Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Jim Crow Today

The Studious talks about how Jim Crow is still alive and well at present...

Although the civil rights movement is over and segregation is “gone,” the vicious past of the Jim Crow era still haunts us today. Whites had to find a way to still have control over African Americans, and they were able to achieve this through government and legal discrimination. To start, segregation was a strategy, through the government, that made it easy for whites to openly show their hatred for African Americans and the true inequality in society. African Americans were always considered the inferior race. This carried on into voting, with various poll taxes and literacy tests. It continues into housing, and segregating neighborhoods. All the way down to the Supreme Court, which had declared in the famous Dred Scott case that African Americans were not citizens, but property. This also led to the unfair trials that were determined by all white juries. You may have thought that all of this was over after the Civil Right movement, but this system was carried into modern day -- although it may have not been made as obvious as it was back then.

There are many different ways that African Americans are secretly, or blatantly, discriminated against in today’s day and age. In order for this Jim Crow system to be continued whites had to think, How could we still have control ? The only way African Americans could be treated as if they were slaves again was through making them criminals. This is the start of the new type of power, mass incarceration. By being a criminal you were 100% put under control of the government, and its strict rules. This started with the War on Drugs in the 1980s. This war was directed towards African Americans, and lower class communities, “ghettos,” that were primarily occupied by minorities. As a criminal you lose almost all of your rights, and you are dehumanized by the system just like a slave. The number one right you lose as a criminal is the right to vote. This is a big way that mass incarceration has become effective, and given more control to whites. Along with the right to vote this takes African American out of the court system, which enables there to be all white juries. Criminalizing African Americans gives the excuse to say that they are unfit to be on juries. Finally, by using the system of mass incarceration it maintains the image of African Americans being criminals in the eyes of the people, and promotes the long living dehumanizing stereotypes of the race.

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