Want to Know What Has Killed the Black Family Structure? Take a Look at the Prisons


by Dr. Jason Williams

When looking at the consequences of the war on drugs, many politicians who voted toward its fruition presently look back and iterate expressions of sorrow. They claim to feel guilt and wish as if they had never voted for a policy that not only has obliterated Black community efficacy but a policy that has also broken up Black families like never seen since the days of slavery. Politicians of this order are the worst kind of politician because they can engage in political-malpractice while not being held accountable. However, the blame for much of this malpractice also falls upon the ignorance and profound silence of the masses that continually refuse to speak up in the face of such grave injustice, simply because this threat of injustice does not apply to them, or so they think.

The end-result of this problem, of course, is the death of people, communities, and the nation. Nevertheless, the consequences of this problem has failed to shock the majority into acting in a manner consistent with human dignity and the urgency necessary to combat this never-ending war against certain segments of society. The criminal justice system, for the most part, operates as a contemporary system of slavery. For example, slavery, before it was “officially” done away with, provided the majority with a system that kept them at the top, while also keeping Blacks at the bottom. After the Civil War, slavery had lost its footing in the south and the advent of Black Codes and Jim Crow took its place. However, it would not be too long before human dignity/rights would prevail again, thus canceling “separate but equal.” However, now the majority was left with another problem, it was one of social control yet again. How could the majority control the masses contemporarily without appearing as if it is denying the “others” human dignity/rights? The answer to this question would come by way of the criminal justice system.

The criminal justice system, a supposedly democratic and impartial institution would later punish and control the “others” in the name of democracy and fairness. In fact, it was during the 1980s when the “war on drugs” in particular gained superior footing alongside the emergence of conservative criminology, which really catapulted the administration of justice away from the rehabilitative practices won in the 1960s-70s and toward a more punitive orientation. This shift within policy and academic criminology led to the grave disparities and injustices presently recognized in the system today.

Nonetheless, the outcome of this paradox accentuates that although Blacks are citizens of the U.S., by way of the criminal justice system they have subjective citizenship (this is reflected in disenfranchisement studies/stats). Blacks possess a citizenship that must be constantly validated (e.g., birthers), and at any time their citizenship can lose its benefits if they should ever come in contact with the criminal justice system, which is highly likely because of differential law enforcement and the occupation of Black communities by law enforcement. This partnership between the criminal justice system and racial demotion/subjugation is one that maintains white supremacy. Today, the criminal justice system serves as a democratic function in furthering white supremacy at the expense of minorities (mostly Blacks) and nobody speaks upon it because, theoretically, the processes that govern the administration of justice are based on the consensus model.

What further complicates this absurdity is the advent or notion of colorblindness-that, in fact, the U.S. presently operates in a reality that excludes race as a factor in any fashion. The use of colorblindness as a reality is, of course, an anecdotal expression of white conservation it is neither true nor achievable because colorblindness is the quintessential enemy of individualism. More important, an adaptation to colorblindness presents to society the same issue that colorblindness attempts to solve, a society in which people cannot be themselves.

Furthermore, many people wonder if a consciousness will ever arise out the U.S. regarding the issue of subjective citizenship by way of criminal sanctions, yet one must also wonder if it serves the best interests of the majority to rid it. Would the majority be willing to sacrifice and allow others to be themselves and participate in the greater American society without having to be someone else? Major contemporary implications regarding the criminal justice system as a tool of racial control would be the post-911 era and the super heightened surveillance complex that presently invades minority life. Although many (regardless of race/ethnicity) in the U.S. are now complainants against the strong surveillance state which now exists, they should be reminded that such a reality is nothing new to minority communities – yet the majority only sees such mechanisms as strange when they are the target. Until citizenship is conceptualized as an equal possession for all, the lives of certain sectors within society will continue to be micro-managed via the criminal justice system, “democratically” of course. However, those who have lived under auspices of validation and superiority for so long may soon need to rethink their position given the onslaught of the surveillance complex which is slowly but surely becoming racially indiscriminate in its processes. Now is the time to bind together as one despite these differences. Whether this is possible or not remains to be seen.



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9 Responses to Want to Know What Has Killed the Black Family Structure? Take a Look at the Prisons

  1. Peter D. Slaughter October 2, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    How many black people will finally wake up ?
    As we see the end result with all these prisoners,updated 21st century slave trapped in these white owned and operated slave plantation operations.
    I wonder will a vast % of black men and black mothers stop letting their kids be mentally conditioned to be criminals.
    A vast % of us seem to act like we don’t know how it works.
    We can see the results of being exposed over and over to trashy sell-out rap records. Certain criminal minded hollyweird movie type productions.
    If we were to ask a % of black men in prison how did they get like that mentally to end up in one of these prisons.
    Some of them would not even know or have a clue.

  2. Haile October 2, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    This system of European culture and Western democracy is damaging the whole world.Until the mojority of people see the evils of this culture it will never change.

  3. Nothing But The Truth! October 3, 2013 at 8:01 am

    My Open Letter to My Dear African-American Brothers & Sisters,

    This is an Urgent Call to Action! We need soldiers to fight a war that is already being waged on Our African-American Community on a daily basis! These white and jewish people are killing us! We Must All Go To War!
    As Americans of African descent, we can no longer sit idly by while white and jewish people operate a public school system that miseducates and kills the will and spirit of our African-American Children; systemically prevent our entry into the lucrative building trade unions and industry , deny us skills training and the high-paying jobs and careers that eventuate from such outstanding, marketable skills ; conspire to incarcerate us in large numbers; cut funding for child care, and elect a great number of people to legislative bodies and the judiciary who have absolutely no regard for African-Americans. These people are regularly denying us the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter.
    They systemically deny us the right of life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. They are breaking up our families and placing our precious children in foster homes with total strangers. They are also putting guns and drugs in our neighborhoods and incarcerating our people for selling those drugs and using the convenient guns to kill rival drug dealers and great, law-abiding neighbors who might just happen to get in front of a stray white boy bullet. At what point are you prepared to fight the enemies of our community for our survival? These white and jewish devils have made it clear to those of us who dare to see, that they are attempting to decimate, eliminate, destroy, terminate, extinguish, crush, eradicate, slaughter, annihilate, devastate, exterminate and eliminate us from this country! We can either let them succeed, or fight! I have been fighting for a long time! How about you? It is time to fight; let’s go to war!
    They kill us with impunity, incarcerate us unjustly and destructively, destroy the lives of our precious Children, disrespect our women, and emasculate our men; sell us things way above market value then design devious means to steal them back; infect us with disease as guinea pigs in efforts to promote their own great health; sell us houses and land and then reclaim them; egregiously vote to deny us the very important food sustenance provided through the SNAP Program; notoriously introduce new laws all over the United States to prevent us from voting, although the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution was supposed to insure our voting rights! What more must these white and jewish devils do that would force you to fight? You only have four cheeks and you have already been slapped and kicked in all of them! When will you stop being a coward? These devils are killing us right before our opened eyes! We have enough talkers and intellectuals; we now need soldiers! Let’s Go to War!

  4. Ann G. October 3, 2013 at 10:51 am

    This is an excellent article but one question: Why do our Black men keep putting themselves in these positions so they can be hauled off to prison? Most of these guys are repeat offenders. I am aware of the fact that being in prison does not get you off of drugs, if these men cared about themselves and their families you would think after one stint inside they would convince themselves to get help once back on the outside because their sons and daughters need them. I have seen too many Black women standing by their men in hopes things will change, but once out, their buddies who they are used to hanging with come knocking on the door and they find themselves right back in the game!

  5. charles mcghee October 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Well we can all do our part, I’m just one person but i go into the prison every week teaching anger management but also teaching the brothers to use their minds and THINK. I’m not a movie star, music artist, television star, national news person or rich and famous African-american just a regular person trying to do something about the problem other than TALK.

  6. t_99 October 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks for the article, and to the many unsung heroes and she-roes who are fighting the good fight. I, too, have pondered the same question that Ann G posed. Why do some many of our men participate in activities will most likely end with them in jail? I’d really like to male perspective on this as I have 2 young sons.

  7. charles mcghee October 4, 2013 at 7:34 am

    t_99 from my working with inmates the one thing i believe most never give a thought to is the consequences of their actions.

  8. sasack October 8, 2013 at 9:30 am

    There is a great deal of truth in the fact mandatory sentencing, poor legal representation, poverty, poor education,mental instability, and profiling has led to an overabundance of minorities being in the prison system. But I wonder what percentage of the prison population were, are, or will ever be prime examples of fatherhood and competent leaders of families. I doubt very seriously if the percentage is very high. Further reflection, I would say this is true regardless of race.
    The mentality of placing oneself in a position to be incarcerated for an extended period of time is an indication of at least very,very poor judgement. I doubt very seriously if this is a characteristic that will assist in the rebuild of the Black Community and family structure.

  9. rpsemary davis October 8, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Some People ares always asking why the prison system has incarcerated so many blacks the question should be what did they do too cause them to be there? they wouldn’t be there if they themselves had not committed a crime and there would not be a need for mandatory sentencing or poor representation we as black people tend too blame everyone but ourselves from the President on down for the decisions and choices that we make in our lives.We all have a brain in which to think about what we are going too do before we do it so the choice that me make is ours alone no one else and if that choice lands one in prison than we have ourselves to blame not the Justice or prison system


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