The New Face(s) of Jim Crow

20 Apr

There has been a fair amount of study the last 10 years or so on the Criminal “Justice” system essentially becoming the arm of a modernized, revitalized Jim Crow in America.  From a recent symposium at the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia, borrowing from an abstract by Michelle Alexander – Ohio State University, Associate Professor of Law –

Professor Alexander will argue that mass incarceration is the latest incarnation of racialized social control in the United States, following slavery and Jim Crow. Although this new system of control is officially “colorblind,” it functions to create and maintain racial hierarchy nearly as effectively as earlier systems of control. By labeling young African American males “criminals” in their youth, and then circulating them through prisons and racially defined ghettos, the new system achieves and perpetuates racial segregation. It also imposes a permanent second-class status on the majority of young black men in urban communities across America. Those labeled felons find that, upon release from prison, they are ushered into a parallel social universe in which they are denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and subject to legal discrimination in employment, housing, public education and benefits – a legal regime strikingly similar to Jim Crow.

If you ever wondered why conservatives so hate higher education – you only need to follow the link above to “meet” some of the brilliant minds who are ripping the covers off conservative led racism.

With the issue of the Jim Crow criminal justice system so effectively covered by minds far more accomplished and astute than BT’s – I asked myself if there were other instances wherein “requirements” and or “policies” functionally act to continue, or to enforce Jim Crow…

Just so we are on the same page here – This is the old/new Jim Crow –

Not Much Different From the Old Jim Crow II

Not Much Different From the Old Jim Crow II

As I’ve said before, BT is a Computer Science/Engineering/Telecom professional.  One of the things you do in my profession (and most other professional jobs) is keep an eye on the market, as well as fundamental changes to the industry whether they be new technologies, or corporate “fads”.

About 15 years ago, two of the major players in my industry came up with the brilliant marketing plan to develop a “certification” system, a training and testing system to assure potential employers that the individual in question did have the appropriate training to manage their systems. Marketing Plan, because human nature being what it is, when it became time to buy new systems, these Cisco and Microsoft professionals could be dependably counted on to “fairly” select those products which they knew the most about (Cisco and Microsoft) – not coincidentally protecting their jobs.

The idea succeeded so well as a marketing ploy – there are now hundreds of “certifications” each costing the potential job seeker from $1500 to over $10,000 as virtually every company in the industry tried to develop their own Fifth Column.

So… Why has this become another method to effectuate Jim Crow?

It goes back to “resources”.

Minority families have a lower net wealth than white families. That wealth (or more specifically lack of) is one of the driving factors behind college graduation rates for black kids being far different at 4 years than 6 years. Ergo, many black families don’t have the financial resources to pay for a 4 year education – and the black kids who make it through school in 6 years often supplement their family’s contribution by working.

A quick scan over at CareerBuilder or Monster at some of the technical jobs would lay out that potential employers now not only ask for a College Degree, but a Degree and one (or more) certifications – which are not available through many Colleges. In effect, the “Certification” requirement adds from $3,000 to more than potentially $30,000 to the cost of being eligible for employment, on top of the $50,000 in tuition already spent by students in many State Schools.

Pricing many, already strained black families and young graduates – out of the ball game.

The Bushit Administration, in a redux of their fruitless efforts to find WMDs in Iraq, spend 10’s if not 100’s of millions of out tax money, hiring under-qualified Lawyers from all the right “right school , searching under every rock and pebble in America – to find cases of reverse discrimination against white folks…

When, like Iraq’s “missing” WMDs, reality was staring them in the face.

A reality they fully embraced.

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Posted by on April 20, 2009 in The New Jim Crow


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