So what does a book about racism and criminal justice have to do with LabVIEW? Well on the surface, not a whole lot. Until you realize that all code is written by and for humans. Anything that helps us better understand ourselves and the human condition will make us a better coder. Also as GeePaw Hill says “There are more important things than geekery” We can get back to geekery in the next blogpost.
The New Jim Crow is in depth look at the criminal justice system in America and it’s many inequities. Basically the premise of the book is that Jim Crow never went away, it was just replaced with something more subtle: a combination of over-policing, mass incarceration, 3 strikes laws, discrimination against ex-cons, etc. It was no longer socially acceptable to be openly racist. But we, as a society, could easily associate black people with crime and then become hard on crime. The result is the same: oppression, except that it gives us as a society plausible deniability.
There’s a lot more to the book, but that’s the basic idea. It’s well researched. It’s got lots of examples to prove its point. We all kind of know that the justice system is broken in a lot of ways. This book puts it all together and points out the pattern. It’s very eye-opening book. I highly recommend it.