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
Eye-opening thesis. Very exhaustively researched presented in cogent way. I found myself regarding police officers on the side of the road in a different light: as agents of social control rather than neutral entities.
The book was quite informative. I truly love it, a little more than most books I have heard.
I was stunned by the statistics of the people that gets pulled over and the other aspect of the "War On Drug"
She was a good narrator.
A Dark Shadow Of Our Society
Michelle brought light on a very sad aspect of our society: Black men are disappearing and soon to be extinct. I love the fact that she was not just making allegations, she backed up all her statements with hardcore statistics. She was a little repetitive on few chapters but still I loved how she organized her argument. My only issue was the fact that she thought all the incarcerated people were victims. She was not willing to accept that some people purposefully accepted that life because it is the easy way out. And it gives them a shot at quick route to richness. No matter how small that number is, I think it is worth mentioning.
I enjoyed this book. I think it is well researched but I felt it put the black men as victims. I just finished " Slavery by another name" and I felt it was very much objective.
I do agree that there is racism and race affects laws. Yet, I believe this is an amazing country and we all have the possibility to create something great out of ourselves regarding of race. I am proof of that .
I mean, the author talks about " mothers caught with crack" and going to jail. I agree the sentence may be too harsh sometimes, but why a mom had crack in the house in the first place?
I just felt it was imbalanced.
This book made me sad and angry.
I'm angry that the War on Drugs is disguised war on Blacks and Latinos, and especially on young Black men. Michelle Alexander looks at the War on Drugs from every angle to show how the War on Drugs is selectively pursued to perpetuate a racial underclass, and how each step in that pursuit is covered with plausible deniability that the gross racial disparities that the system produces are racially motivated.
The War on Drugs is not only a mistake like Prohibition was; it is indeed the new Jim Crow. It's evil, wrapped up in intentions that sound good.
I'm sad that Michelle Alexander did not write a better book about the problem. The book is verbose and repetitive, making the same points again and again, in just slightly different ways. The sentences are even flabby. This book could be reduced by half and leave nothing useful out. This would make it a far more compelling read, allowing it to reach a broader audience. This, too, is a tragedy. This message needs to be heard.
The war on drugs is a plot to incarcerate a generation of black men? This is as incredible (or unbelieveable) a conspiracy theory as those who think President Obama isn't a U.S. citizen. As a professional in the criminal justice system, I find this book to be offensive. I have never taken part in a racially motivated prosecution nor have I ever observed one happening, and would have expressed my opposition if I had. I recognize that the war on drugs is a failure and has incarcerated a huge number of black men. However, that was not the intended outcome. The intended outcome was to eradicate drugs of abuse, which were having a devastating effect on the black community. Unfortunately, black men are incarcerated more often because they are, again unfortunately, involved in crime more often, proportionally, than whites. That is the incovenient truth, as Al Gore would say. But there are societal reasons for this that are going unaddressed. I personally believe a large part of the problem is the breakdown of the family in the black community, leaving so many young black men with no positive male roll models in their lives, so they turn to other negative roll models. However, the criminal justice system is not to blame for incarcerating those who break the laws. But nothing is being done to correct the social ills that lead young black men to do so: non-existent families, awful education systems in urban neighborhoods, and no job opportunites. Blaming the criminal justice system blames a symptom of the problem, not a cause of the problem. Its a convenient target, but is like blaming a law mower for causing the lawn to grow.
This book raises issues that cut to the heart of the silent reality that we have redesigned the delivery of rasism with our criminal justice system. It brings to light the tool mass incarceration plays in ensuring the social control and repression.
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