Part 3: Drugs, unwed mothers, crime, prison
This series on American Blacks and immigration created a firestorm of comments from liberals and conservatives! Readers filled my inbox with their responses! Nice that 99 percent of those responses commiserated with Black Americans and their plight with unlawful immigration and unlawful workers taking away jobs!
"Finally! Someone is addressing the mayhem caused to African-Americans," Debra said. "Why aren't black Americans speaking out? Why don't they say something on their own behalf?"
Another reader said, "Immigration WILL put all blacks out of work. Period! Riots are next!"
Black American Robert said, "The pressure being brought upon Black Americans is
tremendous. How can those in congress not expect an explosion from Black
America, much like, if not worse than, what occurred during the 60's?" "I
thoroughly agree with you about sending 'our' money overseas to take care of
everyone else," Caroline said. "It is outrageous and insane. However, if
blacks, and whites too, for that matter, would stop having illegitimate
children they can't support, that would certainly reduce the child poverty we
have here in the US. Just makes me mad as heck to watch all of this and to have
to help pay for it, too. Now I am 72
years old and still working so I can buy food and put gas in my car."
"I thoroughly agree with you about sending 'our' money overseas to take care of everyone else," Caroline said. "It is outrageous and insane. However, if blacks, and whites too, for that matter, would stop having illegitimate children they can't support, that would certainly reduce the child poverty we have here in the US. Just makes me mad as heck to watch all of this and to have to help pay for it, too. Now I am 72 years old and still working so I can buy food and put gas in my car."
AMERICAN BLACKS ON THE SUBJECT OF DRUGS
Liberal publisher Arianna Huffington said, "It is really stunning that only 15 percent of the total drug population -- drug offending population is African-American. And yet you have 74 percent of them who wind up in jail."
An independent study said her 74 percent ran too high. "To verify her number, we turned to "Prisoners in 2007," a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which is the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Justice. That report offered estimated figures for offenders sentenced to state prison for drug violations: 113,500 blacks, 72,300 whites and 51,100 Hispanics. On a percentage basis, this means that 29 percent of inmates for drug offenses were white, 20 percent were Hispanic and 45 percent were black."
In raw numbers, those figures calculate into millions of lives destroyed beyond drug use. Think jobs, families, kids, food stamps, living conditions, inner-city poverty. Ironically, the two most deadly drugs in America, tobacco and alcohol, kill more people and cause more social problems than all the 10 major illegal drugs combinedtimes millions!
Police officer Howard Wooldridge, co-founder of www.leap.cc, said, "The War on Drugs is really a war on people! It is especially hard on minorities."
The majority of incarcerated drug offenders have been African-Americandespite the fact that drug abuse rates are fairly equal across ethnic and racial linesand that fed a widespread perception that law enforcement efforts were racially biased.
Alexandra Marks, Christian Science Monitor, April 14, 2009, said, "For years, the disproportionately large percentage of imprisoned African-American drug offenders fueled calls for reform of local police departments as well as the national criminal sentencing structure. Professor Caulkins [Jonathan Caulkins, a criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh] doesn't want to diminish the presence of racial bias, which he says still exists to some extent in most American institutions, but he contends that incarceration disparities may have had more to do with the nature of the drug epidemic than with overt bias."
Today, out of 2.3 million prisoners in local, state and federal lockups, Black Americans make up 46 percent while they make up 13 percent of U.S. population. That equates to nearly one million men or 1 in 13 American Blacks sitting in a prison cell. We see a terrible if not heinous wrong evident in those figures! I think General Colin Powell said, "It is better to build a good man rather than try to rehabilitate a broken one."
How did they arrive at that circumstance?
Today, race continues as a dividing line in America more than anyone cares to admit or discuss. We may cheer black and white athletes on our teams, but when the game finishes, we go back to our own segregated neighborhoods. While we work side by side in limitless jobs and show forbearance, we gather with our own ethnic groups at lunch or in restaurants. The latest incident with Professor Gates, Officer Crowley and President Obama illustrates the razor-sharp edge we walk upon in race relations.
1 | 2