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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness | [Michelle Alexander]

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Campbell Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-24-12
    Campbell Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Thought-provoking"
    What did you love best about The New Jim Crow?

    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.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KHimself Norfolk, VA 12-08-12
    KHimself Norfolk, VA 12-08-12

    Khimself

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Eye Opening Story but One-sided"
    Where does The New Jim Crow rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The book was quite informative. I truly love it, a little more than most books I have heard.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I was stunned by the statistics of the people that gets pulled over and the other aspect of the "War On Drug"


    What does Karen Chilton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She was a good narrator.


    If you could give The New Jim Crow a new subtitle, what would it be?

    A Dark Shadow Of Our Society


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elena Chicago, IL, United States 04-01-13
    Elena Chicago, IL, United States 04-01-13
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    "Very interesting but not objective at all"

    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.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 01-03-13
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 01-03-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Critically Important Book, But Needs Editing"

    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.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Granger, IN, United States 05-31-13
    John Granger, IN, United States 05-31-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Starts with a conclusion and tries to support it."

    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.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marco Great Barrington, MA, United States 02-10-13
    Marco Great Barrington, MA, United States 02-10-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Powerful and Thought Provoking"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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