[A] person convicted of a crime today might lose his right to vote as well as the right to serve on a jury. He might become ineligible for health and welfare benefits, food stamps, public housing, student loans, and certain types of employment. These restrictions exact a terrible toll. Given that most offenders already come from backgrounds of tremendous disadvantage, we heap additional disabilities upon existing disadvantage. By barring the felon from public housing, we make it more likely that he will become homeless and lose custody of his children. Once he is homeless, he is less likely to find a job. Without a job he is, in turn, less likely to find housing on the private market—his only remaining option. Without student loans, he cannot go back to school to try to create a better life for himself and his family. Like a black person living under the Old Jim Crow, a convicted criminal today becomes a member of a stigmatized caste, condemned to a lifetime of second-class citizenship.—
James Forman, Jr., Racial Critiques of Mass Incarceration: Beyond the New Jim Crow, 87 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 21, 28–31 (2012). (via letterstomycountry)
I’m disliking this whole ‘like a Black person living under Old Jim Crow’ line as if Black people today aren’t still suffering in a type of caste system.
I’m not denying the fact that convicted felons are suffering under this system.
But when a white person with a felony can get a callback at a higher rate than a Black person with a squeaky clean record, and when law abiding Black people are systematically harassed and assaulted and killed by police with little to no recompense, that is indicative of a second class citizenship, IMO.
New Jim Crow refers more to the new kinds of caste/segregation systems that are used since the desegregation of schools and voting rights act. Jim Crow never ended its just now in a ‘new’ form or stage