Civil Rights Law & Policy Blog

Editor: Andrew M. Ironside

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"The New Jim Crow? Recovering the Progressive Origins of Mass Incarceration"

The title of this post comes from this recent paper by Professor Anders Walker, the abstract of which states:

This article revisits the claim that mass incarceration constitutes a new form of racial segregation, or Jim Crow. Drawing from historical sources, it demonstrates that proponents of the analogy miss an important commonality between the two phenomena, namely the debt that each owe to progressive and/or liberal politics. Though generally associated with repression and discrimination, both Jim Crow and mass incarceration owe their existence in part to enlightened reforms aimed at promoting black interests; albeit with perverse results. Recognizing the aspirational origins of systematic discrimination marks an important facet of comprehending the persistence of racial inequality in the United States.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/civil_rights/2014/04/the-new-jim-crow-recovering-the-progressive-origins-of-mass-incarceration.html

| Permalink

Comments

I downloaded and read the Anders article. The analogies are bizarre. The definition of Jim Crow, or description is not accurate. There is this notion put forward that "progressives" wanted to have separate but equal first class train cars for whites and blacks so as to avoid strife and lawsuits by blacks for equal treatment in one train car. Then there is some spurious thing proposed or bantered about that high incarceration rates were caused by some progressive notion of fairness. Balderdash.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Apr 7, 2014 12:34:26 PM

I must comment here and provide the definition of Jim Crow Laws provided by Wikipedia. I am an older lawyer who experienced Jim Crow laws. This article tries to play the legal scholar higher plain of dialogue and is simply obtuse. I have no doubt that liberal progressives had any role in the institution of Jim Crow laws or some obtuse version of Jim Crow. Please read the following:
The Jim Crow laws were racial segregation laws enacted between 1876 and 1965 in the United States at the state and local level. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern states of the former Confederacy, with, starting in 1890, a "separate but equal" status for African Americans. The separation in practice led to conditions for African Americans that tended to be inferior to those provided for white Americans, systematizing a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages. De jure segregation mainly applied to the Southern United States. While Northern segregation was generally de facto, there were patterns of segregation in housing enforced by covenants, bank lending practices, and job discrimination, including discriminatory union practices for decades.

Some examples of Jim Crow laws are the segregation of public schools, public places, and public transportation, and the segregation of restrooms, restaurants, and drinking fountains for whites and blacks. The U.S. military was also segregated, as were federal workplaces, initiated in 1913 under President Woodrow Wilson, the first Southern president since 1856. His administration practiced overt racial discrimination in hiring, requiring candidates to submit photos.

These Jim Crow Laws followed the 1800–1866 Black Codes, which had previously restricted the civil rights and civil liberties of African Americans with no pretense of equality. State-sponsored school segregation was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education. Generally, the remaining Jim Crow laws were overruled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
--end of Wikipedia.

Mass incarceration impacting minorities is not some rebound from some liberal progressive notions of fair play. It is similar to the old chain gangs of the Jim Crow law era.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Apr 7, 2014 6:59:00 PM

It is difficult to "post" comments on this blog. Let me know if the problem gets fixed.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Apr 8, 2014 5:59:09 AM

Post a comment