You are on page 1of 10

Johri 1

Shaan Johri
Professor White
ENG 123
Nov 4, 2015
Annotated Bibliography
Alexander, Michelle. "The New Jim Crow." Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 9.1 (2011).
Web.
In Michelle Alexanders article, The New Jim Crow, she outlines the parallels between
post-Civil War era Jim Crow laws of the south, and the issues we face today with mass
incarceration of American Citizens of African American heritage. Michelle Alexander is
a civil rights advocate, and former director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU in
Northern California. She is laying the case down to the general public, to prove that
African Americans in post-slavery, post-Jim Crow America are subjected to the same
racial, social, political and financial discrimination as a caste system, yet disguised as the
Justice system but in actuality is a caste system, placing convicts as second class citizens.
She works towards proving her case by first explaining how similar the War on Drugs
that began in the 1980s is to Jim Crow laws of the segregated South, and the vast
majority of convicts in the prison system are convicted of drug related crimes. She
explains that both Jim Crow, and the War on Drugs target poor, colored youth, and
disenfranchise them for life by giving them a label. Instead of the label of being colored,
the new label is being a convict. This label not will bar them from being able to vote, or

Johri 2
serve on a jury. This label will also legally allow employers to discriminate them from
employment and also in terms of housing. Convicts are denied many basic public
benefits such as food stamps, and in some states, this is a life ban. They also have many
other hurdles, such as wage garnishments and fees to pay back much of their jail, and
court fees.
Alexander makes the case that drug use and drug dealing does not only happen
throughout the African American inner-city communities, but is taking place throughout
the racial spectrum pretty much on an equal level. The claims that television propaganda
in the 1980s depicted black communities as root of the drug problem, by showing drug
related crimes on television disproportionately to reality. This caused a public outcry for
the War on Drugs to begin in poor, black neighborhoods almost exclusively.
She states that the jails and prisons are disproportionately African American, and once
released into society labeled as a convict, these citizens have little means of survival.
Due to their disenfranchisement, those labeled as a convict usually end up back in prison
in an endless cycle. Alexander suggests that change to the system will only occur when
people become empathetic to the plight of those who have been convicted.
Blades, Joan and Grover Norquist. "This Is The One Thing the Right and Left Are Working
Together On In Congress." Time (2014). Web. <http://time.com>.
The authors Blades and Norquist seem to be bi-partisan and weight equally on the
shortcomings of both the Democratic and Republican parties. The article is geared
towards the general public, those who are interested in politics to be specific.

Johri 3
The authors begin the article by describing how each party in congress have the power to
veto each other, virtually allowing no laws or regulations to be approved, resulting in
political gridlock.
The author underlines how important it is for both parties to work together to solve this
problem, yet also depicts how each party is reluctant to show that they are not as tough
on crime as the opposing party.
The authors try to convey that both parties recognize that there is a mass incarceration
issue in America that is growing, with the population of citizens locked up, dwarfing the
rest of the world, and that it is causing problems socially and financially. The authors call
this recognition of the problem by both parties an example of how trans-partisan efforts
can save dollars, and also help communities that have been broken apart by mass
incarceration.
Forman, Jr., James. "Racial Critiques of Mass Incarceration: Beyond the New Jim Crow." New
York University Law Review 26 Feb. 2012. Web.
James Forman is a Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He much agrees with
Michelle Alexanders book The New Jim Crow, on the hard facts that African Americans
have been hit the hardest by the increase in incarceration in America, but strongly
disagrees with her theory that compares mass incarceration to Jim Crow laws. Formans
audience is those who are advocates against mass incarceration, and those who agree with
Alexanders theories on mass incarceration resembling Jim Crow laws, and aims to serve
as an alternate camp than Alexanders on the subject.

Johri 4
Forman strongly opposes the Jim Crow analogy, for several reasons. He claims that the
Jim Crow analogy diverts our attention away from violent crime offenders, who populate
the majority of the US jail system. He states that comparing mass incarceration to the
Jim Crow laws of the South, focus the mass incarceration issue, solely on the African
American citizens, forgetting about the large population of whites and Hispanics who
have also been effected by the justice system. He says that the supporters of the analogy
blame the War on Drugs campaign for the recent trend of mass incarceration, yet also
points out that drug offenders make up a much smaller percentage of inmates than violent
offenders.
Forman agrees that the trend of mass incarceration has affected African Americans the
most, and also agrees that is has made African Americans disenfranchised by society
more than other racial groups. The main reason that Forman gives for opposing Michelle
Alexanders theory, is that the analogy of mass incarceration resembling Jim Crow forces
people to ignore other aspects of mass incarceration that is not focused on drug offenders,
and non-African Americans.
Jackson, Brenda and Sharon Anderson. "Hip Hop Culture Around the Globe: Implications for
Teaching." Black History Bulletin Spring 2009: 22-32.
Jackson and Anderson ate both teachers that work in the state of Texas. This article
highlights the roots of hip hop, growing out of Bronx, New York as an art form that
shaped the new urban culture of United States and the world at large.
The authors shine light upon the positive aspects of hip hop, in which its founders DJ
Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa first started making music to inspire youth and to use

Johri 5
their creativity for positive change. Bambaataa began the Zulu Nation, an organization to
help young individuals involved in gang activity to use their free time being creative,
instead of violent.
The article also speaks about an ugly aspect of hip hop that glamorizes crime,
materialism, violence and gives a false perspective on what masculinity and femininity is.
As teachers, the writers acknowledge that the student body is becoming more diverse by
year, and call this new generation of students the hip hop generation, and strive to
involve positive, creative aspects of hip hop into schools as a means to teach and inspire
children.
Madar, Chase. "A Republican Against Prisons." The American Conservative (2015). Web.
<http://www.theamericanconservative.com>.
Chase Madar wrote the article A Republican Against Prisons in the journal The
American Conservative. Madar is clearly a conservative who is appealing to the general
population of readers who have knowledge of the mass incarceration issues and states the
case that nobody in government is really trying to stop the increasing trends of mass
incarceration.
Madar quotes individuals like Paul Fishman, U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey,
Jeff Tsai, special assistant attorney general for California and Neera Tanden, head of the
Center of American Progress, who all give dismal statements that make it seem that
officials in high places only try to pass legislature for votes, and not for the betterment of
society and the increasing trend of nationwide mass incarceration.

Johri 6
Madar outlines serious issues that are facing the Republican Party. Red states are the
biggest offenders of mass incarceration, and conservatism touts a policy of small
government. The issue is that a large and growing population is needed to control the
increasing population of inmates being controlled in the criminal justice system.
Madar interviews former Virginia state senator Mark Early, who has a different take on
the mass incarceration problem than many. Early claims that the policies set in the 80s
and 90s were devastating to the country, and to the African American community in
particular. He said that increases in drug and drug violence has helped the policies take
hold. Policies that he is personally trying to reverse are juveniles being tried as adults at
14 years of age, the three-strike law, and also mandatory minimum sentencing. Early
says that African American culture and society has been effected so severely that most
inmates he has met grew up without a father, or a mother and father incarcerated, and the
cycle continues from generation to generation. Mark Early says that racism plays a
significant role in our penal code, and that our country has a long history of slavery and
white supremacy. Mark Early says: you cant have centuries of slavery and abject
racism that dont have consequences across generations.
Pinkster, Sanford. "The New Minstreldom, Or Why So Much in Contemporary Black Culture
Went Wrong." Virginia Quarterly Review Spring 2003: 280-268. Web.
Sanford Pinksters article, The New Minstreldon, Or Why So Much in Contemporary
Black Culture Went Wrong, is an article directly linking hip-hop music with minstrel
shows of the Jim Crow era.

Johri 7
Sanford grew up in Pennsylvania, where white kids would blacken their faces to portray
stereotypical African Americans in school plays. Sanford speaks to the general audience
to convince them that stereotyping African Americans to show white supremacy has been
a part of American culture since the times of slavery.
The article speaks of how Jewish American actors would blacken their faces, and portray
blacks as lazy, and dumb as a way to gain favor with the white entertainment industry and
becoming accepted. Into the industry and by the general public.
This articles main point reflects on hip-hop music and gangsta-rap in particular.
Developing in the Bronx after the civil right movement, hop-hop is a far shot from
African American art forms such as jazz, in which lyrics were thoughtfully written, and
music was ingeniously composed. Instead, hip-hop and rap distorted the perception of
African Americans just as minstrel shows did. Instead of wearing black-face, overalls
and oversized shoes, hip-hop depicts black youth as wearing a turned baseball cap,
oversized shirt, baggy pants and some form of oversized jewelry.
Pinkster pointed out that this began a culture of rebellion within the African American
youth, and much of the hip-hop culture was very much appealing. Black students would
sometimes see that getting food grades in school is like being complicit to the system,
and therefor would dumb themselves down, just like the stereotypes of the minstrel
shows would portray blacks as.
Steiker, Carol S. "Mass Incarceration: Causes, Consequences, and Exit Strategies." Ohio State
Journal of Criminal Law 9.1 (2011). Web.

Johri 8
Carol S. Steiker is a teacher of Criminal Law at Harvard Law School. She firmly
opposes the high incarceration rate of the American population, and calls the
incarceration rate of the past four decades revolutionary. She seems to be addressing
the student body, and she takes pleasure in introducing her students to the alarming
statistics that show how our justice system has changed over time.
Steiker poses three main questions in regards to how to reverse the trend of mass
incarceration in America. These three questions are: What changes occurred that caused
the boom in mass incarceration over the past 40 years? What are the consequences of this
change, and how can we reverse this system of mass incarceration?
She highlights esteemed professionals opinions and attempts to answer these questions.
She quotes Michelle Alexanders The New Jim Crow, and how Alexander proposes the
solution of bringing multi-ethnic and racial communities together to form a coalition of
empathy to map and understand the sufferings of the African American community
throughout the Drug War. Steiker writes that Professor David Cole professes a tone of
hope in this matter and that the budget crisis has caused the decline of mass incarceration
and has led to the beginning of states reducing jail capacities. Steiker also writes that
Coles possible solutions to the crisis include reduction of poverty through social
investment, and also like Alexander; closing the empathy gap between law-abiding
citizens and those convicted of crimes.
Steiker writes of Professor Bernard Harcourts solutions which include the example that
worked for the mentally ill from 1955-1980, where institutionalization of the mentally ill

Johri 9
dropped by 75% through psychiatric medicines and development of social welfare
programs.
Steiker write of Professor Mark Kleimans solutions to the mass incarceration crisis that
he wrote of in his book When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less
Punishment. Kleiman, is also a believer in social investment, and claims though his real
world trial called Project HOPE in Honalulu, that it is cheaper than incarceration.
Lastly, Steiker speaks of Professor Andres Taslitz proposal that preventative and
rehabilitative policymaking is better than those of punishment. Alexander, Cole and
Taslitz all speak of the high importance of empathy building between citizens, those free
and also those convicted.
Wyler, Grace. "The Mass Incarceration Problem in American." Vice News (2014). Web.
<http://news.vice.com>.
Grace Wyler who originally wrote this article for Vice News, appears to appeal to the
general public, who may not have prior knowledge of the mass incarceration problem in
America. Vice is known for their red-herring tactics of conveying the news, meaning
presenting the most stunning facts to the public, mixed with stunning and comprehensive
graphics.
Wyler outlined the simple facts of the matter; that the United States has an enormous
prison problem and this can be attributed to four decades of tough-on-crime oneupmanship, and a draconian war on drugs. She states the stunning facts that the United
States contains nearly a quarter of the worlds prisoners, but only makes up five percent
of the worlds population.

Johri 10
A stunning visual which covers several pages, compares the incarceration rates of the
world, with US states which contain a similar inmate population. Pakistan and the state
of Ohio have a similar population of inmates, although the civilian population of Pakistan
is 192 million, and Ohio has only 11.6 citizens. Although recovering from a recent
bloody revolution, Egypt has roughly the same amount of prisoners as the state of
Virginia, although the total population of Egypt is more than ten times that of Virginia.
The author touches upon legislatures and events that is slowly easing the incarceration
rate, including the Department of Justice reducing sentences, and tight budgets easing on
drug related incarcerations.