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Cornel West, Angela Davis and Other Black Scholars Speak Up Against Mass Incarceration


by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, Cornel West and Marc Lamont Hill all gathered at the Riverside Baptist Church to call for an end to mass incarceration.  The US prison population has grown dramatically over the last three decades, and has had a disproportionate impact on the black American family.   Millions of us are affected, as our children are growing up without fathers, and women are having trouble finding adequate husbands.

The growth in the prison industrial complex has had an impact on the rate of STD transmission in the black community caused, in part, by reduced marital rates for women in their thirties, the spread of disease through prison rape, the imbalance in the black male and female populations, and many other factors.  It has led to a spike in youth violence from all the young people being raised without fathers.  It has also impacted the black unemployment rate, due to the disenfranchisement of men who can’t get jobs after serving time in the penitentiary.

The gathering of these outstanding scholars is an important step toward solving an important problem.  The prison problem has many of its roots in the structure of a capitalist society, which now finds that it’s clearly profitable to incarcerate as many people as possible.  Major corporations fill their coffers by charging exorbitant rates for families to speak with their loved ones or for inmates to buy the things they need.  Some companies are able to compete in a global labor market by using cheap prison labor, which is a dangerous addiction in a capitalist society.  The goal of shareholder wealth maximization in most capitalist models dictates that the final objective will be to put as many people in prison as we possibly can.

Finally , the prison torture issue should concern us as well.  There is nothing in a prison sentence that says a man deserves to be raped.  There is nothing that says that he/she should receive inadequate healthcare, unhealthy food or lose his rights to better his life through education.  We don’t want prisons that torture people to the point that they are worse human beings after they are released than they were when they were arrested.   The truth is that when we truly work to rehabilitate those who come home from prison, we are all better off as a result.  A short prison sentence should not be a life sentence for the inmate and his/family, but that is the mess that it’s become.

If he gets a second term, President Obama needs to put the mass incarceration epidemic on his short list of presidential priorities.  He’s stated that he agrees that the War on Drugs was a failure, and it’s time for him to put his money where his mouth is.  Our children need their parents to come back home, and many of the long sentences given during the 1980s for drug convictions should be commuted.  It’s time to end this national disaster altogether.

The video is below:

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. He also appears in the Janks Morton film “Hoodwinked.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

 

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  1. Huge amounts of tax dollars are spent to build and maintain PRISONS….instead of investing in fixing our schools, training people for new jobs…or in other services that help uplift people.
    When PRES. OBAMA put forth his AMERICAN JOBS ACT…. look how the Republicans fought against that !!! Shamefully, they did not vote to help create jobs fixing up the crumbling roads, bridges, dams or schools…or putting people to work. BUT THEY WILL INVEST IN having more police, jails and prisons. The PRISON SYSTEM has become “big business” as many politicians (such as Gov. Jan Brewer in AZ) have sought to “privatize” them…turn them into profit-making businesses. THE WAR ON DRUGS was connived years ago (when harsh drugs were brought into the coungry by politicians) — targeted at the Blacks.

    • As of 3:48 Central Time on 9/18/12 there were only 8 comments posted related to this very important issue. Couple of days ago a rodeo clown made a disparaging remark about FLOTUS Michelle Obama and 283 people found it necessary to respond. And people wonder why we’re dead last in everything except sports and entertainment.

      • @Big Will:

        Isn’t it amazing how negroids will comment on some bullshit, but when it comes to the REVOLUTION, they’re scared!

        I didn’t comment earlier, because I grew up IN THE MOVEMENT, and today; most of these leaders are ONLY TALKING…, BUT NO ACTION! Talking is out of the question today, WE NEED TO BOYCOTT…NOW! Enough of this talking on panels and what-have-you. WE NEED STRONG LEADERS to open up the minds of these weak thinking negroids.

        I’m tired of all this talking on the radio, tell-a-LIE-vision and other media outlets….IT’S TIME FOR ACTION…NOW!

        You have these helladays (holidays) coming up, and this could be the IDEAL time to BOYCOTT these caucasoid’s businesses. We can hurt them in their pockets, and then they will FEEL our economic power! I can’t do it by myself, and NOW is the time to UNITE and ORGANIZE to show these caucasoids we mean business!

        INSTEAD OF BUYING THESE “ELECTRONIC GADGETS”, NEGROIDS NEED TO BUY THEIR CHILDREN SOME BLACK OURstory BOOKS, AT A BLACK BOOKSTORE TO FEED THEIR MINDS!!!

        Angela Davis was a Rebel back in the day; now she teaches at a caucasoid university! I ain’t mad at her, but she can only say, and do so much….she can’t throw up the Black Power sign, or they’ll fire her! She is now being CONTROLLED by the very people she FOUGHT AGAINST!

        I KEEP TELLING Y’ALL, WE NEED SOME NEW LEADERSHIP. WE NEED WARRIORS, REBELS, FIGHTERS, AND REAL BLACK PEOPLE, WHO AIN’T SCARED TO SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT, AND PRACTICE WHAT THEY TEACH!

        I just re-applied to tutor our children, and TEACH them their True OURstory. I talk to these brothers on the streets, I help the senior citizens, and run errands for them; therefore, I’m doing my part!

        In closing:

        It’s time to stop patronizing these caucasoids, camel jocks, and slant eyed mongoloids. It’s time to STOP letting these entertainers, celebrities, news casters, bootlickers, screachas, and other ‘roll models’ dictate to us, who should be our LEADERS. These negroids today just ROLL over and let these foreigners treat them any kind of way.

        These negroids are so dumb founded; they let these yankees tell them, what color their god is, what he looks like, and what he better do for them!

        IT’S TIME FOR THESE negroids TO GET BACK TO BLACK…ASAP!!!

      • What an amazingly astute and profound comment! And you accomplished the exact same result as this perpetual gathering of “black scholars” at some random church, which is nothing! Black people are dead last in everything because they never take any real action to change it.

        Black people can throw together a summit or a gathering, come to a blog to talk about issues in the community but can never take any action. This endless yapping and talking has done absolutely nothing. And that’s why no one cares. These black leaders have proven to be all talk and no action. And as a result, no one takes them seriously.

        My generation is not as easily impressed by some self-appointed black leader with the word Reverend in front of their names. Our leaders have earned the right to be called a leader by taking action and making the change the want to see in their communities. Our leaders don’t just talk about being our fist black president they become the first black President.

        This gathering has changed nothing. It’s just more of the samen non-action black people are so good at.

  2. Ms. Miller I have been saying the same thing and yet we still have this issue. I don’t think people understand that we are(black people) are under attack and if we don’t wake up and see what’s going and try to change the way we think. I don’t know what’s going to happen next.

    • @Mr. Satchell:

      These new age slaves aka negroids are still in a coma, and they will NEVER wake up!!!

      I HATE TO SAY THIS, BUT JUST LOOK HOW THE REACT TO THE TRUTH!!!

      THEY’LL DEFEND A CRACKER, BEFORE DEFENDING THE TRUTH!

      • What a frightening thought that so many blacks are asleep while whites all around are protecting, looking out for and arming themselves. I find it hard to believe so many are wearing rose-colored glasses. My own relatives look at me like I’m crazy if I suggest we attend a rally about issues that concern all of us. I find the whole scenario damned depressing.

  3. READ THIS AND PASS IT ON!

    RIVATE PRISON MANAGEMENT COMPANY SEEK GUARANTEE 90% OCCUPANCY FROM STATES
    A Systematic History of Corporate Criminal Behavior and Negligence by Government to Fully Hold These Private Management Prison Companies Accountable. The Government is Unjust in it’s Prosecution of Prison Corporations and Executives when compared to Actions taken Against So Many Black Men in The Prison and Jails Industrial System…Due to Over-Reliance on Prison and Jails,as a Solution for Everything,We can’t Afford to Have a[$10billion] State Prison Budget and Hundreds of Millions Spent on Local Jails and Juvenile Halls without it Bankrupting Everything Else in Our Community…Statistics from The Pew Center on The States Revealed that in January This Year,there were More Than[1.6] Million Black People Imprisoned in The U.S. Texas Ranked Highest With a Rate of[171,249], California Followed With[161,413] and Florida With[103,915], and in Illinois There Were[45,161].”The Most Successful Educational Approach to The Negro,is Through a Religious Appeal.”We Don’t Want The World to go Out, that We Want to Exterminate The Negro Population.”This was a Tactic to Stop Blacks from Having Large Families…This was a Better Plan than The KKK. And it Worked Perfectly,Even Until Today.”The Abortion Industry is Another Form of Black Genocide,According to Documentaries,such as Maafa 21.”The 2010 Schott 50 State Report on Black Males in Public Education”Less than 50% Black Males Graduate from High School…It’s Not due to the Ability of Black Males Intellectual Abilities.”It indicates that Systemic Disparities Evident by Race,Social Class or Zip Codes are Influenced More by The Social Policies and Practices that We Put in Place to Distribute Educational Opportunities and Resources and Less by The Abilities of Black Males…This Trend Must be Reversed.

    • Unfortunately this Prison Industrial Complex was legalized and in operation since the Thirteenth Amendment was enacted, thereby answering the question which was pondered and resulted in the Civil War: Where will the institution of Slavery reside?

      “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

      Slavery was and is based upon economics. In the beginning it was about profit through free labor, now it is about profit through perpetual dependency.

      • PREACH GERALD, TELL IT LIKE IT IS!!!!!!

      • @Gerald Boswell: “Unfortunately this Prison Industrial Complex was legalized and in operation since the Thirteenth Amendment was enacted, thereby answering the question which was pondered and resulted in the Civil War: Where will the institution of Slavery reside?”
        ==============================

        Brother Boswell: caucasoids introduced slavery to the world, and were the FIRST to enslave their OWN PEOPLE in England!!!

        Caucasoids were the FIRST people to BUILD PRISONS and DUNGEONS in Afrika, in asia, in australia, in
        eu(rope), and in amerikkka.

        Caucasoid people in amerikkka have wealth, because they NEVER PAID the people that worked for them. These demon/devils were the FIRST group of greedy bastards, who set up the free land and free labor system OFF THE BACKS OF BLACK AFRIKAN PEOPLE!!!

        “Being Black is not a matter of pigmentation… being Black is a reflection of a mental attitude!”

        AGAIN: IT’S TIME TO GET BACK TO BLACK…ASAP

  4. Broken families and outdated relationship rules are the problem. But, the President our votes help to get elected, votes for measures that will disrupt our families. Vainly voting for Obama is insanity. I know what needs to be done concerning relationships in my book The Ten Relationship Rules For Family Power. Our people refuse to make the needed changes. We need to establish higher standards community-wide before we start families or have committed relationships.

  5. What can we all do from a grassroot position
    to turn this crisis around. We know the stats. We are
    aware of the disparities…..now what?

    • Yesm the question now is “What next?” I think most of us know about the problem. It has been growing for decades. And yet our black community seems unable to organize to do anything about it. I had thought that the publication of Michelle Alexander’s book would motivate the formation of some sort of organization. However, nothing has happened, apparently, except that she has spoken considerably often. It appears that the black community no longer exists as such and is incapable of any degree or organizing. This has become distressingly apparent since the election of President Barack Obama. Periodically someone will have a shout out but there is no organization that can present on a continuing basis the issues that are paramount to our survival and quality of life.

  6. It’s about damn time! Free our loved ones from enslavement. And especially for those behind bars for crimes they never committed in the FIRST damn place. And see that they get paid ROYALLY. You can never place a dollar amount on the lost of freedom therefore no amount will never be enough! But it should be allotted. It’s not fun being a mother of one male child put behind bars for a horrendous crime he never committed. Thank God is getting reveiwed after 13 long years! PRosecutors denied it but the federal judge overturned thier judgement. I ask for y our prayers to have my son freed in Jesus name! Amen.

  7. The majority of those men ended up in prison because they were leading a criminal lifestyle. Now, while the laws are biased and so are the cops and the judicial system, what we need to be concentrating on is keeping these men away from crime.

  8. The prison industrial complex is and has been a process by which to keep minorities within perpetual servitude to the government. There have been much blindness within the Black community and an adherence to such foolishness advocated by “entertainers” and admiration of these very same “entertainers” for no other reason than an envious desire to acquire the same wealth and riches that they have, but have proven through their own actions that they do not care to assist those who have assisted them in getting to where they are.

  9. I live in Detroit…last night a man shot and killed a girl and a guy sitting in a car then set the car on fire…that’s just ONE such story out of 350 so far in this city. So what, pray tell, if not prison…should we do with these people???!!! And everyone who has such strong feelings on this subject, would you feel the same if somebody hurt you…or your loved ones? There are mass incarcerations because there are mass amounts of ninjas out here doing crap. I wish we would STOP PLAYING THE VICTIM ROLE ALL THE TIME ON EVERY SUBJECT!!!

    • So, from accounts of people being concerned with mass incarceration (MI), you some how get the impression that we would be against sending someone who killed two people and then set them on fire to prison?? As someone who is very concerned about MI I can guarantee you that whomever is responsible for a murder such as this, or any other unjustifiable homicide, should be thrown in jail. That has nothing to do with the rediculous number of inmates in prisons for drug charges or insignificant charges. The fact that we are incarcerated at rates higher than whites who commit the same drug offenses at the same rate suggest a racial component that begs for someone in power to take a closer look at what is going on. You blow someone’s brains out…yes, you should go to prison. You sale someone drugs…I don’t believe your sentence should be on the same level (or in a lot of cases higher) than someone convicted for murder, rape, or molestation. No one is playing the victim. There is a true and powerful racist agenda behind MI that yes, we do sadly fall right in line with. But when you know something is wrong you should attempt to do something about it. That does not equate to wanting murderers running the street.

  10. A few days ago…also here in Detroit…4youths tried to carjack a 54 year old man at gunpoint…the man was carrying a pistol of his own and shot and killed one of the boys. I’m SURE his mom would have much rather him had gone to PRISON than the morgue

  11. I believe that mass incarceration was planned: to destroy the Black family by, first taking the father out of the family’s life. Now it has extended to jailing the Black woman and child. With a record, no family member can be meaningfully employed. Just as Michelle Alexander says in her book, “The New Jim Crow”, the the mass incarceration has created a caste system and once someone has been branded as a criminal, they are a second class citizen and the majority race feel that these persons do not deserve a job. Additionally, most companies violate the federal EEOC and labor laws by imposing lifetime bans on those with criminal records. Thee EEOC mandates state that the length of time since last offence should be one criteria. Also, the Fed government goes back only seven years since last offense and five years on any weapons charges.
    Obama should pardon all those who have been crime free and who have gone to school or made changes 7 years. He can only pardon those with fed records, but he should make some type of mandate for all states to do the same.

  12. Sorry for typos and grammatical errors…posting via phone…

  13. JOE!! :::::APPLAUSE::::::: Excellent posts.

  14. I definitely agree criminals should be prison and I like Joe hate the way we play the victim/race card all the time. I have a son in prison. I can’t even say he should not be in prison. What I will say is the FACT, if you are black or hispanic your sentence as compared to your white counterpart is going to be many, many years more. If you have to use a public defender, you would be better of representing yourself.

  15. Yeah, we should stop going to prison if they are going to treat us that way.

  16. The housing of inmates will inevitably cost more than the profit they produce ,the progress of the world will make that a certainty.
    The racism and bigotry that has been perpetrated on us for the
    hundreds of years will come back with vengeance, and retaliation,
    from those treated the worse, but now outnumber their tormentors.Let us pray that our country comes to its senses with
    out violence.We all inhabit the same house.Not rehabilitating the
    incarcerated will be the match that sets this house on fire.

  17. For all you change kool aid drinkers.Black’s got souled out so somebody could become the first so–called black person in the white house.To bad a vast % of black’s refuse to see this and just want to keep on voting for some fake lessers of the 2 evils.
    Instead of calling it mass incarceration. How about calling it what it really is. 21st century,reorganized slavery and genocide.
    While the mass numbers of black people and some of these so-called leaders were still living in the 60’s under the spell of the dream scheme that has turned into a full scale genocided,eugenics,population control nightmare for the poor masses. ole massa was making sure to keep black people stuck in a slave like outdated paradigm of slave like dependence.
    Reading some comments by Regina her and many other black parents men and women do not even realize that their kids were
    targeted to be miseducated,dumedbdown,turn into homothugs,killed off in the urban streets or just stacked like rats in these updated slave plantations private(wihite) owned and operated prisons.

    • @Peter D. Slaughter: “While the mass numbers of black people and some of these so-called leaders were still living in the 60′s under the spell of the dream scheme that has turned into a full scale genocided,eugenics,population control nightmare for the poor masses.”
      ===============================

      What these negroids don’t OVERstand is that the DREAM was only an INDUCED COMA, and their still DREAMING, but when they finally wake up…the DREAM IS GONE!!!

      Good comment! You know these demon/devils THINK 30-40 years ahead of the game, and this is why negroids are so SLOW when it comes to dealing with these demon/devils.

      These demon/devils are already making plans to live on Mars, while they CONTINUE to fvck up the world!!!

      Peace & Truth

  18. This is a huge problem in the Black community that Obama has avoided since his trip to the White House. One of the things that isn’t considered is the amount of children that are left behind! Leaving them to poverty and displacement. Also, non violent offenders return to society the offense(s) remain on their record-cannot be sealed or expunged therefore causing problems for the person to secure gainful employment. its a cycle that Black folks and Latinos experience disproportionately.

  19. @ Joe

    You missed the point!!! Read to comprehend. Mass incarceration does not suggest that we don’t need prisons-What it does is addresses the fact that Minorities are being imprisoned @ a rate that brings separation and destruction to our families. You can ramble off all of the offenses in Detroit and Chicago can shut it down in a day-thats not the point. We have Black men and women being freed at an alaraming rate for crimes they never committed and have spent decades in jail for. We have a guy who torchered suspects into confessions by using electrocutions as well as brutal beatings. So far, it has costed taxpayers about 45 million dollars and yet, no apologies and no prosecutions because the statue of limitations has expired. Again, non violent offenses carry as much time as violent ones. Have you realized that far and beyond Black people incarcerations’ make up the majority of drug offenses? Now there are gun offenses. Neither of which we have immediate access to.
    A side note: Have you seen these 2 white girls in the news Amanda Bynes and Lindsey Lohan, really? My niece caught a DUI-first offense and was sent to Cook County Jail-the largest hold cell in the United States! She has been traumatized-she has never been around the people that she was housed with in her life! Never been in trouble prior and works for one of the most reputable companies in the World yet, she missed work and was separated from her kids having to wait a few days to recieve a bond. Drinking and driving wasn’t her offense doing doing it while Black was!!!!This is the way the law really works!! Wake up

  20. Such a great panel of scholars,especially Angela Davis. She has been a Staunch Civil Rights Activist for Years. It is Delightful and a Pleasure to See and Hear from Her…As I Read some of the blogs,I was a little disturbed by some of the comments,yes some people deserve to be Incarcerated for Violent Crimes Against People but, when you Go in The Jails and Prisons,and Witness The Disparities of Black Men,and Now Even Women Incarcerated at an Alarming Rate, There is Something (Terriblly Wrong With That Picture.

  21. I think everybody’s got a point, but in reading your posts, I don’t see any solution that will put our people on equal footing with the power elite of this country(world). Its seems as though we have idea’s that we can’t put into action ourselves. I think its because we as a people really don’t know how to solve the problems as long as we want to stay here in the master’s house. We’ve been given the impression that there’s no place better on the planet for us than here. So don’t take that brain power to Africa and build the kind of systems and society that would reflect our genius and cast light on the injustices we have suffered under their dominion. I was born in the 50’s and I have traveled a lot even lived overseas in North East Africa for 11 years plus. My children were born overseas. This experience has stimulated my thinking and given me a much higher and broader perspective on what i should be doing with my life and what I can achieve,and what I teach my children. America is the house of our bondage Africa is home of our heritage, your people are waiting on you. Sleeping Giant? Do you think your adversary may know this and has craftily taken council to cut you off and your seed. We keep calling on Jesus (A Greco Roman concept of an African Idea) Waiting to see him when we die, Then come back to earth with him to rule forever in peace and harmony. Do you wonder why we aren’t getting anywhere? Check the history of Christianity. We believe we are worshipping God (which is a title not a name). Like Carter G Woodson said Our (The Negro) mentality was made and manufactured in America. That includes our religious perspective people. They did a Job on us. Read what Frederick Douglas said about Christianity.

    • @Michael Adams: “I think everybody’s got a point, but in reading your posts, I don’t see any solution that will put our people on equal footing with the power elite of this country(world). Its seems as though we have idea’s that we can’t put into action ourselves.”
      =================================

      Brother Adams, I just gave y’all a SOLUTION to this POLUTION…BOYCOTT!!!

      It’s the only way! Black people buy more cars, clothes, food, and support every other race (except their own) THAN ANY CULTure!!!

      How can we be broke, when these foreigners come to amerikkka, and the FIRST place they set up shop is in the Black community!!!

      THERE’S MONEY IN THE GHETTO – Too Short

      We ain’t BROKE, we’re just making OTHER people RICH!!!

  22. I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women- whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of the land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of
    all libels. Never was there a clearer case of ‘stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.’ I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which every where surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. . . . The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies and souls of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other—devils dressed in angels’ robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.”
    ― Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass — with Arius Immortal Thought Mattox and Belmoun Ibo Lelé.

  23. Angela Davis forecasted the problem long ago in the “Covenant of America.” I also noted in conducting research concerning the high school dropout rate and its correlation to the prison rate, that there are two major profit prison management facilities that are paid by the government, who have established a prison quota system. Yes, I said it right, a quota system in prison; though our government prohibits quotas in affirmative action programs for education. The problem is clear; the question, however, is what is being done to correct the problem?

  24. True worship in its original Understanding is: to work for, labor for, build for, toil for. If you are really worshipping the God of your forefathers then you are creating and building something in a manner that is reflective of his Laws, Statutes and Ordinances. One thing for sure is that no other people on this planet is under the illusion of waiting to establish their heaven on this earth. They’re controlling a land a language and a culture. We have been Deracinated. Do you understand?

  25. But my issue is after all these years we as blacks are still whining about us not getting a fair shake from good ole white folk…news flash…YOU WILL NEVER EVER NEVER get treated equally to a white person BY a white person in the system. So the way that you address that is we need more of US as judges and prosecutors, etc…so that should we make a bad decision we have more of a chance for fairness. Just like us complaining about the lack of jobs is not the answer…the answer is US creating our own economy by starting our own businesses, and US supporting our own so we can hire our own. And putting guns in the black community doesn’t MAKE you shoot somebody and putting drugs in the community doesn’t MAKE you sell them…it still comes down to personal decisions!!! I can set traps for you all day long…you can still decide to AVOID them…and after all this time, we still don’t know how to avoid the traps?!!! Hell…they haven’t changed the traps in 40 years…it’s the SAME ONES!!!

  26. JOE……STANDING O…..You truly present the flip side of this coin, BLACK ON BLACK CRIME, which is unfortunately married to the mass incarceration issue and gives way to it as a whole and the specific problems that lie therein. In my opinion we cannot solve one without solving the other. I am all for attacking and solving this issue since resolution remedies SO MANY other issues that plague the black family and thus our communities. This is issue is most important to me however because I know first hand what it is like to be falsely accused and incarcerated for something I did not do. What I question is Dr. Cornell West’s timing and sincerity in forming this group and realistically wanting to go in, do the work and thus make a change. The reason I say this is because I contacted Dr. West’s office on numerous occasions throughout my ordeal which was racially motivated and NEVER ONCE did he return my call or assist me in any way. Is Dr. West truly interested in tackling this problem or is he looking for a vehicle to carry out his apparent beef/issues with the President. While I don’t know for certain whether it was not receiving an invite to the inaugural ball that caused Dr. West to become angry with the President or not but what we do know is that the brother did a dramatic 360 in terms of his support for the Prez and raising money to attacking him on an MSNBC form that I witnessed first hand. I must admit I have lost a lot of respect for Dr. West from the time I admired and respected his work as a young student of political science but I hope that he is sincere in his efforts. Less face it, the problems that plague our community have existed long before Barack Obama ever became involved in politics. Meanwhile many self proclaimed black leaders have been staking claim to their positions longer than the time Obama has served as State Senator, US Senator and President combined yet we’re still looking at the same problems that have plagued our community for the last 47 years and beyond. Like the prior post indicated, the 13th Amendment ensures the plan for mass incarceration to replace slavery or actually be the eventual and perpetual place to house slavery in it’s new form thus “the new plantation”. A fact that I am certain brother West’s is very aware of, yet it has taken him all these years to create a collective to speak out…..REALLY?!?!?!?!

    Last I would just like to say in my opinion this is not a problem that will get solve through whom ever is president. This is an issue that will ONLY be resolve from a grassroot movement from the inside out. When we as African Americans stand up and take control of our communities and stop depending on others to solve our problems then we regain our independence and thus our power. This resolution will require the “talented tenth”, and you know who you are, to fulfill your commitment to your community…….each one, teach one (remember dat). Until the black middle/upper classes realize that there is no escaping their communities and their first responsibility is in fact to their family/community then there is no way for us to pull ourselves up.

  27. Integration destroyed what we had and hindered our progress. I could see being able to use the bathroom at a gas station, or staying at a hotel while traveling; but the rest of integration was not necessary. We should have asked for more funds for our segregated schools, and not ride the bus across town to sit in schools with White students.

    Integration messed us up. Let’s go back to segregation, please.

  28. These Devils have been in our Heads like Brother said it reminds me of Them Kool-Aid Drinking Negroes fold behind that FagitDopefiendLieingAss Jim Jones & ignorant Rap Negroes using this Crackers Name! When this Devil was Allowed by the FBI to do what He did to us the Racist US Government looked the other Way! Cracker Congress people only went to Guyana because they Constituancy was up & gone and without them they would not be reelected! So Everybody looks at the Black Nation as a CashCow,I heard a White Woman from BHills tell a Korean fresh off the Banana Boat to go to the Hood it’s Money to be Made? Prisons(Fagitry)(BullDaggers) Jails Dope Planed ParentHood Guns are all part of the Systematic Destruction of our People! In the Late 1960’s if you was Black it would be almost impossible to get ahold of a Bunch of Guns,because our Mentality was one of Love for our Community & People & we wanted to Protect Us. Now we suffer from a Bunch of SelfHate SelfDoubt Laziness & Have Retired when we should only retire when we Die! It’s too much to be done,many of our people love our Enemies & Favor from our Enemies Money more then the love they own Black Self! SelfHatingNegroes! America is not the only Game in town stop Believing the BS! Our Destiny & Americas Destiny are going in opposites Directions! America is under Divine Chastisement from your Lord if you Black Clean-up your life & get out of God’s way! Because they know the Lord is on them,keep an eye on the Weather! Murder of the Indigenoues Red People,Robbed & spoiled the Black People & Displacing of the Palestinians and Systematic Thievery of Every Nation & peoples on our Planet the Last 6 Thousand Years! Yeah they the Devil! No Doubt! Come out of Her my people Les you be partakers of her Sins & Plagues! Bible

  29. Its amazing that these leaders are speaking about this issue again. Many of our so called scholars, political leaders, Ministers, Pastors, Teacher, Professors, Entertainers, etc. Are Cowards to Revolution, This country has been at war with the so called Black man since Slavery and continue to cripple him in every fascit possible. Many of us think having jobs and feeling free makes us free until we meet the systems dogs who for some reason feel modivated to treat us as noncitizens . We talk a good game ,but most of the heads of the Nigga community are either placed there of sale outs. I know you feel I am being to hard on them. But just look at the last 30 years of change in the So called Black community. We could not stop drugs from cming into our communities, police abuse continues, miseducation continues, our young are killing each other and we don’t make guns, politicans and Ministers are having sex with our wives and children, etc and its more. The 1st president of the U.S. constitution can’t help his own people better their conditions nor will the wealthy of that community directly help there own people . Look at the weath of our people in America. Big house, cars, jewerly, boats,planes, etc but they own nothing. Mass incarcaration is just modern day slavery 12% of the population and 80% of the product. Wow! And no one cares! Know this the generation of brothers who were locked down 40 to 30 years ago are now getting out of jail. Its time to reload the jails now. They need new produces to fill the jail our young brothers. If you don’t challenge the system now your sons a daugthers will be next. You havard and yale negro’s will. On day understand that being a house negro with status doesn’t make you a hero in your brothers eye……

  30. A physical REVELOUTION will never be, until a MENTAL REVELOUTION takes place! But so many of our people take pride in being ignorant! Boycott these major corporations! Hit them where it will hurt! When they don’t see that residule then they will want to know whats goin on with the 47%. But we cant go to war just yet, until everyone is on the same page mentally! Learning is constant. Knowledge is infinite, you will never finish learning, and you will never Know everything,Just keep learning and building! WE CAN BUILD OUT OF THIS, WE DON’T NEED THEIR SYSTEM IF WE WOULD UNITE AND SET GOALS to get outta this burning house!
    Kepunda(Love)

    • @UniverSOUL: “But we cant go to war just yet, until everyone is on the same page mentally!”
      =================================

      That’s the problem…we will NEVER be on one accord! We are too divided as a people, and every CULTure is taking advantage of the self-hate, negroids have toward one another! This is why these re-ligions were placed upon us to keep us divided.

      Islam, xtianity, and the other man-made re-ligions have brainwashed negroid people. They are on tell-a-LIE-vision, radio, internet and other outlets acting a damn fool! If you notice; those screachas are not allowed to show the deathly cross, while they brainwash people.

      T.D. Snakes, Crefho Hollar and the other liars don’t even wear their death symbols any longer! The cross is a symbol of death; they are placed in cemetaries, it was used in the movie ‘the exorcise’, and it’s up AROUND YOUR NECK like a rope!

      But, negroids LOVE them a cross and some ‘jesus’. The more we try to wake them up; the more they praise caucasoids.

      These radio host get scared when you mention the word: BOYCOTT!

  31. This was a thoroughly appreciated panel discussion raising points of views to illustrate how advancing the idea of “jailing people” has become as an economic system and venture that went from three hundred thousand in the 1970s to 2.4 million in 2012. If those numbers don’t alarm you, then nothing will. I appreciate knowing that a campaign of prison warfare has become normalized to many of us and how it has slipped right past our awareness to become a globalized model of commodity marketing around the world. I don’t, for the life of me, understand how any one can come away from this important dialogue and not be alarmed. It points to the pertinent issues and statistical findings giving rise to the absolute seriousness of this horrible oppressive state that is part of our environment. I mean, Angela Davis, fought in the Black Power Movement of the 1970s, did jail time on behalf of unequality and liberation for Black America, and is a professor, writer, and speaker who continues to have impact; Cornell West along with Tavis Smiley is heading a poverty campaign and tour to shine the light on poverty in the land of the filthy rich in America; Michelle Alexander, is an author of the book “The New Jim Crow” and whether you know or don’t know any thing about “Jim Crow” you need to get the book and read it! Then there were those two articulate intelligent brothers on that panel who did time in jail and gave their personal account of what it is really like and what we need to KNOW about what we DON’T KNOW in this system of incarceration; and lastly, the moderator, who is a white woman who has fought and continues to fight for the exoneration of a Black political prisoner. It only takes having half the brain to understand any number of points made? I have always wondered about this massive prison system that has become a powerful economic conglomorate on the backs of the poor, ill served, uneducated and its particular bent toward and against black and brown people. All of the speakers raised a number of thought provoking comments that are vital instruction and inform. Vast amounts of people, stricken with mental illness as a result of relentless racial injustice, which cycles unending prison life through insidious forms of homelessness, joblessness, black on black hatred, ignorance – all pathologies of a white man’s disorder. So bring it on speakers! We cannot complain in the face of such noteworthy inform. We have simply to organize around this amazing body of information and proceed to change the horror of unending agitation.

  32. In reference to the last comment by Jezz, I feel that he is on point. If nothing changing nothing changed when one gets new information or is privy to profound truths then he or she is compelled to act on it. I am about social justice and social change and realize the importance of this issue. Lack of knowledge will make you an slave. In order to tackle this problem a action plan needs to be developed, over term and time creates stages and results.The stain and styma of incarceration has created a barrier to growth and developed ( Arrested Developed) I agree that some folks are satified with ignorance. However I am determined to align myself and my 10 grandsons to the reality of this mass incarceration which effects people of color.

  33. Boycott Christmas 2012 there is your do something.

  34. I do not know what to say about this issue or what to do! I do see the devastating effects in our community. I see it in my son, his friends and beyond! I am sadden by the young men that I see that appears to be apathetic (not all) . We have also witnessed an increase in women who are imprisoned. I do know that prisons are a business just like Walmart! Prison appears to a magnet that is pulling people into it. The magnet exists from the Macro to the micro level. It has to be fought at every level. I believe the key is access to resources that empowers a person. Research shows that education reduces recidivism; yet someone with a drug related felony may be denied financial aid for college. It would make for sense to ensure that college in more available for these individuals. Hmmmm….

  35. Well put Derrick….boycotting is a start. Then we should work on forming our own communities as we had in the past. Empowering our own and holding each other accountable.

  36. If he gets a second term, President Obama needs to put the mass incarceration epidemic on his short list of presidential priorities– Dr. Watkins

    As you pointed out yourself Doc, Barack Obama’s response to this problem is an expansion of the PIC.

    In 1964 the prison population was 65 percent white and 35 percent people of color. Thirty-years later the prison population had become 65 percent Black/Brown and 35 percent white. So we are supposed to believe that the people who stole an entire continent just magically stopped committing crimes over a thirty-year period. Bull!!!!!

    Mass racial incarceration became one of the refinements of American Apartheid, just as apartheid was a refinement of slavery. We have to remember that each cycle of white supremacy has four phases as pointed out by Bro. Neely Fuller–establishment, maintenance, expansion, and refinement.

    Every time America has had a chance to become a real democracy–Reconstruction; Civil Rights; Voting Rghts, it launches a new cycle of white supremacy with refined vehicles to maintain their power.

    Barack Obama–the most brilliant stroke of disguised hypocrisy in American political history– is a key element in the latest refinement.

  37. finally some real people speak, thank you Gerald and derrick also the panel with Cornell who sat and discussed the problem. But really shut up and start action, talking is not going to get no where, havent black people learned from slavery? if you dont do nothing, then nothing will get changed. boycott, fight back but talking is out the window, YOU PEOPLE BETTER REPLAY SOME OF TUPAC INTERVIEWS BEFORE ITS TOO LATE, HE WAS TRYING TO WARN BLACK PEOPLE, ASK HIS MOM SHE CAN TELL U

  38. and your boy Bob “Come on down” Barker is one of the biggest stakeholders in the corrections industry…and “prison magnate.”

  39. THE ONE GREAT THING ABOUT AMERICA THAT I JUST LOVE ? THE FACT THAT IF YALL SO DAMN UNHAPPY HERE YOU CAN GET ON A PLANE.. GO TO ANY “ALL BLACK COUNTRY YOU PICK ! DERRICK..HOW MANY BOMBS YOU GOT ALREADY ?? YOU A WALKING TIMEBOMB… JUST LEAVE HERE BABY & MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY !

  40. David (The U.S. Senator))

    I have a “Step in The Right Direction Solution”. We should use The Political Process, more effectively. It’s Just a TOOL, just like a Polititian is a Tool for The Citizen to Use. What if we had been Proactive and Used The Referendum/Initiative Process to get Our Issues, Placed on The 2012 Ballot. Those Issues would be, Discussed and Debated in The Media and Around The Water Cooler. Example: Instead of Simple Mariquana Possesion being a Criminal Offense that would Land One Of Our Sons in Jail or Prison, It could be Established that, That The Offense would be a Civil Offense that would be Addressed with a Fine $ or Community Service or Both. That could’ve been a Ballot Issue, November 6, 2012.!

  41. We seem to be able to identify the problems in the Black community but now we need to develop plans to correct the problems. I would love to see some of these “educated” people develop some plans and programs to address these problems. Professor West from Harvard along with the Black colleges should be able to develop plans and programs that could be implemented in the Black communities. Funding could be obtained from our Black wealthy members and others who see the need to help the cause. We should never ask others to do for us what we will not do for ourselves.

  42. Ms. Kelly its a sad, sad thing this world! the only solution is found @ Daniel 2:44 & the only ones telling about this marvelous promise in harmony with Matthew 24:14 are looked @ as pest & public nusinces! as thier lord told them they would be @ Matt24:9 Ms.Kelly find the one organization who are teaching the truth about The Kingdom you read about @Daniel 2:44 the same Kingdom Jesus told us to pray for in the Lords prayer the Kingdom that is going to bring about true peace & security & justice something that imperfect men arent even capable of doing and learn what you need to do to be a citezen of that Kingdom! because the reason this one cant put it togeather is because the son of God is systematiclly tearing apart Satans political, economic, religious, commercial & social system & is preparing for whats prohecied in Daniel 2:44! also read 1John5:19 & Rev12:7-12 & understand Satans time is coming to an end. People always wanna say God bless America! really, lets see a Racist, greedy, oppresive, murderous, immoral, divided, coveteous counrty in a world were all nations are just like it who say thier god or gods bless them aslo mind you. really think God condones such attitudes & ways…..Really Ms. Kelly i encourage you if you really what Justice look in your Bible @ Psalms 83:18 look for Gods personal name and allow for those who like Jesus told sanctify or treat as holy that name & allow them to teach you the truth & like the son of God says it WILL set you free! you may need an Older King James Version if they replaced the Gloreous name of God with thr title Lord.

  43. In the state of Alabama they are convicting 14 year old Black boys for being associated with a capital crime to life in prison. Can you imagine being 14 years old and having to spend the rest of your life behind bars. Alabama is the worse in the country for locking up youth and discouraging them from school and encouraging them in criminal lifestyle.
    Look up http://www.eji.org The Equal Justice Initiative. It was argued and and ruled on that such incarceration is cruel and unusual punishment therefore unconstitutional. Yet these white judges are being elected and reelected on the primises of being tough on crime. they are not tough on crime just tough on people of color.

  44. When are we going to start loving our sons and daughters and helping them love themselves and each other? When are we going to teach them that loving yourself means giving yourself the greatest chance at being successful? When will we show them that nothing takes the place of making a plan, executing that plan, evaluating what they learned and then getting up and giving it another shot- make it better? When will we tell them that you cannot win the game if you won’t get off the bench? When will we stop shucking and jiving and smoking dope and telling ourselves it’s harmless? When will we make an investment in books and vocabulary instead of PSP’s and Wii’s?

  45. This thing about prison is a matter that must viewed by the person willingness to be what they have claimed to be .These organizations demand loyalty from their followers but many followers have failed to adhere to this principle .This failure to conflict with others and has destoryed the foundation that these organizations exist on .
    The folks and the lords have reached a position where they see that they must work together to make a change or our enemies will attempt to wipe us out one group at a time .The coming together under the B.O.S. is one of the wisest thing the committee has done,but those who are just coming into these nations must be educated as to who their enemies are.
    With out education we can go nowhere and education is the first point that must be emphasized as new recruits are enlighten to what these nations are attempting to do for the individuals who seek to follow their principles.
    We have a lot of groups that are either trying to get into these groups as a means of taking over or as a means of fulfilling a vendetta that they have against others .This is why our followers must be loyal according to their stage of growth.
    You’ll dedication,determination,and displine has shown through the years ,but is that enough? We hebrews have a common enemy that will be attacking forever and as soldiers die other must take their places in that we can continue to move forward.
    Forward forever,backward never.
    Our people prish because of lack of knowledge.

  46. it’s been a long time coming, but I know a change is going to come…real soon…I believe it in my heart. Praying for our brothers and sisters incarcerated, paroled and/or on probation. We must fight for better laws in the criminal justice system.

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