truthful perceptions: justice or just-us

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The Second Census of the United States was done in the year 1800.  Approximately one million African-Americans were counted and of that number, 900,000 of them were slaves. Today there are more than  one million African Americans incarcerated in Federal and State Prisons, than were slaves in 1800. After reading the statistics below, one would have to be ignorant to the Nth degree of a greater conspiracy fluently at work against men of color in this country.

Congressman Trey Radel of Florida (who happens to be white) was busted hands down this past week buying cocaine from an undercover cop, pleaded guilty in court and was sentenced to immediate rehab. How would that sentencing have gone for the same crime were it a Black or Latino man arrested under the same circumstances? According to the figures below, it is a sure bet he would be under mandatory sentencing laws giving him immediate prison time. Read Below:

Incarceration Trends in America

  • From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people
  • Today, the US is 5% of the World population and has 25% of world prisoners.
  • Combining the number of people in prison and jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 1 in ever y 31 adults, or 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control

Racial Disparities in Incarceration

  • African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population
  • African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites
  • Together, African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population
  • According to Unlocking America, if African American and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates of whites, today’s prison and jail populations would decline by approximately 50%
  • One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime
  • 1 in 100 African American women are in prison
  • Nationwide, African-Americans represent 26% of juvenile arrests, 44% of youth who are detained, 46% of the youth who are judicially waived to criminal court, and 58% of the youth admitted to state prisons (Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice).

Drug Sentencing Disparities

  • About 14 million Whites and 2.6 million African Americans report using an illicit drug
  • 5 times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites
  • African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense.
  • African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months). (Sentencing Project)

Contributing Factors

  • Inner city crime prompted by social and economic isolation
  • Crime/drug arrest rates: African Americans represent 12% of monthly drug users, but comprise 32% of persons arrested for drug possession
  • “Get tough on crime” and “war on drugs” policies
  • Mandatory minimum sentencing, especially disparities in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine possession
  • In 2002, blacks constituted more than 80% of the people sentenced under the federal crack cocaine laws and served substantially more time in prison for drug offenses than did whites, despite that fact that more than 2/3 of crack cocaine users in the U.S. are white or Hispanic
  • “Three Strikes”/habitual offender policies
  • Zero Tolerance policies as a result of perceived problems of school violence; adverse affect on black children.
  • 35% of black children grades 7-12 have been suspended or expelled at some point in their school careers compared to 20% of Hispanics and 15% of whites

Effects of Incarceration

  • Jail reduces work time of young people over the next decade by 25-30 percent when compared with arrested youths who were not incarcerated
  • Jails and prisons are recognized as settings where society’s infectious diseases are highly concentrated
  • Prison has not been proven as a rehabilitation for behavior, as two-thirds of prisoners will reoffend

Exorbitant Cost of Incarceration: Is it Worth It?

  • About $70 billion dollars are spent on corrections yearly
  • Prisons and jails consume a growing portion of the nearly $200 billion we spend annually on public safety

New slavery leaves hurriedly with the truth by not leaving enough time for critical analysis of what is really going on here. New slavery makes mad money from the mastered misery of black men in the prison industrial complex. Where does it end?  One would think the system is unsustainable, but the fact of the matter is that they will just keep on building more and more prisons in order to accommodate the anticipated infusion of more free labor.

The war on drugs is actually a war on people, with Black Men as the prime unending human resource of free labor to make not just license plates, but everything from books, lingerie, picnic tables, park benches, military jackets, Ikea store products, canoes, baseball caps, blue jeans and even one prison in Illinois have inmates roasting coffee beans for a private company.

They earn anywhere from pennies a day to minimum wage, and for someone who will be incarcerated for thirty years to life that is a tremendous profit dollar margin for a corporation doing business with the penal system. Pay an inmate .25 cents a day having him make products that you will sell for $10.00 to $1000.00

It’s got to stop with the re-awakening of the Black Man to the complex trap that is conveniently set for us in the form of drugs in our community.  Otherwise, as Richard Pryor said, when we go to court looking for justice…that’s all were going to find ~ Is Just-Us.

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truthful perceptions: children

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This past week I read the most horrific news of a man in Colorado, who posted a picture on Facebook he took holding his one year old baby girl, right before taking her life using a gun.  Is there injustice, yes. Is there the constant thread of man’s inhumanity to man, Woman, Children, Animals, the Planet and eventually not just the exploration of Space, but the inevitable exploitation of it too, yes, there is and will be.

This irrationality of behavior is far from the things of God and the purpose of love, which are sadly forsaken for the cause of greed, the existence of fear and the illusion of power.  For greed has never created one human being to be loved, fear has never freed one soul and lust for power pushes men ever further from the divine design of compassion.

Domestic violence and all of its devious tentacles is an insidious virus of the human condition, continuing to morph into the most hideous of all earthly creatures. More and more men are now killing the children of their victims of abuse, as a form of punishment against the Mothers. This has got to stop.

Stories come in from all over the country: In Grifton NC. A man kills his 3 yr. old son with a gun in front of the Mother wounding her soul in ways no physical blow can.  In San Jose CA a man kills his three children in a fit of anger to punish the Mother.  The most recent happened in Colorado with a man who shot a toddler in the head, (who incidentally had just learned how to walk) because he wanted to punish the Mother for leaving him, stating that if he can’t have her, no one else will.

Using children as weapons against Mothers is the worst demonstration of greed, existence of fear and the illusion of power a man could ever manifest.  Whether it became a spontaneous last minute tactic brought on by an argument, or a nuclear option you decided to implement after feeling you’re losing the control you’ve had over the Mother for so many years.

Abusing a Woman through killing her child is the lowest level of manhood and the highest form of cowardice you will be forever known for. Deep down as a Man you know this to be true, as this contradicts and presents the complete opposite of why you are divinely blessed to be a Father.  In this case opposites are not attractive.

As a man, if you’ve ever come to this level of thinking then now is the time for you to truly seek the help that is available for you.  No matter where you are, please look into the National Resources listed below to find the someone to talk to in your area.

Just remember there is an answer to every anguish in your soul and a solution to every shadow in your life, but you have to fight to obtain the peace and dignity we all deserve, especially the children.

http://www.thehotline.org/

http://www.menstoppingviolence.org/

truthful perceptions: faker

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Zimmerman is back in the news once again. Were it not for wondering how the parents of Trayvon Martin are feeling about this, I wouldn’t waste my time and thoughts in writing about this latest incident. Seems George is once again displaying the true nature of who and what he is. Unraveling himself before the public eye to the cowardice his lack of anger management warrants.

He is a murderer set free to kill again and it is only a matter of time before he does.  The whole judicial process and courtroom fiasco we all witnessed and will never forget during his trial. His defense lawyers passionately and successfully attempted to paint this man as some sort of misunderstood hero vigilante is what irks me and continues to get under my skin.

Prosecuting Trayvon and criminalizing him with innuendos and inferences to what antics he may or may not have done as an adolescent was bad enough, but to then paint Zimmerman as some sort of paragon of virtue hell bent on protecting his community from the outer elements of criminals was even worse. For it is becoming quite clear this murderer will inevitably kill again.

His affinity to guns and an unchecked psychological dysfunction practically guarantees it.  Instead of doing time in a maximum security or a hospital for the criminally insane, his acquittal served to only bolster and validate his inner demons that he is right to take out his gun and kill anyone who challenges him.

He is a taker of innocent human life and a faker as a man. We in the Black community have seen this time and time again where murderers of our people, especially our children can “legally” get away with their heinous acts, and later on either confess to their crime(s) as in the case of Emmitt Till’s murderers J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, or be legally vindicated like a Geo. Zimmerman.

Yet this time it will be only a matter of time until Zimmerman kills again, and given his current track record of domestic violence, the victim will ironically be of the same race and gender as those who acquitted him. A white woman. Perhaps another girlfriend of whom will be as defenseless as Trayvon was against a loaded gun.

Whether from some sick desire of self-aggrandizement to be in the media spotlight or out of some twisted form of self guilt to find absolution, he will pull the trigger again. This time as a faker of a man, the life he takes will inevitably and some say rightfully be his own.