WOW, just WOW: ‘The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness’ - Book TV
The video of her talk is not embeddable, it is available at the link.
For those of you short on time, she delves into the meat of her topic at about 12 minutes. She takes Q&A at about 1 hour.
The book is on the NYT best seller list and has been there for most of the past year.
Michelle Alexander argues that the get-tough-on-crime policies that began in the early 1970s were enacted in an effort to push back the gains of the Civil Rights Movement. This effort, she says, has been successful. Prof. Alexander spoke at the University of Tennessee at an event hosted by the university’s Africana Studies Program.
BookTV’s Online Book Club is reading Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow this month and discussing @ #BTVBookClub on March 26, 2013 @ 9pm ET.
Important ideas I gleaned from her talk:
-Mass Incarceration has quintupled in the last 30 years. It is not correlated, in any way, with crime rates.
-Never, I mean, Never consent to a search or frisking by law enforcement without a warrant. Educate others to do the same.
-2/3’s of incarcerations are drug related
-“felon” is the new “black” (my thought)
-prisoners are excluded from statistics —not included in unemployment etc stats. If they weren’t, for example, 80% of black men in Chicago would be considered disenfranchised. Thus creating a permanent second class, BY LAW.
-there are more black men in the system now than were slaves in 1850.
-$1 Trillion spent on the drug war, yet we don’t have enough to pay teachers and spend on education or drug rehab
-Many 1st time drug offenders are incarcerated FOR LIFE and the Supreme Court has upheld this.
-because of Conspiracy Laws, many women are incarcerated longer than their actual drug offender boyfriend or husband or brother.
-Personal Accountability includes Collective Responsibility for the laws we make and the policies we enforce.
-If President Barack Obama, an admitted drug user, had been brought up in different circumstances, he could be part of these statistics instead of a productive member of society, a husband, father and POTUS. This alone, is something to think about. I personally, would rather have that caliber of brain working with the System than against it.
-(my thought again) We are wasting human resources, which is economically insane. But then again, I count human resources as a commodity. Something which I always thought was a basic tenant of Capitalism. I believe that eliminating competition in this way (removing groups of people from the marketplace thru disenfranchisment) is cowardly and not worthy of Capitalism. But that would be a no true scotsman argument, wouldn’t it.
-check out these organizations if you want to learn or do more:
I couldn’t be more impressed by this author. Dr. Michelle Alexander is well versed in her topic and has the experience and intellect to present her case in a meaningful way. She gave a professional talk to a not full auditorium and received a standing ovation. I hope we see more of her in the future on the national stage.