Although the controversial Jim Crow laws were eliminated in 1965, yet still, after half a century, black people in America are far from achieving true social equality. Some even go as far as to say that the Jim Crow legacy still haunts the American society and black lives are heading back to slavery.
Are the Jim Crow laws back?
Under Jim Crow laws, black Americans were considered second class citizens widely projected as subordinates to white people. Things like literacy tests for voters and laws designed to prevent blacks from serving on juries were commonplace in nearly a dozen Southern states.
From mass incarceration to police killings to the drug war, black communities are allegedly being targeted across the states making it a nationwide issue. This has led many black rights activist to suggest the reincarnation of Jim Crow into a Modern Day Jim Crow.
Legal scholar Michelle Alexander digs deep into historical roots of what she describes as "the new Jim Crow." She is of the opinion that black communities still face the same incineration and injustice rampant in the time of slavery. "Today we see millions of poor people and folks of color who are trapped, yet again, in a criminal justice system which are treating them like commodities, like people who are easily disposable," Alexander argued.
In modern America, millions of blacks arrested for minor crimes are denied basic protection. Once registered into the criminal justice system black people are disfranchised as people who were forever branded as felons. You’re subjected to a Modern Day Jim Crow. And, without basic rights and opportunities, it’s outright discouraging for black people to become productive, law-abiding citizens.
A high percentage of the African American community today is either imprisoned or trapped in a parallel social universe, deprived of basic civil and human rights—including the right to vote; the right to serve on juries; and the right to be free of legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits.
Hence, denying social equality is unfair, something that induces hatred amongst those who are prejudiced. And, when the Modern Day Jim Crow grows into you, it’s all but natural to resist that caste system based on injustice. There are many examples, in recent weeks, where you see black lives being threatened, and lives being taken by law enforcement agencies. According to Mapping Violence, police have killed at least 217 black people so far this year. It cannot get worse than this.
If America needs social stability, the modern day Jim Crow needs to be stalled, and overtime erased. Racial discrimination is still there, endangering the civil ethics, and it needs to go. In Michelle Alexander’s words, “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”
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