The New Jim Crow

I finished reading The New Jim Crow.

It is well, well worth reading. I highly recommend it.

The book clearly and simply explains, with evidence to back up the assertions, how a racial caste system developed out of the ashes of Jim Crow. That new system of racial subjugation is mass incarceration.

The book makes a very strong argument.

It also describes what steps are needed, as a nation, to remedy the situation.

I highly recommend reading this book.

Especially if the assertion makes you angry or uncomfortable.

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I strongly recommend this book to people involved in running fannish organization. Not because fandom is similar to mass incarceration. But because the racial caste system in the United States is reflected in every part of society, and this includes fandom.

Part of The New Jim Crow explains how racial exceptionalism is integral to the caste system. And a vast part of SF/F’s fundamental racism also relies on exceptionalism. Namely, “we can’t be racist because look at Octavia Butler!” The New Jim Crow explains that this post-civil-rights-movement racial caste system has different features than previously.

Racial caste in America today does not require that anyone spit vitriol or espouse white supremacy. It merely requires that we don’t care.

There’s a lot of comfortable not-caring in SF/F and comics.

So if you are a fannish organizer, if you run conventions, if you develop programming or invite guests of honor, if you set agendas for international or local events, I strongly urge you to read The New Jim Crow. Learn about the current racial caste system in the U.S. Care about it. Lead your community to stand against it.

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