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The New Jim Crow - Essay Example

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Author’s Name May 31, 2011 Counter effective Incarceration It is in the early stages of the life that individuals and societies learn to discriminate between good and bad and try to promote the former through appreciation and to curb the later through punishment…
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The New Jim Crow

Download file to see previous pages... Any statement that doesn’t concide with what it implies is hypocrisy even if it is in the form of a law. A law not implemented sincerely and judiciously is self negating. Spare the rod and spoil the child is not valid today as the contrary is more likely to spoil the child. This is in fact what is happening in our society today. Our laws target to prevent the crime and through a vicious circle of incarceration end up in promoting it simply because of the real focus being upon segregation of those whom we don’t want to be in the mainsream of our society. How incarceration can be counter effective and promote discrimination is the point to ponder upon. This was the point that flashed across the mind of Michelle Alexander, an associate professor at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, while he happened to quickly glance at a roadside bill reading, "The Drug War is the New Jim Crow." His reaction to this poster, in his own words was, "Yeah, the criminal-justice system is racist in many ways, but making such an absurd comparison doesn't help. People will just think you're crazy." (Alexander) Right as he was, this thought required thorough probe and research to establish what he thought was a fact. He did so and after a lapse of good enough time delivered an illuminating speech at Constitution Day, during an event hosted by the Constitution Project and the Georgetown Center on National Security. He stated conclusively, “the system of mass incarceration is now immunized from judicial scrutiny for racial bias, much as slavery and Jim Crow laws were once protected from constitutional challenge.” Jim Crow is iconic for laws pertaining to discrimination. In the early days of our history such laws were proclaimed openly like Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. It was a pro-slavery clause in the U. S. Constitution and provided that, “persons held in service of labour in one state, escaping into another ... shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service of labor may be due." (Ronald and Davis) Further to it “Those who refused could be fined and jailed. Slave catchers were paid a bounty for each slave captured.” (Ronald and Davis). We do not have such harsh laws today because now we are better equipped with the use of legal terms to express our illicit thoughts. Discrimination of colour and creed, not pronounced though, is embedded in the subconscious of our society and those at the helms of legal affairs do not spare any opportunity to imprison and reimprison the ‘defaulters of color or creed’on one or the other pretext. Crux of the thinking is that we want to keep some of the society, away from society on pretence of some legal ground, mostly prompted by political motives. Living in a truly free society, the black and white feel attracted towards one another like the opposite poles well known for their intrinsic affinity, when however constrained to live together they act like similar poles and tend to repel one another. Imprisonment has been a favourite mode of punishment in the history of law. The stated objectives of imprisonment are to punish the criminals followed by their training and education to reintroduce them in the society as useful and respectable citizens. Facts that come in light through research do not approve the realization of these objectives, for example statistics show that most of the persons once charged and imprisoned are charged and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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