Renaldo Pearson: We Can’t Wait to Address the Sleeping Giant of Mass Incarceration

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The mass incarceration problem is arguably the greatest deterrent to African American progress in the 21st century.  Private prisons are serving to harm entire communities by putting away fathers and mothers for long periods of time.  When their children are not being raised properly, it only worsens the cycle of despair and violence that exists in many communities across America.  

This essay does a good job of laying out the issues.  You should take a read. 

 

On Father’s Day (two months to the day after the 50th anniversary of the critically acclaimed “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written by my late fellow alumnus, Dr. King), I released an open letter, via Facebook, asking America to contemplate the question, “Whatbest explains why there are so many black men and fathers missing from black households?” Or “What is the real reason behind the fact that, today, over half of all black children grow up in homes without a father?”

Today, in the wake of the events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Dr. King told the world of his “Dream,” it is clear to me that that question is even more pressing now.

As I wrote in my open letter, the answer to that question is mass incarceration, where one-third of adult black men have been labeled felons for life, primarily through the now-glaringly unjust ”War on Drugs.” Indeed, in less than 30 years (since 1980), the penal population went from 300,000 to more than 2 million, with drug convictions accounting for the majority of the increase (two-thirds of the rise in the federal inmate population and more than half of the rise in state prisoners).

The fact of the matter is that, in urban America, black (and increasingly brown) men are disproportionately targeted, pursued, and arrested for a “crime” (mainly simple, nonviolent possession of marijuana — a drug less harmful than both alcohol and tobacco) that goes largely unnoticed and unpunished when committed by whites (who, multiple studies show, actually use the same drugs at similar or higher rates) on college campuses and in suburban citadels across the country.

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3 Responses to Renaldo Pearson: We Can’t Wait to Address the Sleeping Giant of Mass Incarceration

  1. madpoet September 9, 2013 at 9:48 am

    This shit isn’t new! The entire system is.on the payroll from Judges on dn. Black always talking but nobody is doing shit to fix it but writing letters and b/s! Where are These so called black leaders and our Black President? My boy was sent to prison by a black judge for “alledged” mortgage fraud while being found innocent of the charges but the judge said he was making an example out of him! This brother never been in trouble & was innocent but this Texas House Nigga judge gave my man 2 yrs. What you don’t know is.that these Privately owned slave ships have back door deals w/ city officials for occupancy rates! Its also a problem when These ignorant ass disrespectful young folks keep doing dumb shit to get Their dumb asses 20 yrs in jail. This country is fucked & once I get my money up, I’m getting the hell out of here! Lets pat Bob Johnson greedy ass on the back for selling BET to the devil and giving this cracker a direct pipeline to destroying our youth with These bullshit soft porn negative ass videos that accompanies this negative music.business. That’s my word.& I’m sticking to it!

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  2. mike j September 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Sadly though my brothers we grab and put the shackles on ourselves! They merely provide the shackles, they make the shiny things we love so much, to keep us reaching for what harms us, they price it out of range so now were willing to commit crimes for the ghetto tokens were so fond of paying $200 for jeans & celebrity endorsed shoes! $5000 rims for $2000 cars, they feed us names like louie, gucci, prada ect. Making us feel without these were losers so we persue these things all while renting allowing this garbage to guage our worth, we’ve allowed our9selves to be victimized by allowing what was placed before us to divide us, welfare made women throw away thrir blackman because you couldn’t get it if you lived together yet jobs were not being given to him so he becsme nothing more but a means to increase a check at one point, then they released thier most effective weapon of mass destruction crack cocaine and the war on drugs that followed and operation black family genocide was a success. People its time to break these chains but following broken brainwashed humans is not the way. Dan2:44 true help is with those eho know this prophecy and the one found at Matt24:14 they teach the only true hope for this demonic, sick, warped, twisted, moral less, world

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  3. mike j September 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Madpoet you hit the nail on the head, all this Marching and writing crap don’t do nothing, 50years later and we still marching for the exact same things, wasn’t it Einstein who said doing something the same way and expecting different results is insane, we allow ourselves to be done like this, we can be the minority in any county but go to their court house I bet my life were the majority in that courtroom! When are we gonna rise up because dammit we can’t go any freakin lower.

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