Photo credit: Stefano Corso
All G Bitch has had to say about the Zimmerman verdict is in the posts below, in quotes from The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
…it is precisely because we know that black and brown people are far more likely to be imprisoned that we, as a nation, have not cared too much about it. We tell ourselves they “deserve” their fate, even though we know—and don’t know—that whites are just as likely to commit many crimes, especially drug crimes. We know that people released from prison face a lifetime of discrimination, scorn, and exclusion, and yet we claim not to know that an undercaste exists….
…a primary function of any racial caste system is to define the meaning of race in its time. Slavery defined what it meant to be black [a slave], and Jim Crow defined what it meant to be black [a second-class citizen]. Today mass incarceration defines the meaning of blackness in America: black people, especially black men, are criminals….
…when survey respondents were asked to picture a drug criminal, nearly everyone pictured someone black. This phenomenon helps to explain why studies indicate that white ex-offenders may actually have an easier time gaining employment than African Americans without a criminal record. To be a black man is to be thought of as a criminal, and to be a black criminal is despicable—a social pariah.
…the stigma of race has become the stigma of criminality. Throughout the criminal justice system, as well as in our schools and public spaces, young + black + male is equated with reasonable suspicion, justifying the arrest, interrogation, search, and detention of thousands of African Americans every year, as well as their exclusion from employment and housing and the denial of educational opportunity. Because black youth are viewed as criminals, they face severe employment discrimination and are also “pushed out” of schools through racially biased school discipline policies….[emphasis added]
…The notion that racial caste systems are necessarily predicated on the desire to harm other racial groups, and that racial hostility is the essence of racism, is fundamentally misguided. Even slavery does not conform to this limited understanding of racism and racial caste. Most plantation owners supported the institution of black slavery not because of a sadistic desire to harm blacks but instead because they wanted to get rich, and black slavery was the most efficient means to that end. By and large, plantation owners were indifferent to the suffering caused by slavery…[emphasis added]
Michelle Alexander. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: The New Press, 2012. Print.