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The Birth of Slavery in the U.S

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    1. In the 17th century labor for plantations was based on indentured servitude. 2. 1675 Bacon’s Rebellion
    3. By 1770 “By the mid-1770s, the system of bond labor had been thoroughly transformed into a racial caste system predicated on slavery.
    “Racial division was a consequence, not a precondition of slavery, but once it was instituted it became detached from its initial function and acquired a social potency all its own.” Loïc Wacquant, “America’s New ‘Peculiar Institution’: On the Prison as Surrogate Ghetto,” Theoretical Criminology 4, no. 3 (2000)

    The Death of Slavery in the US
    1. Emancipation Proclamation 1863
    “Following the Civil War, it was unclear what institutions, laws, or customs would be necessary to maintain white control now that slavery was gone. Nonetheless, as numerous historians have shown, the development of a new racial order became the consuming passion for most white Southerners. Rumors of a great insurrection terrified whites, and blacks increasingly came to be viewed as menacing and dangerous. In fact, the current stereotypes of black men as aggressive, unruly predators can be traced to this period, when whites feared that an angry mass of black men might rise up and attack them or rape their women.” [Michelle Alexander, Cornel West, The New Jim Crow]

    2. 14th Amendment 1868
    3. 15th Amendment 1870
    4. “Black Codes” in South
    “As expressed by one Alabama planter: “We have the power to pass stringent police laws to govern the Negroes—this is a blessing—for they must be controlled in some way or white people cannot live among them.” While some of these codes were intended to establish systems of peonage resembling slavery, others foreshadowed Jim Crow laws by prohibiting, among other things, interracial seating in the first-class sections of railroad cars and
    by segregating schools.” [Michelle Alexander, Cornel West, The New Jim Crow]

    5. “Black Codes” overturned under reconstruction.
    “Southern conservatives vowed to reverse Reconstruction and sought the “abolition of the Freedmen’s Bureau and all political instrumentalities designed to secure Negro supremacy.” Their campaign to “redeem” the South was reinforced by a resurgent Ku Klux Klan, which fought a terrorist campaign against Reconstruction governments and local leaders, complete with bombings, lynchings, and mob violence.”, [Michelle Alexander, Cornel West, The New Jim Crow]

    6. Reconstruction 1863-1877 (Disputed election of 1876 was given to Republican Hayes, but an agreement to withdraw federal troops from the South and an end to reconstruction left the Democrats in control of the South for more than a century.)

    The Birth of Jim Crow in the US
    7. Plessy v. Ferguson – “separate but equal” standard set – 1896

    8. Three philosophies of race during and after reconstruction a. Liberal – paternalistic emphasis on stigma of segregation and hypocrisy of government
    b. Conservative – blames liberals for pushing blacks too far and warned blacks that things could be worse under the Redeemers
    c. Radical – populist movement of poor whites and blacks against planters, railroads, and big business
    “The Populists took direct aim at the conservatives, who were known as comprising a party of privilege, and they achieved a stunning series of political victories throughout the region. Alarmed by the success of the Populists and the apparent potency of the alliance between poor and working-class whites and African Americans, the conservatives raised the cry of white supremacy and resorted to the tactics they had employed in their quest for Redemption, including fraud, intimidation, bribery, and terror.” [Michelle Alexander, Cornel West, The New Jim Crow] 9. Segregation laws put a wedge between black and white just as slavery and racial ideology was the response to Bacon’s Rebellion 200 years earlier.

    The Death of Jim Crow in the US
    10. Supreme
    Court
    decisions

    1944-­‐1950

    overturned

    a. All
    white
    primary
    election

    b. Segregated
    interstate
    buses

    c. Texas
    and
    Oklahoma
    segregated
    law
    schools

    11.
    Brown
    v.
    Board
    of
    Education

    1954

    “A
    fresh
    wave
    of
    white
    terror
    was
    hurled
    at
    those
    who
    supported
    the
    dismantling
    of
    Jim

    Crow.
    White
    Citizens’
    Councils
    were
    formed
    in
    almost
    every
    Southern
    city
    and
    backwater

    town,
    comprised
    primarily
    of
    middle-­‐
    to
    upper-­‐middle-­‐class
    whites
    in
    business
    and
    the

    clergy.
    Just
    as
    Southern
    legislatures
    had
    passed
    the
    black
    codes
    in
    response
    to
    the
    early

    steps
    of
    Reconstruction,
    in
    the
    years
    immediately
    following
    Brown
    v.
    Board,
    five
    Southern

    legislatures
    passed
    nearly
    fifty
    new
    Jim
    Crow
    laws.
    In
    the
    streets,
    resistance
    turned
    violent.

    The
    Ku
    Klux
    Klan
    reasserted
    itself
    as
    a
    powerful
    terrorist
    organization,
    committing

    castrations,
    killings,
    and
    the
    bombing
    of
    black
    homes
    and
    churches.
    NAACP
    leaders
    were

    beaten,
    pistol-­‐whipped,
    and
    shot.
    As
    quickly
    as
    it
    began
    desegregation
    across
    the
    South

    ground
    to
    a
    halt.
    In
    1958,
    thirteen
    school
    systems
    were
    desegregated;
    in
    1960,
    only

    seventeen.”,
    [Michelle
    Alexander,
    Cornel
    West,
    The
    New
    Jim
    Crow]

    12. Civil
    Rights
    Movement
    resistance
    peaked
    in
    1963
    (a
    thousand
    protests
    and
    15

    thousand
    people
    imprisoned
    across
    the
    South

    13. Civil
    Rights
    Act

    1964

    14. Voting
    Rights
    Act

    1965

    “Within
    five
    years,
    the
    effects
    of
    the
    civil
    rights
    revolution
    were
    undeniable.
    Between
    1964

    and
    1969,
    the
    percentage
    of
    African
    American
    adults
    registered
    to
    vote
    in
    the
    South
    soared.

    In
    Alabama
    the
    rate
    leaped
    from
    19.3
    percent
    to
    61.3
    percent;
    in
    Georgia,
    27.4
    percent
    to

    60.4
    percent;
    in
    Louisiana,
    31.6
    percent
    to
    60.8
    percent;
    and
    in
    Mississippi,
    6.7
    percent
    to

    66.5
    percent.
    33
    Suddenly
    black
    children
    could
    shop
    in
    department
    stores,
    eat
    at

    restaurants,
    drink
    from
    water
    fountains,
    and
    go
    to
    amusement
    parks
    that
    were
    once
    off-­‐
    limits.
    Miscegenation
    laws
    were
    declared
    unconstitutional,
    and
    the
    rate
    of
    interracial

    marriage
    climbed.”,
    [Michelle
    Alexander,
    Cornel
    West,
    The
    New
    Jim
    Crow]

    15. Seismic
    switch
    in
    US
    political
    party
    alignment
    as
    the
    “Solid
    South”
    turned

    Republican
    and
    the
    Democratic
    Party
    centered
    on
    urban
    areas.
    Elections
    turn
    on

    independent
    suburban
    voters.

    The Birth of Mass Incarceration in the US
    “With
    the
    success
    of
    the
    Civil
    Rights
    Movement
    and
    the
    launching
    of
    the
    Poor
    People’s

    Movement,
    it
    was
    apparent
    to
    all
    that
    a
    major
    disruption
    in
    the
    nation’s
    racial
    equilibrium

    had
    occurred.
    Yet
    as
    we
    shall
    see
    below,
    Negroes
    stood
    only
    a
    “brief
    moment
    in
    the
    sun.”

    Conservative
    whites
    began,
    once
    again,
    to
    search
    for
    a
    new
    racial
    order
    that
    would
    conform

    to
    the
    needs
    and
    constraints
    of
    the
    time.
    This
    process
    took
    place
    with
    the
    understanding

    that
    whatever
    the
    new
    order
    would
    be,
    it
    would
    have
    to
    be
    formally
    race-­‐neutral—it
    could

    not
    involve
    explicit
    or
    clearly
    intentional
    race
    discrimination.
    A
    similar
    phenomenon
    had

    followed
    slavery
    and
    Reconstruction,
    as
    white
    elites
    struggled
    to
    define
    a
    new
    racial
    order

    with
    the
    understanding
    that
    whatever
    the
    new
    order
    would
    be,
    it
    could
    not
    include
    slavery.

    Jim
    Crow
    eventually
    replaced
    slavery,
    but
    now
    it
    too
    had
    died,
    and
    it
    was
    unclear
    what

    might
    take
    its
    place.
    Barred
    by
    law
    from
    invoking
    race
    explicitly,
    those
    committed
    to
    racial

    hierarchy
    were
    forced
    to
    search
    for
    new
    means
    of
    achieving
    their
    goals
    according
    to
    the

    new
    rules
    of
    American
    democracy.”,
    [Michelle
    Alexander,
    Cornel
    West,
    The
    New
    Jim
    Crow]

    16. Rhetoric
    of
    “law
    and
    order”

    17. Crime
    rates
    increased

    Source:
    Bureau
    of
    Justice
    Statistics

    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/ucrdata/Search/Crime/State/RunCrimeTrendsInOneVar.cfm

    18. Crime
    rates
    are
    what
    Durkheim
    called
    “social
    facts,”
    i.e.,
    they
    are
    not
    mere

    aggregates
    of
    individual
    behavior.
    The
    increase
    in
    crime
    has
    multiple
    causes

    including:

    a. The
    large
    baby-­‐boom
    generation,
    born
    1945
    to
    1960,
    was
    in
    prime
    crime

    committing
    years
    (15
    to
    30
    years
    of
    age)
    from
    1960
    to
    1990.

    b. Economic
    stagnation,
    deindustrialization,
    and
    the
    decline
    in
    number
    of
    good
    jobs

    accelerated
    after
    1970

    c. Shift
    in
    ideological
    language
    from
    “race”
    to
    “crime”
    &
    “underclass”
    or
    “ghetto”

    d. Increasing
    number
    of
    laws,
    such
    as
    the
    “Rockefeller
    Drug
    laws”
    that
    imprison

    minority
    offenders
    more
    often
    and
    for
    longer
    sentences.

    “Convictions
    for
    drug
    offenses
    are
    the
    single
    most
    important
    cause
    of
    the
    explosion
    in

    incarceration
    rates
    in
    the
    United
    States.
    Drug
    offenses
    alone
    account
    for
    two-­‐thirds
    of
    the

    rise
    in
    the
    federal
    inmate
    population
    and
    more
    than
    half
    of
    the
    rise
    in
    state
    prisoners

    between
    1985
    and
    2000.

    Approximately
    a
    half-­‐million
    people
    are
    in
    prison
    or
    jail
    for
    a

    drug
    offense
    today,
    compared
    to
    an
    estimated
    41,100
    in
    1980—an
    increase
    of
    1,100

    percent.

    Drug
    arrests
    have
    tripled
    since
    1980.
    As
    a
    result,
    more
    than
    31
    million
    people

    have
    been
    arrested
    for
    drug
    offenses
    since
    the
    drug
    war
    began.

    To
    put
    the
    matter
    in

    perspective,
    consider
    this:
    there
    are
    more
    people
    in
    prisons
    and
    jails
    today
    just
    for
    drug

    offenses
    than
    were
    incarcerated
    for
    all
    reasons
    in
    1980.

    Nothing
    has
    contributed
    more
    to

    the
    systematic
    mass
    incarceration
    of
    people
    of
    color
    in
    the
    United
    States
    than
    the
    War
    on

    Drugs.”,
    [Michelle
    Alexander,
    Cornel
    West,
    The
    New
    Jim
    Crow]

    Weakening the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution
    “The Fourth Amendment is but one example. Virtually all constitutionally protected civil liberties have been undermined by the drug war. The Court has been busy in recent years approving mandatory drug testing of employees and students, upholding random searches and sweeps of public schools and students, permitting police to obtain search warrants based on an anonymous informant’s tip, expanding the government’s wiretapping authority, legitimating the use of paid, unidentified informants by police and prosecutors, approving the use of helicopter surveillance of homes without a warrant, and allowing the forfeiture of cash, homes, and other property based on unproven allegations of illegal drug activity.”, [Michelle Alexander, Cornel West, The New Jim Crow]

    19. When is a “search and seizure” voluntary? – Bus and sidewalk sweeps. 20. Pretext stops – traffic violations – “driving while black” 21.

    Wacquant’s Conception of Ghetto and Hyperghetto
    Loïc Wacquant. 2002. “From Slavery to Mass Incarceration: Rethinking the ‘race question’ in the US.” New Left Review, No. 13 January & February. pp. 41-60
    Folk Conception of the Ghetto
    The notion of soul, which gained wide appeal during the ghetto uprisings of the 1960s, was a folk conception of the lower-class Negro’s own “national
    character.” Produced from within for in-group consumption, it served as a symbol of solidarity and a badge of personal and group pride. By contrast, ‘underclass’ status is assigned wholly from the outside (and from above); is it forced upon its putative ‘members’ by specialists in symbolic production – journalists, politicians, academics, and government experts – for purposes of control and disciplining.

    Peculiar Institution

    Economic and Political Roots of the Hyperghetto
    1. Transition of American economy from a tightly integrated, factory centered, Fordist system of production catering to a uniform mass market
    2. To a more open, decentralized, service intensive system geared to differentiated consumption patterns.
    3. Accompanied by dual occupational structure and racial segmentation of the peripheral segments of the labor market
    Racial Disproportion in US Imprisonment
    • At mid 20th century about 70% of inmates were white (Anglo) • At end of the 20th century about 30% of inmates were white (Anglo) • The mid-point was about 1988, the year of G. W. H. Bush’s “Willie Horton” ads YouTube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTdUQ9SYhUw&feature=youtu.be • Blacks account for

    o 29% to 33% of all property crime arrests
    o 44% to 47% of all violent offenses
    • But blacks are incarcerated about 8 times more often than whites. • The life long probability of “doing time” is
    o 4% for whites
    o 16% for Latinos
    o 29% for Blacks
    • This change in incarceration during the 1980’s and 1990s occurred simultaneously with a large increase in the number of middle and upper middle class blacks and significant numbers of blacks hired in the police, courts, and corrections institutions

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