Clint Kuipers's Reviews > The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
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's review
Jan 11, 16

really liked it
Read in July, 2011

This is a good book with some great arguments and surprising conclusions. However, I think the lack of concrete evidence for a few of the major statements that form the crux of the argument the author is making leaves this book open for attack. To me the biggest issue is saying, "Whites commit drug crimes at the same rates as Blacks." This is going to be a surprise to most readers and should be proven by citing studies and maybe even throwing in a few charts and graphs into the text. I don't think this is the spot for an obscure footnote. Also, some sort of breakdown of those crimes is necessary. Smoking marijuana and selling or manufacturing heroin are both drug crimes, but they carry very different consequences. Further explanation for who is doing what is necessary. If you don't give the explanation, it makes me doubt a major premise of the book. I'm not saying the author is wrong, I'm just saying I wish she had made a stronger case for why she is right. All that said, drug sentencing is out of line, and I wish law enforcement would wage a "War on Violence" as opposed to a "War on Drugs."

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Erik Hrm, I'm about a third of the way through, and after reading your comment, I'm wondering if it's worth my time to continue.

Clint Kuipers You know, I'm glad I read the book. It made me consider some things I don' usually consider. Try to get halfway and then you can decide for yourself.

message 3: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan Sirotkin Yeah some more charts and graphs would've been good, but there's a ton of data out there supporting the argument that whites use and deal drugs as much if not more than blacks, and that the War on Drugs is really obviously racially biased. You can find some of it here:

Catherine Right. The "obscure citations" are there for you to read.

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