Race and Racism
Racism is both a theme and one of the primary subjects of The New Jim Crow. Michelle Alexander's central thesis is that racism and prejudice have resulted in a biased criminal justice system that takes us back to the years of Jim Crow. We are living in a "new Jim Crow" era wherein African Americans are selectively and undeniably discriminated against on the basis of their race. This is a direct result of the racial profiling police officers do, which is itself a facet of the War on Drugs. By labeling the majority of black youth criminals even before they engage in criminal activity, the government and the police have successfully created a system that condones discrimination against black people.