90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
A New Era Of Jim Crow?

Beyond Trayvon Martin, Michelle Alexander argues that mass black incarceration has created a new era of Jim Crow.

In this Oct. 27, 2011 photo, a deputy passes a line of inmates, as seen during a tour of the Men's Central Jail, run by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, in downtown Los Angeles. (AP)

In this Oct. 27, 2011 photo, a deputy passes a line of inmates, as seen during a tour of the Men's Central Jail, run by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, in downtown Los Angeles. (AP)

The case of young Trayvon Martin and his death in Florida have tuned the country into issues of race and justice like no other event in years.  Issues of power and presumption, of life and death.  Legal scholar Michelle Alexander takes a breathtaking leap beyond the Martin case, to American justice writ large.

American prisons, she says, are jammed with black men cut off from the rights of full citizenship.  Their mass incarceration, she says, is now the heart of a racial caste system in America.  Right now, her book is flying off the shelves.

This hour, On Point:  we’ll talk with Michelle Alexander about what she calls “the new Jim Crow.”

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

Michelle Alexander, civil rights lawyer and legal scholar, she’s the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Garry McCarthy, a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, did not expect to hear anything too startling when he appeared at a conference on drug policy organized last year by an African-American minister in Newark, where he was the police director.”

South Florida Times “Ohio State University Professor Michelle Alexander came to South Florida to discuss her groundbreaking book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness, but in her talk to a standing-room-only audience at Books & Books in Coral Gables, she touched on the recent shooting death of Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin.”

Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository “In the last decade, a number of scholars have called the American criminal justice system a new form of Jim Crow. These writers have effectively drawn attention to the injustices created by a facially race-neutral system that severely ostracizes offenders and stigmatizes young, poor black men as criminals.”

Excerpt: The New Jim Crow

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

 
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Three: What Is The Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We dig in to that all-important, all-confusing daily stock notice: the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

More »
1 Comment
 
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment