as bad for young black men as the war on drugs is today.
This book also touches on other better-understood systemic problems in today's society, including unequal housing opportunities, unequal education opportunities, the failures of affirmative action and more. These huge intractable issues, along with the author's main topic, the unfairness of the implementation of the war on drugs, provide a grim picture of how difficult it will be to change society to provide 'justice for all'.
This book documents the war on drugs with all of its impact on our society. While the war may benefit the owners of commercial jails, the impact on people of color is tragic. It is hard to imagine that this book cn be ignored, and change is inevitable if .it is widely read by intelligent and honest people.
All that is necessary for evil totriumph is for good people to do nothing. I doubt that anyone, even Republicans, will read this book and not seek change..
Private intellectual, writer, and retired academic. Currently R&D director for Gravitational Systems Engineering, Inc.
This a very dense yet understandable expaination of a common corruption of US justice.
It revealed the silent struggles of those people whom we, despite our race, consider as the others. It brought in sharp relief the perils of casual drug use and poverty. If you enjoyed the book the Working Poor, this book is the other side of the page. I would also add that the overriding sense of the fallacy of exceptionalism, as applied to any group. In brief, most people are not exceptional, yet should you need to be above average to live a good life, and have a secure future? Should poverty or race magnify your lack of exceptionalism often to the level of tragedy. Should a teenage indescretion doom you to never being eligble to vote, or be eliglble for any public assistance, including basic food security. And can we afford to keep and increasingly large segment of the population in custody or supervision?
Although scenes are not relevant to this book, the most compelling understanding that I gained was the impact of many seemingly innocous supreme court decisions.
The stories about how grandmothers have been evicted from public housing because their grandson was arrested for drug possesion in a nearby park. Also, the explaination of pretex stops as a policy to search vehicles.
We should all be aware of this and many other forms of corruption that are rife in the US justice and legislative systems. If not from a sense of fairness, then from a sense of self peservation. As this population becomes more diverse these kinds of injustices are the meat and gravy of widespread social unrest. As our economy becomes increasingly dependent on machines, websites, and automation more and more people will be forced out of the mainstream of American life, and into the disenfranchised. Remember the history of the French revolution.
This work of investigative history reveals the roots of racial inequality in American Justice; the secret 'mission' of the prison-industrial complex, the racism inherent to the justice system, and how it relates to the 'social caste' system in America. This book is a revelation AND truly revolutionary.
Plantation Prison System: The New Slavery in Neo-Feudal America
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.
What I most deeply appreciate about this work is its depth and fullness, it sincere caring, unapologetic straightforward courage, its clarity, and its point-on focus about one of the greatest, most troubling, and far too often evaded issues this nation faces.
Michelle Alexander is absolutely brilliant, bold, and a true giant in the struggle for human decency and justice. The New Jim Crow shows how contemporary methods have undergone a careful refinement in order to perpetuate the worn-out racial caste system in America.
Comparing the "New Jim Crow" to previous forms of control, Michelle shows how precisely this new systems is tailored to match the subtleties of current conditions, conditions not so apt to exhibit or support more overt forms of bigotry. She shows how stereotypical images in the media about people of color in general, and young black men in particular feed an established belief system in the back of the American mind that continues to want to hold that there are some humans that are better, more valuable than others, that people of color are more prone to criminal behaviors than whites, although the facts suggest that crime is committed at surprisingly similar rates among all people.
What this book clearly shows is that 1. It is much more easier for people of color to get snatched up in the criminal "justice" system than ever before. 2. Once caught, one is stuck in the system for a much longer periods of time than ever before. 3. And once one has paid their debt in this way, one can;t seem to get beyond stigma of the experience of having been incarcerated (loss of rights, inability to get employment, housing, government benefits, etc.).
Michelle acknowledges and does not excuse the deep pain and overwhelming destruction caused by crime, but she carefully shows how the current system is really not so much about eliminating crime as it is eliminating and disempowering the presence of free people of color in this society.
This book is well researched, clean and crisp, presenting an abundance of facts upon which it base its arguments. I would recommend it to anyone who has a heart to care and a mind to know the truth, and the conviction that humanity can set a far better example of what it means to be civilized.
Karen Chilton does an excellent job narrating this work. She helps keep the focus on the work itself, and her reading is flawless.
The enormous amount of knowledge and clarity about this deeply important subject. I plan to listen to it again with more attention to the details.
I am deeply grateful to Michelle Alexander for putting forth such a great effort and producing a work of such quality and value.
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