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Today, more African Americans lie under the control of the criminal justice system, whether they be in prison, on probation, or on parole - than were enslaved in 1950. Discrimination rears its ugly head in aspects of everyday life such as housing, education, employment, and voting rights, which many Americans believe to be eradicated by the civil rights laws of the 1960s. Yet anyone labeled a “felon” is subjected to such, and since many more people of color than Caucasians are made felons by a system of mass incarceration, racial discrimination proves just as powerful as it was under both the era of slavery and the post-slavery period of Jim Crow segregation.
Pre-Civil War slavery, Alexander details, and mass incarceration serve the same purpose: to maintain a racial caste system. This system has never truly ended; it has simply been redesigned throughout the years. Through the “War on Drugs”, black men are targeted, with civil penalties being tacked onto austere prison sentences. Criminals freed from prison barely exhibit more rights than a freed slave in the American South during Jim Crow times. Alexander argues that a major social movement is necessary to end mass incarceration and other racially targeted punishments in order to cultivate an ethic of true racial equality in the United States.Please let me know if you need any further clarification :)
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