The same way that Jim Crow laws and lynchings did

From “Scapegoats: The Gospel Through the Eyes of Victims” by Jennifer Garcia Bashaw

In just the last ten years, we have seen the tragic murders of unarmed Black Americans like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others at the hands of police officers and vigilantes. The scapegoating and lynching continue. While there are branches of the church that rally at Black Lives Matter protests and work to raise the voices of African Americans, an inexcusably large number of Christians – especially white evangelicals – sweep the truth of racism under the rug. The reality is that the destructive scapegoating of Black people in America never actually stopped; it only mutated into more excusable, more hidden forms, which manifest in a multitude of social practices and political policies; through racial discrimination in mortgage lending and unjust hiring practices, through government-approved drug wars and minimum sentencing, through vigilante violence and “stand your ground” laws, and through police profiling and brutality. As Michelle Alexander argues, one of the most effective ways that America has kept African Americans at the bottom of our unspoken caste system is by creating a new form of slavery – the mass incarceration of Black men. Discriminatory laws and a biased justice system work the same way that Jim Crow laws and lynchings did – they criminalize and dehumanize Black Americans, locking them into subordinate positions in society.