““More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Alexander, an Ohio State law professor, recently told listeners at the Pasadena Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union….” Quote taken from article written March 2011 regarding stats in Michelle Alexander’s book>
Alexander’s seminal book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” argues that prisons have become the latest form of economic and social disenfranchisement for young folks 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? <
~For those that are just tuning IN..I’m utilizing the month of Black History Month to talk about Black specific topics that the masses either a. On a grand scale don’t want to think/talk about because “not” being aware is easier than dealing with reality b. Far too busy with their lives to worry about the lives of the future generation c. Just don’t care d. prefer to keep their heads in the sand and just tend to “self” e. don’t READ therefore honestly miss what goes on in the world around them. f. Are aware and are raising well-grounded /well-taught children/mentoring/outreach to the at-risk community, etc g. Did I leave anyone out? Bottom line IS there is no time like the present; especially Black History Month to talk about some of “tougher” topics regarding Black America. What better place than in an environment that receives 402 MILLION readers of 4.1 BILLION pages a month? WordPress. A site I love dearly! A site I didn’t even know how to navigate on a mere 3 months ago when I began here…I’m cognizant with EVERY single keystroke that my words here are a carbon print that will last forever…I don’t take that lightly. Now back 2 the topic at hand. I’m going to post a few alarming statistics and attempt to give this topic the due JUSTice it deserves…
Let that sink in for a minute into every pore of your being..
**The way I see IT is pretty simple. Any time you’ve got more people IN the penal system; than IN college(or in the education system period…) that surrounding/environment/society/and in this case an ENTIRE race/class/segment of society will suffer in a negative manner. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. And I’m far from being that..nevertheless as a Black Mother/Ma/Moms/Mom myself I’m beyond concerned about this issue. Even from the viewpoint of being an American citizen, born & bred & LOVE my country ’tis of thee I’m frightened when I see the statistics. As a former state prison employee I cried MANY a tear seeing upclose and personal the young Black youth behind bars. Just weeped uncontrollably..mayhaps because I’m aware of the atrocious things that happen in prison is yet another reason I feel as I do. IF the current trend continues 1 out of EVERY 3 Black male adults will spend some time IN prison. I’m sorry folks but I see that as a reason to be alarmed..
Did you KNOW? That when many surveys are taken by government agencies they “exclude” the people from prison population from their research & findings?!? When they’re added back into the equation it dramatically alters the picture of the status of ..Black America. It isn’t a pretty picture. Over half of the 2.3 million people in American prisons are; BLACK. Even on a good day folks; how can that be a good thing? Just keep in mind there are NO good days behind bars..
DISCLAIMER: I’m NOT an advocate nor user of drugs. Nor am I saying that folks who break the law shouldn’t be PUNISHED..nonetheless there is a blatant “grey area” that mayhaps needs 2 be considered. <<<<
The question that BEGS to be answered is=WHY ARE SO MANY BLACK MEN LOCKED UP IN AMERICA? Well lets consider the war on drugs for a minute. By itself; the war on drugs has affected Black communities far more than others. Would you agree? There are increased arrests of Blacks for NON-violent offenses and yet…”There is NO evidence that drug use is dramatically different by race or ethnicity; but the pattern of arrests is very different. ” Quote from Ernest Drucker. Author of ‘A Plaque of Prisons’ Let that sink in for a minute…
Is it ANY small wonder, given the above happenstances, that as of Dec. 2012 ..a whopping 72% of Black American children are being raised in SINGLE parent homes?!? The media hypes up only the parts they like & dilute(or totally delete) the background info…yet! there is no excuse with the Internet ya’ll can’t do due diligence to find out the REAL scoop behind the scoop. What can WE do to stop this cycle ? My humble opinion is quite more than is being done on a grand scale..Often times when something seems SO monumental folks don’t know how or where to begin. The way I see it one by one we can do our part in various ways..Educate, educate, educate. For the remaining parents out there link UP together to raise YOUR children! Stop letting the boob tube, the internet, or their friends raise them…It is a parents JOB to arm a child with whatever they need to become PROductive good human beings. Don’t take on the task of being a parent if you’re not going to do the JOB. It is the most important JOB on the planet. Exclamation mark. Period..Far more than brand names clothes & overpriced tennis shoes children need guidance/discipline/and TONS of love. For folks who don’t have children mentor someone else’s. Even more so these days it truly takes a VILLAGE. My eldest son, who has NO children of his own AND is wrapping up his P H D, is presently going through the Big Brother interview process..to become a Big Brother. That is on top of his terribly busy schedule and mentoring his 2 younger brothers(my sons..) IF we all took on some small part to lend a hand; certainly the change can be great. At least that is the way I see it..