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SCritLS and CLS Joint Salon: The New Jim Crow


February 27, 2013 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Room Offsite


The New Jim Crow: Redesigning the Racial Caste in America?
At this salon, we will be reading excerpts from Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow." Is the American criminal justice system one of racial control, despite its formal adherence to the principle of "colorblindness"? Alexander argues that by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and by decimating communities of color, the American criminal justice system relegates millions to a permanent second-class status. The excerpted reading highlights parallels between the Jim Crow era and the era of mass incarcerations--what are the differences, and how do they shape your reading of Alexander's theory? Can colorblindness be distinguished from racial indifference, and does race shape how communities or individuals perceive the existence of a new racialized caste system? Why are civil rights activists and attorneys hesitant to challenge the War on Drugs, and what are some strategies that could help to overturn the "New Jim Crow"? Note the different penalties for drunk driving and for the possession or sale of cocaine. 
Please contact Tiffany Yang ( for more information and to obtain a copy of the reading.