Bought And Paid For

I have been wondering for a long time why the Black Community supports the drug war, which is doing so much damage to that community. My old friend Cliff Thornton provides an answer. Cliff comes at politics from a Green point of view, but he is spot on about this one.

Racism, classism, and the war on drugs are inextricably parts of one huge lie, one cannot address one part effectively without addressing the other. This is not a war on drugs but a war on poor people, primarily people of color. I can talk about the race issue, which is well documented and blacks as usual are the perceived primary pariahs, but what I want to talk about is the burgeoning class separation. The religious community has always been the backbone of the black community. We have seen this through out our history with slavery, segregation and the civil rights movement. Why are they (black politicians, preachers and leaders) bemoaning racial profiling and not the war on drugs, when racial profiling is a direct result of the drug war? Why are they not talking about AIDS and that the war on drugs is the primary culprit for the spread of this incurable disease in their communities? Why do they have this dumb look on their faces when you mention that intravenous drug users, through homosexual and heterosexual encounters are the primary conveyers of AIDS in prisons and our communities? Is it because the religious community is tied to local, state and federal funding and the authorities forbid discussion? Is it because they have become employers and employees of the drug war through rehabilitation centers and drug counseling etc.? Is it because they have become gatekeepers where their prosperity depends on not solving the drug problem but perpetuating it?
I really had no idea that Black ministers were colluding in the destruction of their own people for money. What self delusion it must take to keep "helping".

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 09.25.07 at 01:30 PM










Comments


"If one does not understand racism, classism, white privilege, terrorism, and the war on drugs--what these terms mean--how these concepts work, then everything else you do understand will only confuse you"

Clifford W. Thornton, Jr.   ·  September 25, 2007 1:40 PM

"Black community?" => All blacks think alike.

Where is the "white community?" Do all whites think alike? Hillary and Bush think alike, so perhaps you are correct.

Skin color makes the man.


anonymous   ·  September 25, 2007 11:52 PM

Anon,

You will pardon the short hand. Think of it as equivalent to saying that the Black Community supports Democrats. Which is 80% to 90% true in most cases (when the support falls of it is in the 60% range).

M. Simon   ·  September 26, 2007 1:52 AM

These are the facts--question becomes, what are we going to do about it. If whites were imprisoned at the rate of drug use and sale we would not be having this conversation because there would be armed insurection in the streets.

Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jul 2007
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 2007 New Haven Register
Contact: letters@nhregister.com
Website: http://www.nhregister.com
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/292
Author: Maria Garriga, Register Staff
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/find?199 (Mandatory Minimum Sentencing)


BLACKS, HISPANICS IMPRISONED IN LARGER NUMBERS THAN WHITES, REPORT SAYS

Blacks in Connecticut are jailed at more than 12 times the rate of whites, and Hispanics nearly seven times the white rate, according to a study released Wednesday by a criminal justice policy group.

The study shows that Connecticut has one of the greatest disparities in the nation in incarceration rates. Blacks are incarcerated 5.6 times the rate as whites nationally.

Hispanic men in Connecticut are incarcerated at 6.6 times the rate of whites, the largest disparity in the nation. Nationally, the rate is 1.8.

The study by the Washington, D.C., nonprofit advocacy group The Sentencing Project also shows that Connecticut incarcerates whites at a lower rate than the national average, according to the report.

"The national figures are disturbing, with African Americans incarcerated at six times the rate of whites and Connecticut has twice that rate," said Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project.

Put another way, the national ratios suggest that out of every 100,000 whites, 412 are incarcerated; out of every 100,000 blacks, 2,290 are incarcerated; and out of every 100,000 Hispanics, 742 are incarcerated.

In Connecticut, out of every 100,000 whites, 211 are incarcerated; out of every 100,000 blacks, 2,532 are jailed; out of every 100,000 Hispanics, 1,401 are in prison.

"If you are black and born in Connecticut, you are more likely to be incarcerated," Mauer said.

He said minorities were less likely to have the resources to avoid prison when charged with a crime. "It's not that wealthy people don't commit crimes. They can afford better defense attorneys and pay for treatment programs," he said.

Out of the nation's 2.2 million prisoners, 900,000 are black. The study concluded that if current trends continue, one in every three black men and one in six Hispanic men can expect to spend time in prison.

Study authors used 2005 statistics from the federal Bureau of Justice for the report.

Connecticut officials did not dispute the study findings.

"The Department of Corrections has no control over who is placed in our custody, that is decided by the courts," said Brian Garnett, Department of Correction director of external affairs. "Our commissioner has said for some time she is very concerned about the disparity and over-representation of people of color in our correctional system."

Garnett said the DOC tries to boost literacy rates and employable skill levels among prisoners to reduce the probability that they will return to prison.

The National Center for Education Statistics in May released a report indicating that illiteracy is one of the most common factors among prisoners.

Officials said the disparity is not due to discrimination in the courts.

"Our judges are color blind. The problem is gangs. A lot of this is gang- and drug-related," said Chief Judge William J. Lavery, chief court administrator in Connecticut.

Lavery said a new law that directs some criminals age 16 and 17 into the juvenile system instead of the adult corrections system should help the problem.

"Many of them are young, and by diverting folks at a younger age to a juvenile system where they can get more services, we hope we can divert them from the penal system," Lavery said.

As part of that initiative, the legislature added funding for five judges, six mental health workers, and additional interpreters, clerks and marshals to absorb the increased numbers of juveniles.

Lavery credited Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven, and Sen. Toni Harp, D-New Haven, with the expansion of the juvenile system to include older teens.

"They are the guiding light and propelling force on this substantive change in state law. This is real change," Lavery said.

Walker agreed that the new program could reduce the racial disparity in prisons.

"We're blaming the victims and creating the problem. We are quick to build prisons but we are not willing to spend the money to prevent kids from going there in the first place," she said. "There's no way most low income youth can get mental health services until they are touched by the police. That tells you a lot. You need to put money into services that mend families and into mental health services."

"The General Assembly has recognized there are concerns with sentencing in this state and as a result established a sentencing task force," said Mark Dupuis, spokesman for Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane, who oversees state prosecutors. "The task force will be undertaking a comprehensive study of all the issues and we are actively involved in that process."

Blacks in Connecticut are jailed at more than 12 times the rate of whites, and Hispanics nearly seven times the white rate, according to a study released Wednesday by a criminal justice policy group.

The study shows that Connecticut has one of the greatest disparities in the nation in incarceration rates. Blacks are incarcerated 5.6 times the rate as whites nationally.

Hispanic men in Connecticut are incarcerated at 6.6 times the rate of whites, the largest disparity in the nation. Nationally, the rate is 1.8.

The study by the Washington, D.C., nonprofit advocacy group The Sentencing Project also shows that Connecticut incarcerates whites at a lower rate than the national average, according to the report.

"The national figures are disturbing, with African Americans incarcerated at six times the rate of whites and Connecticut has twice that rate," said Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project.

Put another way, the national ratios suggest that out of every 100,000 whites, 412 are incarcerated; out of every 100,000 blacks, 2,290 are incarcerated; and out of every 100,000 Hispanics, 742 are incarcerated.

In Connecticut, out of every 100,000 whites, 211 are incarcerated; out of every 100,000 blacks, 2,532 are jailed; out of every 100,000 Hispanics, 1,401 are in prison.

"If you are black and born in Connecticut, you are more likely to be incarcerated," Mauer said.

He said minorities were less likely to have the resources to avoid prison when charged with a crime. "It's not that wealthy people don't commit crimes. They can afford better defense attorneys and pay for treatment programs," he said.

Out of the nation's 2.2 million prisoners, 900,000 are black. The study concluded that if current trends continue, one in every three black men and one in six Hispanic men can expect to spend time in prison.

Study authors used 2005 statistics from the federal Bureau of Justice for the report.

Connecticut officials did not dispute the study findings.

"The Department of Corrections has no control over who is placed in our custody, that is decided by the courts," said Brian Garnett, Department of Correction director of external affairs. "Our commissioner has said for some time she is very concerned about the disparity and over-representation of people of color in our correctional system."

Garnett said the DOC tries to boost literacy rates and employable skill levels among prisoners to reduce the probability that they will return to prison.

The National Center for Education Statistics in May released a report indicating that illiteracy is one of the most common factors among prisoners.

Officials said the disparity is not due to discrimination in the courts.

"Our judges are color blind. The problem is gangs. A lot of this is gang- and drug-related," said Chief Judge William J. Lavery, chief court administrator in Connecticut.

Lavery said a new law that directs some criminals age 16 and 17 into the juvenile system instead of the adult corrections system should help the problem.

"Many of them are young, and by diverting folks at a younger age to a juvenile system where they can get more services, we hope we can divert them from the penal system," Lavery said.

As part of that initiative, the legislature added funding for five judges, six mental health workers, and additional interpreters, clerks and marshals to absorb the increased numbers of juveniles.

Lavery credited Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven, and Sen. Toni Harp, D-New Haven, with the expansion of the juvenile system to include older teens.

"They are the guiding light and propelling force on this substantive change in state law. This is real change," Lavery said.

Walker agreed that the new program could reduce the racial disparity in prisons.

"We're blaming the victims and creating the problem. We are quick to build prisons but we are not willing to spend the money to prevent kids from going there in the first place," she said. "There's no way most low income youth can get mental health services until they are touched by the police. That tells you a lot. You need to put money into services that mend families and into mental health services."

"The General Assembly has recognized there are concerns with sentencing in this state and as a result established a sentencing task force," said Mark Dupuis, spokesman for Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane, who oversees state prosecutors. "The task force will be undertaking a comprehensive study of all the issues and we are actively involved in that process."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MAP posted-by: Steve Heath


Clifford W. Thornton, Jr.   ·  September 26, 2007 10:28 AM

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