1. M. Alexander claims that the main explanation of why so many people are sent to jail in the U.S. today is deeply wrong because the government claims it’s because of they were trying to fight the crisis caused by crack cocaine. But, Ronald Regan declared the War on Drugs in 1982, 3 years before crack was an issue. In 1985, after Regan declared the War on Drugs, is when crack started to spread throughout poor black neighborhoods. In the reading 2.1, it states, “Almost overnight, the media was saturated with images of black ‘crack whores’, ‘crack dealers’, and ‘crack babies’- images that seemed to confirm the worst negative racial stereotypes.” This presents the argument that the War on Drugs could possibly be an attempt to make black people look like criminals/look bad or to reinforce stereotypes. After the War on Drugs was declared, arrests skyrocketed, especially with people of color. 
2. Racial disparities in the rates of incarceration “cannot be explained by rates of drug crimes” because black men are admitted to prison more than white men. Even though according to the reading, studies have been done that “show that people of all colors use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates”. The studies also showed that “white youth, are more likely to engage in drug crime than people of color. This shows that the rates of drug crimes are inaccurate because people of color are arrested more than white people even though both use and sell drugs at the same rate. 
3. I think the phrase “the American penal system has emerged as a system of social control unparalleled in world history.” means that incarceration is a form of social control where the government can “put minorities in their place”. I think incarceration is another way for the government to target minorities just like slavery, segregation, and Jim Crow. 

Leave a Reply