AP Language and Composition
08 May 2014 Jim Crow, Ch. 4-5
1. People that are convicted of committing a felony have several rights taken away. Naturally, these rights mostly deal with political liberties. For instance, the convicted individuals are not given the ability to vote or the right to a jury. These consequences stem from the U.S. Constitution; it states that all individuals have the right to the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Because of its framework, receiving a felony is considered to violate the rights that every person is granted as a U.S. citizen; therefore, a felony is more than enough of a reason for the government to strip away many freedoms and rights conviction ruins a person's reputation and ability to work for life. Additionally, the side effects of a felony conviction also deal with social issues. No matter hard they may try to move forward with their life, they will truly never restore their lives to how it once was before their clash with law enforcement. With the felony tainting their record, the person is unable to land a stable, secure job that pays well, let alone receive any federal help such as welfare and food stamps. For the rest of their lives, they will feel the sting of societal stigma and will be treated as a second class. The consequences a felony brings is similar to the oppression the average African American experienced during the1960’s and much before that as well. One striking similarity is that in both scenarios, the person becomes a direct target for crimes and officers usually find reasoning to jail them.
2. Mass incarceration wields massive effects over the lives of the people in communities where high imprisonment rates are present. Mass incarceration lead to continually targeting colored individuals and charging them with additional accounts of crime. As a direct consequence, the communities are unable to progress as a whole. They are held back by the lack of economical growth that plagues their youth. The only economic "growth" they experience is through illegal means (drugs). This development only serves to feed an already nasty cycle of poverty and confinement. African Americans have the highest incarceration rates because of the drug war that has been (covertly) waged on them. This war began because of their struggle for economic opportunity, such as opening up a business. This practice is common in the inner city neighborhoods or ghettos. These regions have the lowest prices for housing and are offered section 8 housing. To boot, African Americans are amongst the highest to receive continuous felonies. As a result, cops keep a keen eye on them and don't hesitate to haul them off to court/jail for even a tiny misdemeanor. Consequently, these people tend to gang activity in order to meet ends meet.
3. Alexander interprets the “gangsta culture” by juxtaposing the culture and the neighborhoods that this culture claims to represent in order to emphasize the similarities of the two. Alexander refers back to the media because she recognizes its power in influencing the masses; in fact, she goes as far as to acknowledge the role the media has had in portraying the gangsta life style which that has arguably popularized drug use amongst African Americans. She goes on to explain the influence this music has had on making African Americans believe that they will be able to achieve success and fame through the rap and violent behavior.
1. Both the New and Old Jim Crow were made to create a second class within the United States. The main victims targeted by the New and Old Jim Crow are mainly black. Additionally, they both use fear, violence and imprisonment as a way to keep control of the under-caste (taking away rights and property.) Jim Crow uses laws to legitimize white supremacy on society. The main purpose of Jim Crow is to concentrate money and power in the predominantly white middle class and ruling elite.