SCSJ Senior Attorney Daryl Atkinson appeared on HuffPost Live at 6:30 PM EST with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and HufffPost Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim to discuss Michelle Alexander’s critically acclaimed book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Era of Colorblindness and the opportunities for criminal justice reform.
Alexander’s book reveals the phenomena of mass incarceration, over-criminalization, and the second class status of people with criminal records—America’s latest symptoms of unresolved structural racism and white supremacy—by exhaustively detailing the policies, practices, and political choices that buttressed our country’s latest system of racial caste. Thoroughly researched and deservedly praised, The New Jim Crow effectively lays bare “how historically both [Americans’] conscious and unconscious biases and anxieties have played out over and over again to birth these vast systems of social control.”*
The New Jim Crow’s thesis and concurrent call for criminal justice reform to redress racial injustice have become increasingly influential and galvanized a national debate about the efficacy of mass incarceration and the failed war on drugs. Moreover, the book has spurred many Americans to take new notice of the injustice of our current criminal justice system and its relationship to our unresolved racial history. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Alexander’s seminal work has birthed a grassroots movement that can support successful interventions and reforms championed by organizations like the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. SCSJ is currently spearheading a multidisciplinary campaign to eliminate racial bias in the criminal justice system, end mass incarceration, and remove unjust barriers faced by persons with criminal records.
You may watch the HuffPost Live program here: