It’s the chain gangs of the past remade for today’s prison industrial complex.
David Cook explains:
The hot racism of old has been replaced by a new form of legalized discrimination. No longer are black Americans imprisoned through slavery or the fear of lynching and white hoods at midnight, but through a legalized form of discrimination of prisons, drug laws and felon-branding.
It’s the new Jim Crow.
“Rather than rely on race, we use our criminal justice system to label people of color ‘criminals’ and then engage in all the practices we supposedly left behind,” writes Michelle Alexander in her stunning “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”
“As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow,” she writes. “We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”