Like Jim Crow (and slavery), mass incarceration operates as a tightly networked system of laws, policies, customs, and institutions that operate collectively to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined largely by race.— Michelle Alexander
Charming Mass Incarceration quotations
Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.
No one should ever be locked away simply because they share the same race, ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist. If that principle was not learned from the internment of Japanese Americans, then these are very dangerous times for our democracy.
If we want to do more than just end mass incarceration—if we want to put an end to the history of racial caste in America—we must lay down our racial bribes, join hands with people of all colors who are not content to wait for change to trickle down, and say to those who would stand in our way: Accept all of us or none.
There are more African Americans under correctional control, in prison or jail, on probation or parole, than were enslaved in 1850 a decade before the civil war began.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
Nothing has contributed more to the systematic mass incarceration of people of color in the United States than the War on Drugs
One in three young African American men is currently under the control of the criminal justice system in prison, in jail, on probation, or on parole - yet mass incarceration tends to be categorized as a criminal justice issue as opposed to a racial justice or civil rights issue (or crisis).
Middle-class white children, children of privilege, are afforded the opportunity to make a lot of mistakes and still go on to college, still dream big dreams. But for kids who are born in the ghetto in the era of mass incarceration, the system is designed in such a way that it traps them, often for life.
Mass incarceration is the most pressing racial justice issue of our time.
The mass incarceration of poor people of color, particularly black men, has emerged as a new caste system, one specifically designed to address the social, economic, and political challenges of our time.
Think of the question of mass incarceration.
Think of the coding that the Republican Party has used for years, whether they're talking about Obama or blacks or Willie Horton.
Many states can no longer afford to support public education, public benefits, public services without doing something about the exorbitant costs that mass incarceration have created.
Ending police brutality and mass incarceration.
There is a growing left-right support for criminal justice reform.
All of this in [Donald] Trump now has become so overt that it's difficult when we talk about repression not to talk about white supremacy, not to talk about its legacy, from slavery to lynching to mass incarceration, and what it has developed into.
I think it's critically important that the people who have been most harmed by mass incarceration, by mass deportation, by neoliberalism, by all of it, not only have a voice in crafting these platforms but emerge and are supported as real leaders in these movements.
Mass incarceration is a policy that's kind of built up over the last four decades and it's destroyed families and communities, and something we need to change. And it's fallen disproportionally on black and brown communities, especially black communities, and it's kind of a manifestation of structural racism.
For those interested in learning more about corporations and private individuals profiting from the caging of human beings, I highly recommend the book "Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money From Mass Incarceration."
Mass incarceration has become normalized in the United States.
Poor folks of color are shuttled from decrepit, underfunded schools to brand new, high tech prisons and then relegated to a permanent undercaste - stigmatized as undeserving of any moral care or concern.
For children, the era of mass incarceration has meant a tremendous amount of family separation, broken homes, poverty, and a far, far greater level of hopelessness as they see so many of their loved ones cycling in and out of prison. Children who have incarcerated parents are far more likely themselves to be incarcerated.
We can’t talk about mass incarceration at this point without talking about women.
We are the in midst of a bipartisan moment as it relates to criminal justice reform and dealing with mass incarceration in America which disproportionately impacts the African-American community.
Various "wars on drugs" throughout history have killed millions, enslaved millions more, destroyed families, are usually just thin pretenses for mass incarceration, mass surveillance, ethnic cleansing, population control.
The war on drugs has been the engine of mass incarceration.
Drug convictions alone constituted about two-thirds of the increase in the federal prison population and more than half of the increase in the state prison population between 1985 and 2000, the period of our prison system's most dramatic expansion.
In other words, in the same way that mass incarceration surged because of a real thing, it's finally starting to ebb because of a real thing: the actual, concrete decline in violent crime that started in the early 90s and which appears to be permanent. America is simply a safer place than it used to be, and looks set to stay that way.
Our system of mass incarceration is better understood as a system of racial and social control than a system of crime prevention or control.
In my view, the critical questions in this era of mass incarceration are: What disturbs us? What seems contrary to expectation? Who do we really care about?
For those who say that the war on drugs and the system of mass incarceration really isn't about race, I say there is no way we would allow the majority of young white men to be swept into the criminal justice system for minor drug offenses, branded criminals and felons, and then stripped of their basis civil and human rights while young black men who are engaged in the same activity trot off to college. That would never be accepted as the norm.
I think it's critically important for people to understand that this system of mass incarceration governs not just those who find themselves in prison on any given day, but also all those who are in jail, on probation or parole, as well as all those who are just months away from being locked up again because they are unable to find work or housing due to their criminal record.
There is a tremendous amount of confusion and denial that exists about mass incarceration today, and that is the biggest barrier to movement building. As long as we remain in denial about this system, movement building will be impossible. Exposing youth in classrooms to the truth about this system and developing their critical capacities will, I believe, open the door to meaningful engagement and collective, inspired action.
My goal is to end mass incarceration and change the laws to stop locking up low-level, nonviolent drug charges. Stop charging drug addicts as criminals.
The legalization of drugs, a proliferation of a public health approach to drug use and drug addition, a compassionate mental health system. And can we just say gender equality and the end of mass incarceration and the final shedding of the vestiges of a slave-based nation? Can we have that, too? Can I have it all?
I really think we were charting a course to having a more sane response to mass incarceration, to drug use, and to understanding that the war on drugs has resulted only in the empowerment of vast criminal enterprises and the destruction of democracies around the world. And all that is coming to a miserable, horrific halt.
I know she [Hillary Clinton] comes out of a legacy with her husband in which the Democratic Party did more, it seems to me, to subjugate blacks to the dynamics of oppression, poverty. The mass incarceration state.
The criminalization of Black life was something specific to the United States in the post-Reconstruction period and there's something like it happening today with mass incarceration, directed largely against black males.
Dunbar-Ortiz strips us of our forged innocence, shocks us into new awareness, and draws a straight line from the sins of our fathers-settler-colonialism, the doctrine of discovery, the myth of manifest destiny, white supremacy, theft and systematic killing-to the contemporary condition of permanent war, invasion and occupation, mass incarceration, and the constant use and threat of state violence.