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More Black Men in Prison Today Than Enslaved in 1850
August 8, 2011
10:13 pm
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SWRanger
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By: Nsenga Burton | Posted: March 30, 2011

More black men are in prison than enslaved during 1850. :boohoo:

ColorLines' Thoai Lu is reporting that the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that as of 2008, there were more than 846,000 black men in prison, making up 40.2 percent of all inmates in the system. The article highlights a recent talk given by author Michelle Alexander, who puts those numbers in context. Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, told an audience at the Pasadena Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, "More African-American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began."

Alexander argues that prisons have become the latest form of economic and social disenfranchisement for young people of color, particularly black men. In it, she grapples with a central question: If crime rates have fluctuated over the years and are now at historical lows, then why have rates of incarcerated men of color skyrocketed over the past 30 years? The "war on drugs," which focuses primarily on communities of color, is the answer, although multiple studies have proved that whites use and sell illegal drugs at rates equal to or higher than blacks. Despite this data, four of five black youths in some inner-city communities can expect to be incarcerated in their lifetimes.

Alexander discusses how convicted felons are subject to forms of discrimination reminiscent of the Jim Crow era. This includes being denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits, much like their parents or grandparents.

Alexander raises a pressing issue as states like Florida move to privatize prison systems and strip convicted felons of the right to vote even after completing their sentences. The only thing sadder than having more men in prison now than in slavery during 1850 is that many don't understand that slavery is still legal within the prison system. Indeed, it is the only place where slavery is still legal in the United States. It is clear that our community is in trouble. What are we going to do about it? :wall:

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SR: What are we going to do about it ? Simple......

Stop Black on Black Crime which is the main reason they're in the Slam
Give The Cops More Powers To Go After And Break Up Gangs
Follow Sheriff Jo Arpiao's Example and get rid of all the creature comforts....
No More Cable TV, No More Weight Rooms, No More Rec Rooms, No More Decent Food...
Put them to work for 18 hours straight and lights out after dinner.
The Harsher the Prison the less and less criminals black and white you have

We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm

August 8, 2011
10:30 pm
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greeney2
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I disagree with the last thing you said about harsher prisons, all they do is harden the worst of the worst. You should read the prison the Norway shooter may be headed for.

That said the issue of numbers and 1850 is irrelevant to the facts of today. Every single one of these inmates recieved a trial, and was convicted, it they are in jail. Maybe there is a case to be made about the quality of a defence and ecomomic level, but that does not equate to slavery. In 1850 what % of the black population were slaves? 0% are slaves today, nor have they been for 145 years. Nobody forced them into the crimes they did, they are not the victims. Nobody made the statistics of Black Fathers, what it is today, except themselves. Don't blame slavery, blame there own irresponsibility as Fathers for leaving their families. They leave and let their sons and daughters dwell in povery, leaving single mothers to raise them in ghettos. They end up in lives of drugs and gangs,underachieving, and young lives of crime. The ACLU should stop playing the blame game on everyone else, and take a good look at the real causes, which are fatherless young men who get into trouble, and end up in jail.

August 9, 2011
6:09 pm
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at1with0
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A Harsher prison isn't going to provide much of a deterrent, sad to say.

"it is easy to grow crazy"

August 10, 2011
8:31 am
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WarAngel
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"SWRanger" wrote:
Give The Cops More Powers To Go After And Break Up Gangs
No More Cable TV, No More Weight Rooms, No More Rec Rooms, No More Decent Food...

:clap:
I agree with make them work part. They should be of some use to society while incarcerated. But let's have them caged for most of the time so the can sit and think about why they're there.

"greeney2" wrote: The ACLU should stop playing the blame game on everyone else, and take a good look at the real causes, which are fatherless young men who get into trouble, and end up in jail.

:clap:
The ACLU while providing a useful service annoys me. They will defend ANYONE. iirc there was a case where a Neo-Nazi group wanted to march down a small town street. A JEWISH lawyer took the case. 😯 What level of idealistic dilusion had been on? :snooty: I know we have to give rights to everyone but there are times when that backfires.

What if it were true?

August 11, 2011
7:02 pm
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This is a textbook Race card appeal to peoples tendency to feel guilty. This is textbook guilt programming.

Race is the best issue that some people have. Particularly those of heavy social tendencies.
Race has become a cottage industry among many today..

This is very ironic and sad...because these same people heavily frown on others using and misusing race issues. Only certain peoples with certain viewpoints can use RACE as a crutch to make others feel guilty and thus control them.

This is just another form of "Censorship." Social Censorship.

This kind of thing is beginning to look very weak and beggarly in lieu of the track record..the line of events which happened in New Orleans after Katrina...and also in the cities to where many of these peoples moved. Combined with what is happening in Philadelphia and also in Wisconsin of recent...this type of approach does not make good nonsense.
People here in America are also watching what is happening in England with the riots and taking note of the Entitlement thinking..ie..views.

The youth of today are squandering the social progress of the reformers who came before them.

Entitlement thinking and social engineering is failing. Big time. But it does get alot of votes out of the public purse..which is very very telling of why it is necessary. This also tells you why guilt conditioning/guilt censorship is necessary.

Thinking people are beginning to get very tired of this same olde mantra..by social engineers as well as politicians and leaders as well as by the media. They have enough olde time horse sense to see what a failure it is. They are becoming able to connect the dots that someone out here does not want connected.

Thanks,
Orangetom

August 12, 2011
10:49 am
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Aquarian
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What many fail to consider about this issue are the systemic reasons for this. Now, we must also acknowledge that superficial classifications like race, sex, among other things are just tools for distraction, diversion, and stratification that are meant to obfuscate the true war being waged by the ruling class of the 500+ billionaires in the planet against 99% of the world's population, and thus, we should instead be organizing towards solidarity among all members of the working-class. Michelle Alexander is correct in citing, for example, how whites and Blacks use drugs (for example) at nearly the same rates, while police often incarcerate Blacks at a much higher rate. In order to tackle this issue, we must move towards the dismantling of the brutalizing War on Drugs we have going on in this country and stop the criminalization of what should be considered a health/personal freedoms issue. Secondly, we must also address the assault on public education and how this in particular affects working-class youths from working-class families. Many of them happen to be Black and other racial minorities. Whenever the government, the States included say they want to "balance the budget", as we saw evidenced by the atrocious debt deal Obama and The Congress recently agreed to, they assail education, the unemployed, and those in need. If the government (which does not represent the majority of the people) truly wanted to tackle this crisis, they would do so under the auspices of a class-conscious perspective and seek to understand and finally rectify the scourge of capitalistic/parasitic economic systems which seek to make losers and wage slaves out of most people. What we have today is not overt slavery that existed in 1850 and before then. What we have today, instead, is an egregious form of institutional slavery which seeks to bind us together under the yoke of oppression being relentlessly resisted in Europe, Greece, and all across the planet.

The Few assume to be the deputies, but they are often only the despoilers of the Many.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

August 12, 2011
8:33 pm
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greeney2
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Holy Cow! Look what the cat drug in! Your back Aquarian! Laugh
Where have you been, its been very boring without you to argue with? By the way you are full of boloney about institutional slavery and oppression, but glad to see you back, believe it or not. Laugh I'll try not to chase you off for a while, welcome back, stick around. 😀

August 13, 2011
5:15 am
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Aquarian
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Hey Greeney!

Yeah, I don't think I'll ever officially take a leave of permanent absence from this place. Sure, I'll leave here and there when life gets busy. Alas, that is the course that life takes, especially now as the crisis of capitalism deepens (which is what I'm trying to connect this issue to). See, I don't really like articles like this which maintain a very narrow focus on the overt assault against the public. In trying to make the argument that Blacks are being targeted by the authorities and thus being incarcerated at a greater rate is one thing, but Michelle Alexander also fails to include the notion of class and how this is translating for all working-class peoples, especially youth. Articles like this make it sound exclusionary, however, it is all of us who are being targeted. Economic malaise combined with rising costs of living, stagnant wages, increasing unemployment, curtailment of social assistance, etc. has exposed the moral bankruptcy of the ruling capitalist classes (both Democratic and Republican). The debt deal served only to placate bond investors and some factions of Wall Street. Wait until November when Medicare and Social Security become part of the cutting and slashing (if Social Security wasn't raided enough!). Simply put, we will continue to see a rise in crime as we see a rise in this type of draconian policy aimed at securing the interests of the wealthy and privileged while furthering the disenfranchisement of the rest. In fact, if this were a real democracy, the government would have gone after the Wall Street thieves and parasites who everyone knows plunged the country into crisis. Instead, they were bailed out to the tune of several trillion dollars. We cannot keep blaming each other and other members of the oppressed citizenry for this type of misery Ms. Alexander highlights. Instead, we should look at this as indicative symptoms of something larger...something more ruthless.

But thanks for the warm welcome back! Laugh

The Few assume to be the deputies, but they are often only the despoilers of the Many.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

August 14, 2011
5:18 am
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SWRanger
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Welcome back Aquarian :clap:

We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm

August 15, 2011
4:01 pm
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Race and economic class warfare...

Division by race...It only serves to deepen the race issue..which was and is it's intent..for political lucre..

One needs to ask the name of the god/gods of political division..not unity.

Division by economic class...only serves to deepen the issue which was and is it's intent...for political lucre

One needs to ask the name of the god/gods of economic division..not unity.

More and more you see this standard issue division template....by any man made concept one can devise.

These causes are always further accelerated...not solved. More and more division..not unity.

What is the name of the god/gods of divide and conquer??? Particularly the gnostic gods of divide and conquer.

Thanks,
Orangetom

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