Law professor Michelle Alexander explains how her groundbreaking book The New Jim Crow is affecting public policy.

 

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Brotha's Smiley and West:
Thanks so much for having Dr. Alexander on your program. This is an issue that so many folk, especially middle class Blacks/African Americans, seem to be oblivious to. I cannot agree more with the shared information and as soon as my finances allow I will purchase The New Jim Crow and try to share the subject matter with members of my book club. I am amazed that so many of us remain asleep-- it's like we're being gently rocked to sleep by social status and material things and that false sense of security. However, I know that in this great country of ours that things have not been equal nor fair especially when you take an enslaved people (a 'blues people' if I may borrow Dr. West) set them free and ask them to catch up with the masses or the majority.
AWESOME! We love Michelle! (And -of course- Smiley and West!)
Sadly, it is all too easy to put people to sleep. Between game shows that are geared to glorify greed instead of informed decisions, sitcoms that are an assault on all reason, and so-called news that censors the news that it isn't spinning into borderline fantasy, it seems pretty aparant that there is effectively a new Jim Crow that is waging war against anyone who doesn't get involved in trying to fight back.

Sure, there are organizations (and good ones, too) that organize and train and facilitate the problems created by a government that is so clearly of, by and for the wealthy that broken laws are ignored for the vast majority of the top two percent. But how many organizations are standing up and demanding investigations and prosecutions of the so-called "white-collar" criminals?

Just as an example, lets look at AIG. The head of AIG went to congress and On television (or cspan, anyway) and said that they needed 130 million BY MONDAY in order to keep the doors open. So what did that mean? As the largest insurance company in the world - traded on the new york stock exchange...weren't they required by the SEC to issue quarterly reports? And weren't they routinely putting out statements used by Moody's and Standards & Poors? Well, it seems to me that if all of these numbers were routinely analyzed by both the government and private sectors and NOBODY was able to predict how badly off AIG was...then SOMEBODY was lying.

And if it had been you or I telling whoppers that involved that kind of money, what do you think the odds of us going to jail would have been? ...So who went to jail? Nobody in AIG did. How about the people at Goldman Sachs...you know, the folks that AIG handed the money to? These are the guys that were pulling all the strings behind the scenes...and incidently the folks who profited off of the crash. Nope...nobody there went to jail either.

Why? Well, when everybody in government over the past 30 years who had anything to do with decisions about money were and have been former employees of Goldman sachs, do you really think that their loyalty has ever been with the people they work for in the public sector...or their former boss's in the private sector? You only need to take a look at what these people have done to sort that one out.

Goldman Sachs...aka Government Sachs...clearly pulls more than just the strings on wall street...they pull them on main street as well. And they do it with YOUR tax dollars. Now what are YOU going to do about it? Well until and unless you get off your duff and start organizing, prosletyzing, educating and activating yourself and others...you can blame it on parents, drugs, media, society or whatever other diversion you like...but the bottom line is - you are just as guilty of enabling the fat cats who pull the strings as they are of pulling yours.

That, my friends, is the real Jim Crow...the waste that comes from spending more time worrying about what unreality show, game show, sitcom, old movie, fantasy news or other sleepy time nonsense that is being broadcast by your friendly neighborhood fat cats to KEEP you asleep than switching off the tv, turning on your brain, educating yourself about reality and getting involved.

And who am I speaking to? I am speaking to all of my brothers and sisters of any other race, creed or color. Turn off the tube, turn on your brain, get off your duff and get involved.

Ok, I'll shut up now.


Jennifer Warren said:
Sadly, it is all too easy to put people to sleep. Between game shows that are geared to glorify greed instead of informed decisions, sitcoms that are an assault on all reason, and so-called news that censors the news that it isn't spinning into borderline fantasy, it seems pretty aparant that there is effectively a new Jim Crow that is waging war against anyone who doesn't get involved in trying to fight back.

Sure, there are organizations (and good ones, too) that organize and train and facilitate the problems created by a government that is so clearly of, by and for the wealthy that broken laws are ignored for the vast majority of the top two percent. But how many organizations are standing up and demanding investigations and prosecutions of the so-called "white-collar" criminals?

Just as an example, lets look at AIG. The head of AIG went to congress and On television (or cspan, anyway) and said that they needed 130 million BY MONDAY in order to keep the doors open. So what did that mean? As the largest insurance company in the world - traded on the new york stock exchange...weren't they required by the SEC to issue quarterly reports? And weren't they routinely putting out statements used by Moody's and Standards & Poors? Well, it seems to me that if all of these numbers were routinely analyzed by both the government and private sectors and NOBODY was able to predict how badly off AIG was...then SOMEBODY was lying.

And if it had been you or I telling whoppers that involved that kind of money, what do you think the odds of us going to jail would have been? ...So who went to jail? Nobody in AIG did. How about the people at Goldman Sachs...you know, the folks that AIG handed the money to? These are the guys that were pulling all the strings behind the scenes...and incidently the folks who profited off of the crash. Nope...nobody there went to jail either.

Why? Well, when everybody in government over the past 30 years who had anything to do with decisions about money were and have been former employees of Goldman sachs, do you really think that their loyalty has ever been with the people they work for in the public sector...or their former boss's in the private sector? You only need to take a look at what these people have done to sort that one out.

Goldman Sachs...aka Government Sachs...clearly pulls more than just the strings on wall street...they pull them on main street as well. And they do it with YOUR tax dollars. Now what are YOU going to do about it? Well until and unless you get off your duff and start organizing, prosletyzing, educating and activating yourself and others...you can blame it on parents, drugs, media, society or whatever other diversion you like...but the bottom line is - you are just as guilty of enabling the fat cats who pull the strings as they are of pulling yours.

That, my friends, is the real Jim Crow...the waste that comes from spending more time worrying about what unreality show, game show, sitcom, old movie, fantasy news or other sleepy time nonsense that is being broadcast by your friendly neighborhood fat cats to KEEP you asleep than switching off the tv, turning on your brain, educating yourself about reality and getting involved.

And who am I speaking to? I am speaking to all of my brothers and sisters of any other race, creed or color. Turn off the tube, turn on your brain, get off your duff and get involved.

Ok, I'll shut up now.
Peace and Blessing Family

As I set here and listen to this program Im shocked that you all just came to know this, because this is not new. You all are the so called learned ones of our people but you are so out of touch with reality. See the problem is you all believe in this America Nightmare. You all have lost the way and then this book you call it "GroundBreaking" hell we already knew what you are just finding out. Look here go and get the report on social disorder done by the Kerner Commission in 1967 and it clearly states "We believe that the only possible choice for America is the third-a policy which combines ghetto enrichment with programs designed to encourage integration of substantial numbers of Negroes into the society outside the ghetto". Now what we should be looking at is they say not all negros will be integrated only a substantial number of negros will be allowed to be integrated into the American life. The rest of us will be allowed to stop at the store front of Democracy and look at the mannequins in the window and you are the mannequins in the window that is selling us the lie that Democracy works for us and it don't. Stop lying, Stop Lying, Stop Lying be true Leaders and teach our people truth we must come out of her that is the only solution. Integration has gotten us NOTHING but LOST. Wake up and Lead or stay asleep and go the way of the enemy. America has been weighted in the balance and found wanting.
Hi:
I would like to read your review of Dr. Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow. You may forward to me at via the following eAddress: Actually, I think I'll touch basis w/ you via an eNote.



Dennis Moore said:
I am a writer and book reviewer for the East County Magazine in San Diego, and interviewed Michelle Alexander while she was in San Diego, for my review of her book. Would be happy to forward my review of her book to interested parties. Regards, Dennis Moore


demoore21@sprint.blackberry.net
Dear Dr. Cornel West & Tavis Smiley: Re: Michelle Alexander: The New Jim Crow.

How are you? this Law Professor Michelle Alexander- explained the structure and complexity of the New- Jim Crow very eloquently; American White Supremacy has caused Jim Crow to continue in our society. We need a powerful speaker like her in Arizona, thank you for this excellent show.

Eddie Otero
iceray29@yahoo.com
I completely agree that there is a double standard when poorer/darker people get more time, and police target them for arrests more in the first place. However, I was not satisfied by Ms. Alexander's response to "if do the crime, you do the time". Those who distribute drugs in the inner city are parasites that harm their home. I completely understand why it is necessary for police to be a part of the solution and there should be a threat of prison for drug dealers (but not for drug users).

Another part of the solution, is to reduce sentencing disparities between the races or neighborhoods. A huge factor in that lower income defendants rely on public defenders who do not have the time to represent each defendant to the best of their ability. But I don't see a democrat or republican increasing funds for public defenders. Instead, maybe it is possible for general attorney's to change the mindset from "tough on crime" which is meaningless to "representing each citizen & protecting their rights". Because the defendants are included in "all citizens". The prosecutor's should have a formula when they request a sentence. And community groups, like NAACP and ACLU should work with them to create this formula.

However, our country has a duty prevent so many young people from traveling down this path in the first place. Why not set a goal that we will do whatever possible reduce incarceration of young people born in 2000. They are 10 now & entering 5th grade. We can improve their education, get them therapy for pain their have experienced in their home or neighborhood, and find them mentors to talk about legal careers. This may seem sappy but a little love goes a long way. I was a product of a mentoring program between a NASA contractor and my middle school that taught me to program and explained why the USA needs me to be an engineer. After the tours, free lunches, and homework help, I was trying to explain to my own friends why it is better to be an wait go to school broke and become an engineer than it is to sell drugs a make a bit of cash.

We can guarantee the 10 year old of today a path that is more appealing. But we have to put our money where our mouth is. Quality education, therapy, mentoring, and police participation in the community will cost more initially. But these young children can have futures with more education, less violence, safe neighborhoods (free of drugs & violence), and jobs.

From my own personal experience, the police participation (e.g. arrests) was necessary to keep me safe growing up. However, I have also met police that start to treat brown people differently and assume that everyone in that neighborhood is deserves less respect. Does anyone know of a training program to remind them they are serving the neighborhood and not bullying it? If it exist we need to pay for it across America, because their participation is crucial when they do it right & respect the constitutional rights of all residents.

I can't wait to read your book Ms. Alexander!
I'm sorry to break the news to you, but not all whites are in anything like a "supremacy" situation. The actual requirement is that one be white, attend a church where the Bible is used, be openly heterosexual, and most importantly, live life as if they are walking around in the 1950's. For a TRUE place in the "supremacy" community, its also pretty much a requirement that they vote along strict GOP party lines and go through life with blinders on.

As for myself, I have NEVER known anything approaching preferential treatment. As a kid, I was the minority in the school I was in, and I personally witnessed the principal of my elementary school grades simply because I happened to have two strikes against me...being Irish and white.

Yes, believe it or don't, being Irish was once as big a cause for discrimination as being black. As for being Pagan, trust me... you don't want to go into the south while openly wearing a pentagram. And you SURE don't want to try opening a Pagan book store. A friend of mine tried it...and it was fire bombed within a week of opening by "persons unknown".

I have been denied employment simply because of my faith, paid less than minimum wage because of my past, and forced to leave towns simply because of my sexual orientation. When I have found employment, it has NEVER been employment which utilized my skills...and when my skills were called for, I have never been compensated for them.

I have stood up, spoken out and fought for equality all my life...and at every turn been shut down, silenced or flat out beaten ... and on at least two occasions...raped. I've survived Cancer and two heart attacks, being shot at, stabbed and burned. Don't tell me that the color of my skin gives me some sort of advantage. I would gladly trade it for equality in about half a heartbeat.

The real Jim Crow is happening even as you are reading this. Its happening all around you...and YOU are LETTING it happen. You let it happen every time you decide that watching a sitcom or a game show is more important than getting involved. The time you spend feeding your mind, knocking on doors or educating others is more valuable than you know.

Do I expect you to wake up and fight the power? No, I don't. I'm just ranting because this seems like a good place to rant.

But I'm done for now.

Now somebody yell "Shut up you cracker ofay honkey white trash wierdo!"

Its kinduv a requirement to support the new Jim Crow. Yep... You've gotta keep lumping everybody into one box...without regard to looking at people as individuals.

Brightest blessings

Jennie W.








Eddie Otero said:
Dear Dr. Cornel West & Tavis Smiley: Re: Michelle Alexander: The New Jim Crow.

How are you? this Law Professor Michelle Alexander- explained the structure and complexity of the New- Jim Crow very eloquently; American White Supremacy has caused Jim Crow to continue in our society. We need a powerful speaker like her in Arizona, thank you for this excellent show.

Eddie Otero
iceray29@yahoo.com
Jennie,

Could you list which comments you are responding to? I don't remember anyone saying that "all whites" enjoy supremacy. Instead, the conversation discussed problems in black america that stem from the war on crime.

If you feel like this war on crime affects people like you speak up. If you can relate to people in your community that can't vote, find work, or find housing because they are felons, then say so. If the police aggressively targeted you for being a pagan in Alabama, and tried to send you to jail share your experience.

Conversations become very interesting when people explain how books and theories have affected them.

Chau!

Peace and Blessing Jennie I think you know just by you being white you have privilege. You may not understand but it's there and any outcast that you have is nothing compared to us as a people and i hope you understand that because you can hide your negatives that they label as different but we can't change our color. That will never go away if Brother Michael was still leaving you could ask him and he would tell ya. I don't like when people compare what happen to us to what there struggle is nothing in History can compare to what my people went thru and is still going thru. The Black Holocaust is the worst thing done to any human being on this planet and there is nothing like it. If you want to help fix it then we welcome your help.
Jennifer Warren said:
I'm sorry to break the news to you, but not all whites are in anything like a "supremacy" situation. The actual requirement is that one be white, attend a church where the Bible is used, be openly heterosexual, and most importantly, live life as if they are walking around in the 1950's. For a TRUE place in the "supremacy" community, its also pretty much a requirement that they vote along strict GOP party lines and go through life with blinders on.

As for myself, I have NEVER known anything approaching preferential treatment. As a kid, I was the minority in the school I was in, and I personally witnessed the principal of my elementary school grades simply because I happened to have two strikes against me...being Irish and white.

Yes, believe it or don't, being Irish was once as big a cause for discrimination as being black. As for being Pagan, trust me... you don't want to go into the south while openly wearing a pentagram. And you SURE don't want to try opening a Pagan book store. A friend of mine tried it...and it was fire bombed within a week of opening by "persons unknown".

I have been denied employment simply because of my faith, paid less than minimum wage because of my past, and forced to leave towns simply because of my sexual orientation. When I have found employment, it has NEVER been employment which utilized my skills...and when my skills were called for, I have never been compensated for them.

I have stood up, spoken out and fought for equality all my life...and at every turn been shut down, silenced or flat out beaten ... and on at least two occasions...raped. I've survived Cancer and two heart attacks, being shot at, stabbed and burned. Don't tell me that the color of my skin gives me some sort of advantage. I would gladly trade it for equality in about half a heartbeat.

The real Jim Crow is happening even as you are reading this. Its happening all around you...and YOU are LETTING it happen. You let it happen every time you decide that watching a sitcom or a game show is more important than getting involved. The time you spend feeding your mind, knocking on doors or educating others is more valuable than you know.

Do I expect you to wake up and fight the power? No, I don't. I'm just ranting because this seems like a good place to rant.

But I'm done for now.

Now somebody yell "Shut up you cracker ofay honkey white trash wierdo!"

Its kinduv a requirement to support the new Jim Crow. Yep... You've gotta keep lumping everybody into one box...without regard to looking at people as individuals.

Brightest blessings

Jennie W.








Eddie Otero said:
Dear Dr. Cornel West & Tavis Smiley: Re: Michelle Alexander: The New Jim Crow.

How are you? this Law Professor Michelle Alexander- explained the structure and complexity of the New- Jim Crow very eloquently; American White Supremacy has caused Jim Crow to continue in our society. We need a powerful speaker like her in Arizona, thank you for this excellent show.

Eddie Otero
iceray29@yahoo.com
A philosophy of White Supremacy is the rule in this nation. Privilege results from White skin here and in many circumstances it is the only requirement. The majority population chooses to interact from this vantage point and clearly only this vantage point. White supremacy accounts for Jim Crow, the majority population in this country are so adverse to any change in their privileged status.
Our common humanity has great potential impact here but there must be that recognition first...
The question becomes can the majority population accept our common humanity, are they capable?
The experiences of Ms. Warren speak volumes as to the capacity and capability of the majority population to embrace, interact with, and accept difference...
There is much work to be done.....

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