Analysis of Alexandra Michelle Work
Analysis of Alexandra Michelle Work
There are different purposes for the incarceration system in the United States. It is well known that prisons are supposed to punish those who have been duly convicted of crimes and also to help them reform into better people of society. However, there are some people who are often imprisoned for the wrong reasons. According to Michelle Alexander, mass incarceration is the “New Jim Crow”. Jim Crow was the name given to the practice where black people in the United States of America were being segregated from the rest of society. In her book, she has been able to showcase her as an intellectual scholar and an advocate. This analysis is to shows how Michelle’s idea and work on the book and the knowledge she has gained on the racism and other social injustices shown to the blacks.
Michelle’s experience has enabled her to identify how the blacks are judged and treated specially in the prisons. Earlier on, the American prisons were formed to help in the reformation of wayward souls, to make them better people in the society. However, it is noted that there was a particular trend for the previous four decades that shown a quadrupled increase in the number of prisoners most of whom were blacks and former slaves. Some of the slaves would go to prison for violent felonies that were as mostly self-defense against the whites. It is notable that the southern prison was never formed for the purpose of reform but to control and punish the black. The author further depicts that the incarceration was a weapon that the whites resisted in the assertion of black political and civil rights during Reconstruction (James 54).
In her speech of fight of drugs as a race policy, Professor Michelle states clearly that war on drug has been used to as a system to promote racial control just as slavery. Professor Michelle being a black had idea of how African-Americans were highly populated in the prison even though she defied the idea that it was unequal implementation of colorblind policies.. She pays tribute to the ACLU, which is situated in California, and this gave her a limelight of the extent in which the criminals find themselves like disqualification from having a house in the public, discrimination in workplaces and students loans and also elimination from voters roll and juries (Alexander 200). Additionally in her work she has shown a call of action to eradicate the new Caste System. She has clearly shown how there has been a racial indifference system created between the whites and the blacks and compares the system now and those days of Jim Crow and sees the current system as that which individuals have no remembrance of someone when they are not around.
It is clear that Alexander work focuses on trying to establish change in the judicial criminal system and bring equality such that the crimes created by a black and white are settled in a manner of the magnitude of the case and not the color. Just as in the control and punishment unit embraced the rehabilitative ideal that instituted a new form of slavery. The author notes that the prison administrators embraced new slavery style and leased the black prisoners to work on private contractors.
In her book, Professor Alexander is seen to use logos as a way to persuade readers. This is by the fact that she describes through logic, showing the different things that were done in well-analyzed legal citations and statistics. She uses them to show that the approach of crime, starting with the Nixon administration and getting even more intense in the Reagan declaration on a war on drugs, was a way to devastating totally black America. She states that more than thirty percent of blacks are likely to be imprisoned at some point in their lives. With this, they find themselves permanently as second-class citizens.
The book also galvanizes white readers, including those who may question the perception of the war on drugs as a continuation of race wars. It helps those who may just want to dismiss the idea to understand clearer why there are so many people who agree with the main claim. It, therefore, uses ethos to help them understand the logic behind the claim so that they can take the point seriously.
Apart from logos, the author using ethos, where she defends her authority and credibility on the subject. Having analyzed the system for a long time, we see that Alexander has a vast knowledge of the goings on of African-American incarceration. This incredible experience helped her book to become a bestseller since she is well known as a person who understands the subject and the system. With this, she can make the claim and still defend it using terms that show her individual thoughts as a leader on the subject.
Another reason that backs up Professor Alexander’s claim is the fact that the incarceration system reinforces poverty. Professor Alexander is keen on bringing establishing a historic racial justice, and anyone who embraces justice call can clearly see that she is on point. As it is the norm the blacks are incarcerated for long during their most productive years and when they come out they are not employable. This way it is hard for them to fit back into society. They are then limited to extremely low paying jobs or businesses thus they are confined to being part of the lower-class society.
Another way to look at it is that the claim may not be entirely true. This is because the mass incarceration may be more of a social disaster than a ploy to attack the civil rights movement. Even Alexander does not call this a conspiracy theory(Alexander 187). It is true that the most that are affected may be the blacks and coloreds, but there is no proof beyond reasonable doubt that this is so. Additionally, in the total prison population, drug offenders consist of less than 25 percent of the number. On the other hand, violent offenders, regardless of the fact that they are not prominently mentioned in “The New Jim Crow,” have larger numbers in American prisons. This shows that the number being spoken of is significantly lower than what Alexander may be trying to show.
Professor Alexander work can be noted as a call for justice to the blacks that have been ignored for quite a long time. She clearly shows how the New Jim crow’s law was just a change from one segregation caste system to another in the modern world. She is bold on exposing the injustices and the wrongs glaring the society that the politicians policymakers and even social commentators.
Alexander, Michelle. “The New Jim Crow.” The New Jim Crow. The New Press, 2010. 187-222. Print.
James, Forman. “Harm’s Way”. Boston Review 2011: 53-55. Print.
Jennifer, Schuessler. “Drug Policy as Race Policy”. New York Times 2012: 1-30. Print.