Thursday, February 23, 2017

There are several factors which contributed to the creation of the most recent form of racial caste known as mass incarceration.  An overarching theme in the study of civil rights and American history is the push back that occurs after any great social reform.  For example, after slaves were emancipated in the 13th amendment, white people’s “pushback” was the creation of Jim Crow.  Today, the racial caste system remains in force, thanks to the era of colorblindness.  The idea that one does not “see color” may at first sound compelling; however, the impacts of such thinking are detrimental to American society.  Colorblindness allows racist and bigoted people to use coded racial rhetoric but deny its connection to race.  It also allows for white people to act on their racial biases.  For example, in criminal justice and law enforcement. This system creates the dynamic where black people can only prove their discrimination through statistics and often unattainable evidence.  Thus, masses of injustices are committed before anything can be done.  Even when evidence clearly points to the gross discrimination of black americans, colorblindness allows white people to argue, “it’s not because he’s black...I don’t see in color”.

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