In light of the 2008 collapse of the mortgage industry and global capital markets, the concomitant carnage that envelopes minority communities in the United States flows inexorably from America's mass incarceration policies. This period of mass incarceration must come to a close. One condition precedent to gnawing wealth disparities and financial crises devastating urban communities is the massive imprisonment of men of color, wage earners, in American cities. As argued by Professor Alexander, mass incarceration is the civil rights issue of our generation.
The financial market crisis has revealed a deep-seated cultural antagonism toward women of color, and by implication families of color. When faced with the bleakest economic crisis since the Great Depression, white male Wall Street executives and bankers are not held responsible for their recklessness. Instead, black and Latina female heads of household are forced to answer for the sins of corporate executive duplicity. When consequences are visited upon those least responsible for an economic crisis in order to prop up the powerfully entrenched and those most responsible for an economic crisis, then society stands at a serious, underappreciated crossroads.
. Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law; J.D., Howard University School of Law.