Mass Incarceration…the Solution
A man once made a great statement at a not so great time; when describing America’s state of affairs, he said it’s like chickens coming home to roost(X, Malcolm, 1963). This truth is called karma. The actions that are done, the decisions that are made will eventually return to the owner (“Karma”, 2012, “Definition” Para 2). Chickens, many with their heads cut off, is the perfect analogy for the current state of American corrections.
During the same time that this utterance was made, the powers that be looked for a solution. What to do with the undesirables? How can the racial caste system be maintain without the sheets and burning crosses (Alexander, Michelle, p. 40). How can the hand of racism maintain its grip, yet become invisible? These questions birthed mass incarceration (Alexander, Michelle, p. 58).
Mass incarceration is a reflection of America’s desire to banish from their midst any population of people who are threatening, bothersome, and repulsive (Austin, James & Irwin, John, p. 11). What better way to get rid of someone than to lock them up. The chains of unemployment and lack of education were no longer enough. The freedman had to be re-enslaved. This re-enslavement was not as easy as days past. There had to be a justification for this act, for the driving of African Americans back into cages (Austin, James & Irwin, John, p. 9). The War on Drugs served as the vehicle of mass incarceration (Alexander, Michelle, p. 54).
In its historical context, mass incarceration was a success. Most importantly, it made Americans feels safe (Austin, James & Irwin, John, p.15). Instead of taking personal responsibility for the ills that plague us, it’s easier to blame someone or something else. Everyone needs a fall guy. The already frowned upon African American community, in particular, African American males fit the bill (Alexander, Michelle, p. 101). The American public was led to believe that...