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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lesson 9 Reflection

How has racial caste perpetuated in the form of mass incarceration, despite the achievements of the civil rights movement?

Racial caste has been continuing to perpetuate in the form of mass incarceration but the origin of it dates back to a long time ago. The political origin of mass incarceration was elite whites' desire to exploit low-class working whites in order to succeed politically or economically. Since then, a black man (or woman) has been seen as the lowliest of human being in the United States, and any white man (no matter how economically disabled) trumped a black person in terms of status. A racially biased crackdown has resulted in mass incarceration. An example of such perpetuation of racial caste is through legalized discrimination. This is because, blacks are first searched by police (which is "allowed" through the clause "reasonable suspicion"), then thrown in jail (for who knows how long) for reasons that white people would only be thrown in jail a few months (or short amount of time) for, and then would be denied housing, employment and economic opportunities because of the "convict label." This process is repeated until masses of people are incarcerated and suddenly 25% of the world's prisoners are in America's prisons. An immediate effect of this is black exclusion from juries. Not only are black people excluded from juries, but a very large percentage of black men are also prevented from doing jury service they have been labeled a convict. This, in turn, makes them look like serious criminals in front of an all-white jury. Another example of perpetuation of racial caste (in the form of mass incarceration) is through the maintenance of racial segregation. For a long time, basic needs like the sewer systems and pavemented roads were purposefully not provided to black communities and this gave white people a negative perception towards blacks. Therefore, those perceptions turned into stereotypes and has continued to be maintained all these years, explaining the never-ending, racist commentary. This definitely makes it easier for white people to deny black suffering and easier to be "color-blind." Finally, the new racial caste system has found loopholes in order to operate, despite laws such as civil rights legislation and the 14th Amendment, and has therefore resulted in mass incarceration.

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