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Essay: Jim Crow Laws

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  • Subject area(s): Politics essays
  • Reading time: 2 minutes
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  • Published: April 30, 2018*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 552 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 3 (approx)
  • Jim Crow Laws
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Political Science

Jim Crow Laws may still exist. Jim crow laws were laws placed against African Americans which segregated blacks from whites. African Americans were treated as 2nd class citizens. According to ferris.edu, “Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s.” Although the Jim Crow laws have been abolished for around 60 years, Michelle Alexander, author of, “ The New Jim Crow”, still believes that we still have the laws. In her introduction in, “The New Jim Crow”, she states how 4 different generations of African American men in the same family were denied to vote. Jarvious Cotton is an African American in today’s world. Michelle Alexander states how in each generation, new tactics were used to prevent African Americans to vote. Jarvious great-great-grandfather couldn’t vote because he was a slave. His great-grandfather couldn’t vote because, he was killed by the KKK for attempting to vote. His grandfather couldn’t vote because he was intimidated by the KKK. His father wasn’t able to vote because of the poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Jarvious isn’t able to vote because in today’s society as many black male are, he is labeled a felon. Today we are using a new caste system. We are using the criminal justice system to suppress African Americans and take all their rights from them.

In the New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander talks about how the Drug war is the new Jim Crow. The government knows that cocaine and other drugs are being brought into the US and put into the African American community. She believes it is the concept of genocide. According to Michelle, “The CIA admitted in 1998 that guerrilla armies it actively supported in Nicaragua were smuggling illegal drugs into the United States —drugs that were making their way into the streets of inner city black neighborhoods in the form of crack cocaine. The CIA also admitted that, in the midst of the War on Drugs, it blocked law enforcement efforts to investigate illegal drug networks that were helping to fund its covert war in Nicaragua.” All this occurred after the War on Drugs was declared. This caused the arrests and convictions amongst African Americans to skyrocket. Since then, the US now has a higher percentage of African Americans imprisoned than South Africa did at the height of the apartheid. Mass incarceration is how we suppress African American. Once you are labeled a felon all of your rights are taken from you. You lose the right vote, can be denied access to education and housing. You can also be rejected in employment opportunities.The new caste system was in effect. People who don’t believe that we still have a racial caste system would say, “Just look at Obama, look at Oprah Winfrey!”. According to Michelle Alexander, “No caste system in the US has ever governed all black people; there has always be free blacks and black success stories, even during Jim Crow.

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