March 15, 2011

BTR News Brief - Color Of Change's New Jim Crow Conference

The Color of Change recently hosted a conference call for grassroots activist on Mar 14th to discuss issues pertertaining to over incarceration of American citizens, particualry those in the Black communities, due to America's long running failed drug war.

One of the featured speakers was Susan Burton, Founder and Executive Director of A New Way of Life Reentry Project, who among other things spoke about the horrible conditions faced by vicitims of America's drug war when released from prison who are often denied the opportunity to fully reintergrate back into society which often causes them to support themselves and their children by any means neccessary. The conditions that have been created are often designed to keep the private and state prisons full and revenue and profits flowing from the work of cheap slave labor.

Also on the call was Michelle Alexander who is an Associate Professor of Law at Ohio State University and the author of the book "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness". Mrs Alexander said that it is going to take another movement to end the New Jim Crow and that the Drug War allows politicians to compete with one another on who can be tougher on Black men leading to high incarceration rates independent of actual crime rates.