Tag Archives: Michelle Alexander
Michelle Alexander is a law professor and former lawyer who has written the very popular book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.” Alexander believes that due to the targeted mass incarceration of people of color, we are now living in a “New Jim Crow.” Alexander explains that because so many young black men have been through the prison system, they are legally being discriminated against in employment, housing, education, public benefits, and jury service, just as their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents once were under slavery and Jim Crow laws. Alexander describes the black community as being in a “caste” system, helpless to further their status as long as this “New Jim Crow” system is in place. Her solution is to build a “major social movement” to dismantle the “caste” system. Alexander however, is wrong in this strangely worded, hyperbolic, and confused book.
In the last few years people who are paid to interpret events in terms of race have struck out against the idea of colorblindness, from Tim Wise’s Colorblind to Michelle Alexander’s most recent book. Oddly enough there hasn’t been a substantial amount of work in support of colorblindness. Instead the racialists have defined colorblindness based on their vague interpretations of an unspoken belief by most Americans. Like most intellectual light weights, they are sure to define an opposing position so that it is easily defeated. So part of defending colorblindness will be a constant effort to explain what is meant when I use the term.
On April 13th in Minneapolis Minnesota the 12th annual “White Privilege Conference” will take place. People from all over the country will come and be educated on America’s alleged systemic white supremacy. Unfortunately for Minnesota, as Katherine Kersten of the Star Tribune explains, area schools are sending a delegation of teachers to the conference at the tax payers expense, while only recently having to fire 94 teachers. Kersten’s article is worth reading because she goes into detail about the kind of foolishness that goes on at this conference. She explains what was said at the 2009 keynote address:
On March 30th colorlines.com posted an article titled “Michelle Alexander: More Black Men in Prison Than Were Enslaved in 1850.” The article represents a very common belief by racialists about the American justice system: essentially that it is severely racist. The article states: “It’s a heartbreaking, but often understated, reality that America’s criminal justice system imprisons black folks at astonishingly high rates.” It certainly hasn’t been understated in this article, with direct comparisons to Jim Crow laws, and a vague comparison to slavery. It is heartbreaking, but what is the implication? What exactly are we meant to be heartbroken about? That so many blacks commit crimes? That we have unfair laws? Or is it that only racial discrimination could be the cause? While this is probably the most important question, it is typically just treated as a given that racism must be the primary cause. With the type of language that is used throughout the article, and by racialists in general, it is as if the police are imprisoning completely innocent men.