Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jim Crow had a Bastard Child and it's name is the War on Drugs

Did you know that more African Americans are under correctional control today than were enslaved in 1850?

In the above speech, Michelle Alexander argues persuasively we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control.

Michelle Alexander is a longtime civil rights advocate and litigator. She won a 2005 Soros Justice Fellowship and now holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Mortiz College of Law at Ohio State University. Alexander served for several years as director of the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU of Northern California, and subsequently directed the Civil Rights Clinics at Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor. Alexander is a former law clerk for Justice Harry Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court, and has appeared as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is her first book.

The above video was recorded at New York's Riverside Church on May 21, 2011. More info, reading, and video links about this issue are below the fold.

Detroit's decline predicted . . . 50 years ago . . . in Time Magazine?

Yes, it is true. This well done column by the Detroit News' Daniel Howes, who talks about that article and ties it nicely to how the city is today.

And another fine column by the News' Laura Berman about the state of the housing industry north of 8 Mile:

And two stories about the Black Flight and White Flight Part II in Metro Detroit:

This issue also gives me a chance to plug the documentary I produced in 2007 about the 1967 Detroit Riot.

Is that tacky? Maybe. But I'm proud of it and it's gotten good reviews. It has, in a way, become my fourth child. And best of all you can watch and share it for free from my YouTube page.

Deeper Analysis

In regard to the above stories about schools, the Drug War and our failing cities. The first link comes from last week's Michigan Citizen, talking about the March 25 Wayne State University conference entitled, Deconstructing the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

By the way, it's not-so-funny that this event received no mention in the Detroit News or Free Press - nor any coverage from WWJ or WJR - that I can find (please correct me if I'm mistaken).

Next, Attorney and Ohio State University legal professor, Michelle Alexander, has written a book called The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

This is a speech she gave on the topic in Feb. 2010:

Here's a video of another talk she gave on C-Span's Washington Journal on 2/30/10.

And finally, here is a 2009 Michigan ACLU study - mentioned in the above Michigan Citizen article - about the problem of "Michigan Throwaway Kids."

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