After losing the Civil War, Southern states quickly adopted the Black Codes, laws designed to reestablish white supremacy by dictating what the freedmen could and couldn’t do. One common provision barred blacks from possessing firearms. To enforce the gun ban, white men riding in posses began terrorizing black communities. In January 1866, Harper’s Weekly reported that in Mississippi, such groups had “seized every gun and pistol found in the hands of the (so called) freedmen” in parts of the state. The most infamous of these disarmament posses, of course, was the Ku Klux Klan.
There is one thing, other than Trayvon’s death, coming from this case that I find to be tragic, and that is the sad state our media and in general our nation is in when events like this take place. So quickly have people made up their minds, taken sides, and dug into those positions that it seems like despite what the court proceedings will show the question of Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence might have already been decided. Gone are the days in which you are given a trial in which evidence in presented and a jury decided the fate of the defendant.
This case highlights the worst of both sides of the mainstream. To the left Trayvon is a martyr in the never-ending battle over racial equality, his death being a capstone on the argument that racism is still alive and well in this country and that only more government and more gun control will stop it. To the right Trayvon is a victim of the culture war, his death being the result of the glorification of the gangster lifestyle that lead to his assault of George Zimmerman for doing nothing but “protecting his community” forcing Zimmerman to take deadly force in self-defense.
For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones. More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under “correctional supervision” in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.
The main thrust of the article is this: The detached bureaucracy -- and all its professional procedures -- lends itself to the brutal inhumanity and gross injustices of our prison system.
The challenge for this generation is to keep our liberty. And the challenge is now upon us. - Peter Robinson
At Drake University I serve as a Peer Mentor/Academic Consultant. Basically, my job is to act as a mentor for roughly 20 freshman (first-years, actually, because freshman is considered sexist and politically incorrect at Drake) in both their social and academic lives. During one of our staff development sessions a board of professors discussed how to address the topic of diversity at Drake. However, because diversity is a "buzz-word" that turns people off -- which I agree with somewhat -- they call it multicultural inclusion. What the four professors asked us was this: How can we beat prejudice at Drake and celebrate our multicultural environment at the same time?
Other PMACs chimed in and started to throw out their theories. Don't use statistics about race, some argued, because it sounds very impersonal and callous. Others said to talk about the diverse interests that students have on campus; the high number of student organizations shows our diversity yet does not go near the touchy issue of race. But I was not fully satisfied with these answers. Finally, the libertarian in me burst and I raised my hand. "What if we simply treated every individual as if they were unique?" The professors stared back blankly. It seemed like an Earth shattering concept to them. I continued by saying, "In a large group diversity is inherent because all individuals are different. Even within our Coalition of Black Students there is a large amount of diversity. So, I think the only way to truly beat racism, sexism, or any type of 'groupism' at Drake is to treat individuals as, well, individuals."
Now, I know there is still racism in this country, and I don't wish to minimize the gravity of that matter. However, the majority of Americans want what is best for their country, and the farthest issue from their minds in the debt ceiling debate is the color of the president's skin.
Unfortunately, there are still people who hold power in this country who use racism as an excuse for doing wrong. Yes, they are not the only reason for the debt being so high, but they are a major cause of our problems. Here is a bold solution: Stop blaming every thing on race and start responsibly doing your job! Stop screwing the American people for every dime they have left in their pockets.
A new book from an Ohio State law professor reports that there are now more black American men in prison, jail, on probation, or on parole than were enslaved in 1850. This is largely due, the author has found, to the impact of the War on Drugs, which is "'waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color,' she said, even though studies have shown that whites use and sell illegal drugs at rates equal to or above blacks." Here's an interview with the author:
I know I should not even concern myself with such trifles as political baiting...but I will anyway.
After viewing many comments made concerning the firestorm around Rand Paul's remarks about the Civil Rights Act, I can not help but to take a few steps back and rationalize the entire scope of the Red Herring presented by the Louisville paper and furthered by Rachel Maddow.
Unfortunately it is not enough that these talking heads are nowhere close to completely understanding the philosophical rationale behind Rand's comments; they also enter the discussion with their minds already made up with this equation:
Libertarian+objection to portion of Civil Rights Bill= Racist