How did America come to have the highest rate of incarceration in the world? In this video, lawyer and activist Michelle Alexander says that unfortunate fact is not simply a response to crime but deeply connected to racial attitudes, fears and anxieties exploited by politicians over the decades.
“The political strategist who conceived of the get tough movement and the war on drugs quite deliberately used not so subtle racial appeals and racial code language with the purpose of trying to exploit both conscious and unconscious racial biases and stereotypes for political gain.” Alexander traces these strategies back to Nixon’s presidency and sheds light on how Bill Clinton “escalated the drug war far beyond what President Reagan or President Nixon had even dreamed possible.”
Watch the entire show with Michelle Alexander:
Curated from billmoyers.com