Sunday Matinee: Michelle Alexander – The New Jim Crow

Hey folks,

In light of recent events, I really felt this vid apropos today.  And my bad about the prolonged absence also, but the word dealer’s been in one of those stingy moods again. Go figure. While our Sundays are usually defined by an open invitation to join me on a journey to shed the shroud that shields the Splendor from which all things spring, the vibe dictated a slight shift today.  Contemplating the Divinity that underpins the turning of strawberries into symphonies is still a luxury ill afforded certain sub-groups in the society as the story of their lives remains a sole function of skin color.  This stains us all.

Before I leave you to your own devices, I wanna share a little anecdote from the Hyd3 side.

Coming of age in the Empire, I was in a unique position to visit haunts on either side of the track and try different brews at different watering holes without making the respective tavern regulars restless. Some nights I’d chill with guys drinking Mickey’s or Michelob, while on others, Shlitz Bull or Cisco wine were the order of the day. I tended to follow custom as you know what they say, when in Rome right? This allowed for certain observations that were ordinarily denied other members of my peer group that tended towards more provincial tastes. Now all young men who err on the side of rambunctiousness inevitably have encounters with law enforcement during the process of maturation. For some reason however, it seemed that these interactions with the Velites invariably tended to be more frequent and antagonistic on the nights I was drinking Shlitz Bull versus the nights spent chuggin’ Mickey’s.

This troubled me for many years as the “luck of the Irish” didn’t strike me as a meritorious enough explanation for this anomalous statistic. Naiveté however, would prevent any lucid apprehension of the reasons for my “bad luck” on these particular nights for quite a while. Eventually I came to understand why the attitude of the Gestapo was so cordial when I brandished a bottle with the Michelob drinkers and so condescending when I clutched a quart of Shlitz.  With the passage of time and tide, it became evident that the reason lay not in the brand labeling the clutched bottle, but instead the color of the hands doing the clutching.

There is a profound difference in the manner in which law enforcement officials are trained to approach a group of young white fellas versus the attitudes adopted by these same officers when encountering a group of black or Hispanic males. It’s been my experience that police behavior is defined by marked increases in aggression and hostility in minority interactions. Anyways, I’ll get out of your hair and let you get to the lecture. Michelle is a lovely and delightful speaker.

One love,

HJ

P.S. Here’s Van’s homage to The Mystery as a bonus after that. These talks tend to evoke certain angry sentiments and holding on to anger is akin to clutching hot coals amigos, you’re the one getting burned.

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About H3nry J3kyll
Vincit omnia veritas (using an obscure Latin heraldry motto makes one seem kinda learned and distinguished).

11 Responses to Sunday Matinee: Michelle Alexander – The New Jim Crow

  1. cindy knoke says:

    So sad isn’t it….

  2. I love the way Alexander helps people understand the economic basis of racism – how in the fifties and sixties corporations deliberately sited factories in inner cities to take advantage of cheap black labor. And how this inner cities systematically collapsed when Reagan liberalized trade laws and these factories shut down and moved to the third world where wages were even lower. Federal and state officials knew the dire situation they were creating for inner cities and low income workers.

    Instead of bailing out these communities with training and jobs programs – the Reagan administration beefed up the War and Drugs as a pretext to mass incarcerate the surplus labor that was no longer needed by corporate America.

    Utterly despicable behavior in my view.

    • H3nry J3kyll says:

      Great point Doc. What’s also very interesting is that all statistical trends seemed to indicate that there was a marked decrease in drug related crime and use for the years preceding Reagan and Bush’s beefing up of the war on drugs.
      The crack epidemic was declared in advance of the CIA’s flooding of the inner city with rock cocaine.

  3. indramanie says:

    Reminds me of this:
    We were all human beings until
    RACE disconnected us
    RELIGION separated us
    POLITICS divided us
    And WEALTH divided us

  4. indramanie says:

    And Wealth classified us

  5. Jeff Nguyen says:

    How many can weave Michelle Alexander, Van Morrison and Mickey’s Malt Liquor into one fine narrative? Only you, H3nry. Well played, sir.

    • H3nry J3kyll says:

      Hey Jeff. Thnks for your continued support bud. I really do appreciate your kind encouragement. I felt like a little humor would make minds more receptive to the message.

      Around the holidays I’m sometimes privy to the perspective of the “private property” folks and the lack of nuance where the police are concerned often takes me to the limits of the neutral zone. I guess this is my attempt to preempt those emotions. lol

  6. tubularsock says:

    Glad you are back on the radar. But just to let you know your stealth setting works great but you are missed when you fly that low. Looking forward to your contribution today!

    Oh. And do be careful of the Ukrainian Air Force.

    • H3nry J3kyll says:

      Hey bud, sorry about the absence but was back in the lab. Trying to stay one step ahead of both the Ukrainians and Capitalism’s Invisible Army.

      Forget stealth technology, NCC-1701 is now equipped with a cloaking device!

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