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
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment
 
Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

More »
Comment