Our Fellow Felons

hannah petrie

Hannah Petrie: Even though the rates of drug-dealing and drug-using occurs equally among different races – (think weed here) whites deal to whites, blacks deal to blacks, Hispanics to Hispanics – it’s the people of color who get busted. And once you’re labeled a felon – and denied access to employment, housing, and other rights — your chances of returning to a straight and normal life are extremely low. It is a system designed to keep felons felons.

The New Jim Crow: Our Role in Incarceration Nation

Michelle Alexander

Diane Lefer: Judge Gray referred to Senator Jim Webb of Virginia who, in looking at the entire criminal justice system in which we hold the world record for the number of people incarcerated, concluded either we are the most evil people in the world or we are doing something seriously wrong.

Black America Still Sees AIDS as a Gay Disease

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Irene Monroe: If black America were its own country, standing on its own like Haiti or Nigeria, black Americans would rate 16th with the epidemic in the world. And the epidemic is heavily concentrated in urban enclaves like Detroit, New York, Newark, Washington, D.C and the Deep South.

Juneteenth, Father’s Day, and Happy Black Men

Peter J. Harris

Peter Harris is interested in knowing how Black men define happiness. Says Harris, “Black men were brought to America to make others happy and then die! Thomas Jefferson didn’t have Black men in mind when he drafted the Declaration of Independence. A happy Black man, given our American journey, is the ultimate avant garde. . .”

How the War on Drugs Gave Birth to a Permanent American Undercaste

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Michelle Alexander: The uncomfortable truth, however, is that crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the last few decades — they are currently are at historical lows — but imprisonment rates have consistently soared. Quintupled, in fact. And the vast majority of that increase is due to the War on Drugs.

The New Jim Crow

Michelle-Alexander

Michelle Alexander: The clock has been turned back on racial progress in America, though scarcely anyone seems to notice. All eyes are fixed on people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey who have defied the odds and achieved great power, wealth and fame.

Weekend Mysteries, Scandals, and Speculations

Donny Hathaway

The nation’s unemployment rate is at 10.2 percent, a 26-year high. These people will be waiting to hear Obama explain how adding to the $10 billion monthly price tag for Iraq and Afghanistan will help them find work. African American men, 17.1 percent of whom are unemployed, want a word from Obama on this,” wrote Columnist Colbert King in the Washington Post last week.

Van Jones, Man on a Mission

Van Jones is one of the founders of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a non-profit organization based in Oakland, CA. Before Van Jones joined the Obama Administration, he was one of the founders of The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an organization that started as a vehicle for the fight for fair treatment by the police but broadened its reach to human rights for all.

Plea Bargains in the Criminal McJustice System

Philadelphia D.A. Lynne Abraham

In Philadelphia, it is time for a new district attorney. The current D.A. Lynne Abraham is retiring, and none too soon – after 18 years in the position, she has been called “America’s deadliest D.A.” for her exceptionally voracious appetite in seeking the death penalty. Without question, most of the people sentenced to death were [...]

African Americans and the Economic Crisis

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Joe Biden was quite out front about it. On the same day the newspapers were trumpeting the news that President Obama had felt a “glimmer of hope” in the economic situation, the Vice-President was telling CNN that we can expect unemployment to increase each month for the rest of the year. Joblessness stands at 8.5% [...]