President Reagan

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We must challenge and change our system of mass incarceration


“Police!” The shout from outside the front door was followed by the house shaking violently from a stampede of police exploding through the door. I was a terrified four-year-old in Spiderman pajamas staring at high-powered assault rifles aimed at me and my mother. After ransacking our home, the police soon realized that they had raided the wrong apartment. It was 1982, the year President Reagan declared a “War on Drugs.” The war became a tool of a discriminatory and oppressive social control system. Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow (New Press, 2010) is a compelling analysis of how the war on drugs resulted in the mass incarceration of African Americans, which led to second-class citizenship. Continue Reading →

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