Monday, July 30, 2012
The Politics of The Criminal InJustice System Vs. Human Sexuality
Just wanted to write down a few quick words on some commentary I have been receiving over the last several weeks as it relates to the War On Drugs, how Black and Latino men are targeted in particular, and how privatized prisons reap major Federal and State subsidies for the raw number of drug arrests and convictions they produce. I touch on this in my book, "When The Lights Go Out: The Truth About Black Male Prison Sexuality" (CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY! ), and some folks have responded with a measure of surprise and, in some cases, shock, over how the Prison Industrial Complex is organized and runs on a daily basis in the United States. Some have even asked me to elaborate on this more in Volumes 2 and 3 of my series.
Respectfully, that is not the purpose of my book(s).
What irritates me about these requests, is that it draws us away from the main purpose of my writing this in the first place. There are literally hundreds of books written over the last 15 years on the complex dynamics of laws that target, capture and convict Black men on a daily basis.
The Sentencing Project(http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/index.cfm is their website domain) has TONS of excellent data on race and the Justice System. Bruce Western and Michelle Alexander have written definitive books on the subject as well. I enjoy discussing this gargantuan criminal enterprise that is the "Prison Industrial Complex". However, that is not the primary focus of my work.
My work is in Human Sexuality.
It surprises me that so many people, particularly Black people, are shocked when they learn that prisons, cities, and states get more money from the Federal Government based on the sheer number of drug offenders they incarcerate. It shocks me when people are shocked at the fact that these laws make it more advantageous for police to arrest Pookie and Main Man with a $5 bag of weed and give him 18 months in jail for possession of marijuana, than to go after a drug kingpin who pulls in millions of dollars in annual income from drug sales.
I get it that many people are not aware that more black men are under the control of the Criminal Justice System today, in 2012, than black people (male and female) were slaves in the year 1850, a decade before the Civil War. Even with the recent reduction in sentencing for crack convictions by the Obama Administration, you will still get sentenced to 18 times the amount of time for possession of crack,(long thought to be a poor black person's hard drug of choice), as opposed to the exact same amount of powdered cocaine(generally thought to be an upscale, white middle and upper class drug of choice). It is down from the 100-to-1 law passed in the 1990's and signed into effect by "the first Black President", Bill Clinton.
It is 2012, guys. You are living in The New Jim Crow and don't even know it.
I am currently seeking(cute term for applying and begging...LOL) for funding for a documentary I have already written an outline and treatment for called "Time Is Money", in which I will expose, is very comprehensive terms, how much the Criminal Justice System is a for-profit, money-making entity that destroys millions of poor people's lives on a daily basis. From the Commissary, to Lawyers, to probation and parole fees, to collect calls, to the $40,000 to $75,000 each state and prison gets for every single inmate incarcerated annually by the Federal Government, to the dirt cheap labor in prisons for multinational Corporations, this system is the new slave-making entity that is the essence of a markedly different, yet equally destructive form of "vulture capitalism" that preys upon the marginalized, vulnerable populations of our society for pure profit and racialized social control.
Right now, however, I want to talk about the huge percentage of HIV infections that occur within United States prisons that have corresponding ripple effects throughout Black and poor communities in America. I want to discuss the cultural aversion to education that makes young black men drop out of school at alarming rates, because they think that to be educated is to "act white" and "act gay", and what we as Black folks can do to put our brothers back on the right track, in this 21st Century, increasingly globalized and technologically advancing world.
I want to discuss the homophobia that silences far too many Black Churches and paralyzes them from mobilizing against HIV/AIDS infections, and education. I want to discuss the perception far too many Black men have that our manhood is a direct result of our ability to impregnate as many women as possible, without the fuss of actually being responsible for what we bring into the world.
Are you with me guys?
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