What do Jim Crow laws mean



The term "Jim Crow" refers to the historical system of all-encompassing discrimination against Black Americans after the end of slavery in the USA. The laws subsumed under this term regulated racial segregation into the 1960s, especially in the southern states, and also stood for binding social norms that degraded African Americans to second-class citizens. For the lawyer Michelle Alexander, "Jim Crow" is by no means history - on the contrary, a new system of racist exclusion mechanisms has been established under the guise of fighting crime. Since the USA began to force the "War on Drugs" in the 1980s, the number of Americans imprisoned has grown massively. And although non-whites do not trade and use drugs disproportionately often, they make up around three quarters of those imprisoned for drug offenses. Michelle Alexander discusses the reasons and consequences of this blatant inequality of treatment, which leads to discrimination in job and housing hunting, social benefits and the right to vote. She argues why the "War on Drugs" is primarily a war against the poor and especially against People of Color - and why there is no longer any need for racially legitimized laws or open racism in the judiciary, administration and police.

Author: Michelle Alexander, translation: Gabriele Gockel, Thomas Wollermann, Kollektiv Druck-Reif, pages: 391, date of publication: 17.07.2017, place of publication: Bonn, order number: 10063