American Freedom All "Realities" in Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

5 million under some form of judicial supervision, America's rate of imprisonment outstrips even Russia's and is four times that of Canada. The history of racism aside, the enormity of the prison system is the most persistent discredit to American ideals.

In the United States today, about four to five million Americans receive criminal records every year. Roughly one in five American. citizens has a criminal record. In a society severely divided by race and class, most of those who are pushed into the penal system are black, brown and poor. One third of all prisoners were unemployed at the time of their arrest, with the others averaging less than $15,000 annual incomes in the year prior to their arrest. About one half of the 1.8 million people in federal and state prisons and jails are African-Americans (Marable).

In effect, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which guaranteed millions of African-Americans the right to the electoral franchise, is being gradually repealed by state restrictions on ex-felons from voting. A people who are imprisoned in disproportionately higher numbers, and then systematically denied the right to vote, can in no way claim to live under a democracy.

When considering whether or not America is truly the home of the brave and the land of the free, it is necessary to see whether or not the equality extends to everyone it should.

References

Krajick, Kevin. "Why Can't Ex-Felons Vote?" Washington Post. Wednesday, August 18, 2004; Page A19

Lobe, Jim. "U.S. Election: Republicans Urged to End Intimidation." Inter-Press Service

News Agency. Retrieved from online 2 December 2004. http://www.ipsnews.net/new_nota.asp?idnews=26068

Marable, Manning. "Race-ing Justice: The Prison-Industrial Complex" Columbia

University. Along the Color Line. Retrieved from online 2 December, 2004. http://www.pressroom.com/~afrimale/marable.htm

Milloy, Courtland. "For Black Voters, a Return to the Age of Nefarious." Washington

Post. October 31, 2004. Page C01.

Tristam, Pierre. "American Impressions: Tennesee --…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Krajick, Kevin. "Why Can't Ex-Felons Vote?" Washington Post. Wednesday, August 18, 2004; Page A19

Lobe, Jim. "U.S. Election: Republicans Urged to End Intimidation." Inter-Press Service

News Agency. Retrieved from online 2 December 2004. http://www.ipsnews.net/new_nota.asp?idnews=26068

Marable, Manning. "Race-ing Justice: The Prison-Industrial Complex" Columbia

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