interesting read, your thoughts pls

In 2015, it is socially unacceptable to say, "I hate black people." The public crucifixions of social giants such as Donald Sterling, Paula Dean and most recently, Hulk Hogan prove this to be true.

It is O.K., on the other hand, to say "I hate criminals." As a matter of fact, we are encouraged to do so. As a society we are taught to scold, ostracize and dehumanize those shackled by our criminal justice system. We as a nation are taught to hate criminals. This is seen through the denial of ones child to play with the kid of a felon, or the public shame of speaking about a family member who has been captured by jailers,.

Today, sadly, the terms "black" and "criminal" have become synonymous. Two terms that can be used almost interchangeably when discussing individuals who are denied the rights of human decency.

Whether intentional or not, the American criminal justice system has been used to create a new racial caste system, a phrase used to describe a stigmatized racial group locked into an inferior position by law and custom.

As many of you may know, I am a 23-year-old black male living in Chicago. The Windy City is a metropolis considered to be one of our nation's most diverse cities. It has birthed black police chiefs, black mayors, and it is even home to our first black president. Despite the black accolades of this sumptuous city, as a young black male I can't escape the racial caste system that is designed to put me behind bars.

Let me show you what it would be like for someone with my demographics to grow up in Chicago, the heart of America's apartheid.

According to The Chicago Urban League, as a black male born in Chicago my chances of becoming a convicted felon at some point in my life is above 50%. This means that currently more than half of Chicago's adult black male population is either a felon or an ex-felon. Considering the south-side of Chicago is home to the overwhelming majority of black Chicagoans, my future would be subjected to failing school systems, poverty stricken neighborhoods and a criminal justice system that is awaiting my ordained arrival.

After being dragged through an underfunded school district, I am more likely to go to prison than to college. This should surprise no one considering that the Crime and Justice Index revealed that in 2001 there were 20,000 more black men in the Illinois state prison system than enrolled in the state's public universities.

My community is invaded with militarized police around the clock, SWAT cars becoming the most recognizable vehicle on my street. Strangers sporting white, black, and blue uniforms become the white washed faces that I am now accustomed to seeing barging through the front doors of my neighbors' homes. It is only a matter of time before the criminal justice system finally welcomes me as the newest member of its growing family.

According to the Report of the Illinois Study Commission, the greatest reason for the imprisonment of black Chicagoans is a class D felony (the lowest level felony) better known as a drug possession charge. If I were to go to jail for a class D felony there is little to no freedom upon my release.

In Chicago, similar to most American cities, ex-offenders are forbidden or parlously restricted from employment in a large number of professions due to rules and practices that discriminate against potential employees with felony records. I have also lost my right to seek public housing, to apply for other public assistance such as welfare, I can't serve on a jury of my peers and I have lost my right to vote. Now, I am officially labeled a second class citizen. Similar to my cotton-picking ancestors, I am also not deemed a full person.

"But Brandon, don't blacks commit crimes at a higher rate than white people? Isn't that the reason why there is more police force in black communities? Isn't that the reason why 90% of those sentenced to prison for a drug offense in Illinois are black?"

Data from "The Sentencing Project" shows that there is little to no difference in the rate of crimes committed between blacks and whites, especially on the basis of drugs and non-violent crimes.

This very fact is evidence of our nation's legalized discrimination through mass incarceration. Are you willing to argue the fact that white people do not use illegal drugs?

Why are cops not invading suburban homes confiscating housewives' "prescription" pills? Why are SWAT teams not bursting open the lockers of Chicago's top (predominantly white) high schools searching for "Pot" on a day to day basis? Why are the police not imprisoning, by the hundreds of thousands, "Pot smoking, weed selling frat boys"? Why does the media portray black drug users as "crackheads" but white drug users as "experimenting"?

As a black male in Chicago, I find it hard for one to argue that the criminal justice system has not been used unfairly and unjustly to discriminate against black people and to outcast them from society. We must admit that because of race we become complacent to what happens to "those people." We must not forget majority of white people who supported slavery and jim Crow were not evil; they were just blind.

It is all of our responsibility to make sure that our nation is based upon a structure that is just and fair to all instead of some. W.E.B. Du Bois said it best, "the burden belongs to the nation, and the hands of none of us are clean if we bend not our energies to righting these great wrongs."
 

Lucianite

Registered User
Interesting article and I think we should strive for. Fair justice system amd remove the existing disparities as the author presents
But based on some discussions on here some will posit that it is incumbent upon black people to not commit crimes
And there will no need to cry about injustice
 
Interesting article and I think we should strive for. Fair justice system amd remove the existing disparities as the author presents
But based on some discussions on here some will posit that it is incumbent upon black people to not commit crimes
And there will no need to cry about injustice
I curious to knwo how you propose to do what I bolded. The system was designed this way. So how can those who have no influence over the system, strive for a fair justice system and how can they possibly remove existing disparities?

Doesnt make sense to me?
 

Lucianite

Registered User
I curious to knwo how you propose to do what I bolded. The system was designed this way. So how can those who have no influence over the system, strive for a fair justice system and how can they possibly remove existing disparities?

Doesn't make sense to me?
deconstruct the system that was constructed/designed !

you can challenge the system and build/ create your own system.. as you stated create influence over the system....

there have been some injustices that have been removed via challenges to the system....

its not a simple answer that i can provide.

deconstructing white supremacy ideology - this would be #1 step towards removing the current injustice.

what are yoour thoughts on the article ?
 
With relation to 'us' the system has been put in place to enforce white supremacy all be it behind the illusion of justice. The police brutality, mass incarcerations etc - that is what the system was put in place for. Remember, mass incarcerations took over wher slavery left of, it is not a coincidence. So by definition, there is nothing wrong with the system, it is working exactly how it has been designed to.

I dont think the answer to the problem lies within the sytem. I think the answer relies in the community developing its own system and seperating from the white supremacy infrastructure.
 

Lucianite

Registered User
Is it really the system or it's the individual?
It's not always one OR the other

if a person addresses the system then there is the accusation that one is playing victim or " blaming"

Personal responsibility cannot be overstated
But the system also has to be understood and challenged .
 

jamaicangirl

Boonoonoonoos
Post is way too long.
I did read it though....

My comments to the bolded:
- Criminals ostracize themselves by choosing to ignore rules that are created to keep social harmony. Their are not dehumanized. They (some of them) behave in an inhuman and inhumane way.
- Criminal activity is usually a choice. There are rare exceptions. In other words, nothing that you list is a reason to become a criminal. Poverty in the USA cannot compare to poverty in places like India or Burundi. This is just an excuse. Crime is lower in poorer countries than it is here. Let the criminal justice system wait in vain. They can wait. We do not have to show up!
-Bad schools are certainly a problem. I agree that it contributes to many of society's evils.
-Drug crimes are not minor crimes. I agree 100% with harsh persecution of people involved in the drug trade. I also believe that it is appropriate to limit their employment unless they were children at the time of the minor crime. Involvement with drugs shows me that a potential employee is weak, disregards laws and rules, has no self control, is likely to commit additional crimes and has very poor decision-making skills. None of these traits are appealing to me as an employer.
- I believe that someone who CHOOSES to commit a crime should not be eligible to vote. Maybe we should have people who molest children vote to make that legal, right? I also do not understand why they should choose to disregard the laws of society and then desire to benefit from public benefits of that same society.
-Everyone knows that whites commit as many or more crimes as Blacks. I think that most of the people that I know who use drugs are white. No one can argue with that. The fact that everyone knows that America is a racist country is the reason why BLACKS SHOULD NOT COMMIT ANY CRIMES AT ALL. We will always be arrested and imprisoned more than whites. Why don't we stop all criminal activity so that the whites have nothing to do but arrest other whites. There will still be a few false arrests of Blacks but it will be nothing compared to what exists now when people who look like us are ACTIVELY CHOOSING to participate in illegal activities.
-I do not think that people who supported Jim Crow or Slavery were blind. They knew that it was wrong. They were evil.
-The statement that we are responsible for making sure our nation is true but we can only do that when we invade the police force, army, government, schools, hospitals, courts, loan offices, etc. with Black people. The country is founded on racism and is racist by design. We are a minority (not even the largest one at that) so the only thing that we can do is be powerful, good, educated, successful and stop participating in any of the behaviors that keep us where we are now.


In 2015, it is socially unacceptable to say, "I hate black people." The public crucifixions of social giants such as Donald Sterling, Paula Dean and most recently, Hulk Hogan prove this to be true.

It is O.K., on the other hand, to say "I hate criminals." As a matter of fact, we are encouraged to do so. As a society we are taught to scold, ostracize and dehumanize those shackled by our criminal justice system. We as a nation are taught to hate criminals. This is seen through the denial of ones child to play with the kid of a felon, or the public shame of speaking about a family member who has been captured by jailers,.

Today, sadly, the terms "black" and "criminal" have become synonymous. Two terms that can be used almost interchangeably when discussing individuals who are denied the rights of human decency.

Whether intentional or not, the American criminal justice system has been used to create a new racial caste system, a phrase used to describe a stigmatized racial group locked into an inferior position by law and custom.

As many of you may know, I am a 23-year-old black male living in Chicago. The Windy City is a metropolis considered to be one of our nation's most diverse cities. It has birthed black police chiefs, black mayors, and it is even home to our first black president. Despite the black accolades of this sumptuous city, as a young black male I can't escape the racial caste system that is designed to put me behind bars.

Let me show you what it would be like for someone with my demographics to grow up in Chicago, the heart of America's apartheid.

According to The Chicago Urban League, as a black male born in Chicago my chances of becoming a convicted felon at some point in my life is above 50%. This means that currently more than half of Chicago's adult black male population is either a felon or an ex-felon. Considering the south-side of Chicago is home to the overwhelming majority of black Chicagoans, my future would be subjected to failing school systems, poverty stricken neighborhoods and a criminal justice system that is awaiting my ordained arrival.

After being dragged through an underfunded school district, I am more likely to go to prison than to college. This should surprise no one considering that the Crime and Justice Index revealed that in 2001 there were 20,000 more black men in the Illinois state prison system than enrolled in the state's public universities.

My community is invaded with militarized police around the clock, SWAT cars becoming the most recognizable vehicle on my street. Strangers sporting white, black, and blue uniforms become the white washed faces that I am now accustomed to seeing barging through the front doors of my neighbors' homes. It is only a matter of time before the criminal justice system finally welcomes me as the newest member of its growing family.

According to the Report of the Illinois Study Commission, the greatest reason for the imprisonment of black Chicagoans is a class D felony (the lowest level felony) better known as a drug possession charge. If I were to go to jail for a class D felony there is little to no freedom upon my release.

In Chicago, similar to most American cities, ex-offenders are forbidden or parlously restricted from employment in a large number of professions due to rules and practices that discriminate against potential employees with felony records. I have also lost my right to seek public housing, to apply for other public assistance such as welfare, I can't serve on a jury of my peers and I have lost my right to vote. Now, I am officially labeled a second class citizen. Similar to my cotton-picking ancestors, I am also not deemed a full person.

"But Brandon, don't blacks commit crimes at a higher rate than white people? Isn't that the reason why there is more police force in black communities? Isn't that the reason why 90% of those sentenced to prison for a drug offense in Illinois are black?"

Data from "The Sentencing Project" shows that there is little to no difference in the rate of crimes committed between blacks and whites, especially on the basis of drugs and non-violent crimes.

This very fact is evidence of our nation's legalized discrimination through mass incarceration. Are you willing to argue the fact that white people do not use illegal drugs?

Why are cops not invading suburban homes confiscating housewives' "prescription" pills? Why are SWAT teams not bursting open the lockers of Chicago's top (predominantly white) high schools searching for "Pot" on a day to day basis? Why are the police not imprisoning, by the hundreds of thousands, "Pot smoking, weed selling frat boys"? Why does the media portray black drug users as "crackheads" but white drug users as "experimenting"?

As a black male in Chicago, I find it hard for one to argue that the criminal justice system has not been used unfairly and unjustly to discriminate against black people and to outcast them from society. We must admit that because of race we become complacent to what happens to "those people." We must not forget majority of white people who supported slavery and jim Crow were not evil; they were just blind.

It is all of our responsibility to make sure that our nation is based upon a structure that is just and fair to all instead of some. W.E.B. Du Bois said it best, "the burden belongs to the nation, and the hands of none of us are clean if we bend not our energies to righting these great wrongs."
 
Post is way too long.
I did read it though....

My comments to the bolded:
- Criminals ostracize themselves by choosing to ignore rules that are created to keep social harmony. Their are not dehumanized. They (some of them) behave in an inhuman and inhumane way.
- Criminal activity is usually a choice. There are rare exceptions. In other words, nothing that you list is a reason to become a criminal. Poverty in the USA cannot compare to poverty in places like India or Burundi. This is just an excuse. Crime is lower in poorer countries than it is here. Let the criminal justice system wait in vain. They can wait. We do not have to show up!
-Bad schools are certainly a problem. I agree that it contributes to many of society's evils.
-Drug crimes are not minor crimes. I agree 100% with harsh persecution of people involved in the drug trade. I also believe that it is appropriate to limit their employment unless they were children at the time of the minor crime. Involvement with drugs shows me that a potential employee is weak, disregards laws and rules, has no self control, is likely to commit additional crimes and has very poor decision-making skills. None of these traits are appealing to me as an employer.
- I believe that someone who CHOOSES to commit a crime should not be eligible to vote. Maybe we should have people who molest children vote to make that legal, right? I also do not understand why they should choose to disregard the laws of society and then desire to benefit from public benefits of that same society.
-Everyone knows that whites commit as many or more crimes as Blacks. I think that most of the people that I know who use drugs are white. No one can argue with that. The fact that everyone knows that America is a racist country is the reason why BLACKS SHOULD NOT COMMIT ANY CRIMES AT ALL. We will always be arrested and imprisoned more than whites. Why don't we stop all criminal activity so that the whites have nothing to do but arrest other whites. There will still be a few false arrests of Blacks but it will be nothing compared to what exists now when people who look like us are ACTIVELY CHOOSING to participate in illegal activities.
-I do not think that people who supported Jim Crow or Slavery were blind. They knew that it was wrong. They were evil.
-The statement that we are responsible for making sure our nation is true but we can only do that when we invade the police force, army, government, schools, hospitals, courts, loan offices, etc. with Black people. The country is founded on racism and is racist by design. We are a minority (not even the largest one at that) so the only thing that we can do is be powerful, good, educated, successful and stop participating in any of the behaviors that keep us where we are now.
To a certain extent I believe you have missed the point. This is not about trying to justify criminality. This is about the disproportionate way certain communities are targeted for crimes while others aren't.

So to be specific,

its not about wether criminals ostracise themselves, wether they choose to be criminals etc. Its about clear and blatant double standards.

Her is an example in the UK. A banker is spared jail because it would ruin his career. Blacks are put in jail with the specific intention of ruining their careers/lives.
Edward Drew who glassed Hanish Lodhia spared jail because 'it would ruin his career' | Metro News
 

Lucianite

Registered User
It's not always one OR the other

if a person addresses the system then there is the accusation that one is playing victim or " blaming"

Personal responsibility cannot be overstated
But the system also has to be understood and challenged .
To a certain extent I believe you have missed the point. This is not about trying to justify criminality. This is about the disproportionate way certain communities are targeted for crimes while others aren't.

So to be specific,

its not about whether criminals ostracise themselves, whether they choose to be criminals etc. Its about clear and blatant double standards.

Her is an example in the UK. A banker is spared jail because it would ruin his career. Blacks are put in jail with the specific intention of ruining their careers/lives.
Edward Drew who glassed Hanish Lodhia spared jail because 'it would ruin his career' | Metro News
I called it before Jamaicangirl did it .....never fails that when the issues or cause and effect is discussed that people MISTAKENLY think that one is trying to "justify crime or make EXCUSES"
 
I called it before Jamaicangirl did it .....never fails that when the issues or cause and effect is discussed that people MISTAKENLY think that one is trying to "justify crime or make EXCUSES"
Yep yep, one of the distractions we use to avoid facing the actual problem.

Is it to do with self hate? - blaming 'ourselves' for things we have no control over?

Or is it just more of the social conditioning that prevents us from having the balls to question anything that the system cosigns?
 
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