In just the introduction in The New Jim Crow I learned moreinformation than any past history classes I have taken. We learn about Jarvis Cotton’s great-grandfather, grandfather,and were not allowed to take part of voting because of the Klan violence andpoll taxes. Cotton also wasn’t able vote do to the fact that he had been taggedas a felon. As a whole America thought disenfranchising men of color wasessential for the original union. Even today some people may not be allowed tovote because they have a status as a felon. These people are targets todiscrimination in ways of jury service, voting, housing, food stamps, and employmentwhich embodies a situation a lot like the old Jim Crow.
Also the introduction made it easy tounderstand how slavery and racism are still very much alive today. In Chapter 1, Alexander givesus some background on racism and race in America. In response to the backlash, thecivil rights movement embodies itself in the first wave of stereotypes such aslazy “welfare cheats” and black criminals. “Law and order” rhetoric waspopularized as a way to feed abhorrence against blacks. This got accomplished byconservatives so they can win the votes of the white people who felt betrayedby the Democratic Party’s embrace of the civil rights agenda.
This had a lot ofsuccess particularly during Reagan’s campaigns as he “echoed white frustrationin race-neutral terms through implicit racial appeals” (48). During this Reaganwas fixated on expanding the budgets of law enforcement agencies and targetingcrime. When this was taking place the administration administered a massivecampaign to exaggerate the crack epidemic that was putatively sweeping blackneighborhoods. Due to the economic collapse some poor blacks had no choice butto sell drugs to survive. Reagan used this to pass crude anti-drug legislation,instead of reacting to this with any ounce of empathy. Although during thistime the use of drugs did not increase the campaign was successful inconvincing this to the Americans.
The three-strikes policy and Clinton’swelfare policies also helped in the destruction of black communities. With allthis going on the New Jim Crow was born.