While most people including myself find value in the principle of personal accountability and understanding how one’s personal actions and decisions lead to certain outcomes in life , there has been an serious error in using this principal as a scapegoat measurement to pass judgment and justify the treatment of persons who are labeled criminal in our society.
Michelle Alexander in “The New Jim Crow” gives a very accurate account of our countries multi-layered and intricately designed system of mass incarceration, which has proven to be highly successful. It is the goal of this paper to assert the idea that as a society we have the power to influence the cultural shift of shame and self-hatred with in persons who have been incarcerated. By acknowledging the human rights of African American men as it relates to the role they play in the development and stabilization of their communities, we challenge the inferior social constructs of racism, which are propagated through politics and law. It is only by preserving the human rights and entitlements of housing and employment that we can begin to create new realities for young and older African American males to identify with.
Homelessness in this country across all ages, races and gender remains a prominent issue and is the result of other symptoms that have gone untreated or unrecognized in a person’s life. Many different disciplines; such as philosophy and geography have attempted to provide explanation on the symbolic meaning and importance of one having a home or dwelling place. We know the lack of “home” is very problematic for our existence on this planet. Home represents stability, safety and comfort. “Home” is our base and foundation and allows us to operate from a position of centrality. Coming up I have heard statements indicating that an individual displaying a certain type of disrespectful behavior “needs home training”. There seems to be the consensus that a home base is also reflective of one’s emotional attitudes and values. We also see how the loss or home and regional inhabitance creates displacement, disease and poverty, which leads to the breakdown of communities in the case of catastrophic events such as Hurricane Katrina or the rapid urbanism in Dhaka.
With “home” being a critical aspect of societal development and an intrinsic human need for survival it is incumbent upon our society to extend the human right of housing to African American males who have been incarcerated. Before any person who has been incarcerated is classified by the term felon, offender or criminal they are a human being with human needs. Alexander concludes,...