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What did you do about slavery, Daddy?

More Black Men in Prison Today Than Enslaved in 1850

Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, told an audience at the Pasadena Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, “More African-American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.” […]

Alexander discusses how convicted felons are subject to forms of discrimination reminiscent of the Jim Crow era. This includes being denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits, much like their parents or grandparents.

I fought for the end of Prohibition II, son.

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31 comments to What did you do about slavery, Daddy?

  • Paul

    Good. Maybe the black community is waking up. Hopefully they’ll stop cooperating with the grinding machinery of prohibition and start resisting it.

  • vicky vampire

    This is Pres,Obama needs to address this the drug war along with attorney General and maybe the black community is waking up and can knudge him towards the Portugal model,yeah I know its an insane dream but it insane and evil whats happening to blacks again DRUG SLAVERY PEOPLE WAKE THE FUCK UP.

  • I could care less

    I really could care less about the poor plight of blacks impacted by the drug war while they sit on their ass and do nothing about it. It’s mainly blacks arresting blacks. In fact they are usually the most ardent supporters of the drug war because it brings a shit load of welfare sympathy dollars to their communities and a shit load of government jobs involving social welfare services. Bishop Ron Allen burned the midnight oil campaigning against Prop. 19 doing nonstop TV interviews, but there were no blacks on our side to counter him on TV. I saw white people from Drug Policy Alliance and white people from Marijuana Policy Project going up against him on TV, but no black activists, no black drug policy reform groups. Sorry, I only help those willing to help themselves.

    • Jake

      What about the NAACP’s support for prop 19… what about Neill Franklin being head of LEAP?…

      • Maria

        I was going to point that out but you beat me to it! That said, there is a distinct lack of leaders in the black community who are willing to say “enough is enough” when it comes to the drug war. There are some, but they are drowned out by the screaching “preachers” like Ron Allen.

        It would have been something to see the calm and intelligent Major Franklin debate that vocal, grating, pompous nitwit. But the truth is, Ron Allen was on an effin crusade. It didn’t matter who he was up against since he was neither logical, rational, or coherent, but he was LOUD. How could anyone compete with the emotional and shrill nonsense that came out of that man’s mouth? Ugh.

      • Didn't see them on TV

        “What about the NAACP’s support for prop 19… what about Neill Franklin being head of LEAP?…”

        Good question, but I never once saw them debate Bishop Allen on TV or in any other forum. No doubt they could have taken him out.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        “Bishop” Allen gets put on TV because he’s a freakin’ clown unique personality and people enjoy laughing at him very much appreciate his point of view.

        Let’s not forget that he’s a self anointed “bishop.”

        It looks all but certain that Montana’s repeal of I-148 is going to happen. The Governor seems the last obstacle between humanity and inhumanity. This in the face of a freshly minted opinion poll that says support for medical cannabis access is still right around 75%. It’s hard for me to believe that they’re not even going to be grandfathering in the current card holders. Christ on a cross even the Feds weren’t that despicable when they closed the compassionate IND program.

    • darkcycle

      I really could care less about the plight of poor racists impacted by ignorance and fear while they sit on their ass and do nothing about it. It’s mainly stupid people who have never done enough reality-checking to know their ideas about the world are fucked up that write posts like the one above. In fact it’s stupid fuckers like that that bring a shitload of prejudice and hate to the likes of Tea Partys and such. Why, with Niel Franklin and LEAP burnin the midnight oil to pass prop 19, these racists have their job ignoring reality and preserving their biases cut out for them. Kudos to the NAACP for coming out against the sentencing disparity and for marijuana legalization, you never see those nasty White people doing this sort of thing.

      • Racist?

        “Why, with Niel Franklin and LEAP burnin the midnight oil to pass prop 19, these racists have their job ignoring reality and preserving their biases cut out for them. Kudos to the NAACP for coming out against the sentencing disparity and for marijuana legalization, you never see those nasty White people doing this sort of thing.”

        If anyone is ignoring reality it’s you. I may be a nasty White person, but I’m not a racist. In fact, I think it’s largely racism on the black communities part that prevents them from joining a mostly white drug policy reform movement or govt welfare sympathy dollars that keeps most of them from speaking out. From what I’ve observed, Neill Franklin is the only black member of LEAP and it has no hispanic speakers. NAACP of California is the most influential black organization to come out for marijuana legalization, but what about the ~49 other state chapters and NAACP National. Is there any influential black organization at the national level fighting against the drug war?

    • darkcycle

      Yeah. Racist. And ignorant, too. I calls ’em like I sees ’em.

    • darkcycle

      P.S. Last time I checked, NAACP had 300,000 card carrying members….that’s a lot of voices. And Prop 19 was a California measure.

    • darkcycle

      And since the last sixty years have seen a civil rights struggle where African Americans have had to fight for everything from a basic education and voting rights to being able to eat at a lunch counter, fighting the war on drugs would seem to be something of a luxury. White folks who don’t have to fight for every little basic human right have had that privilege so far. Not surprising it hasn’t captured the same attention within the African American Community. They’ve had other problems to deal with. But I would venture that’s changing.

      • Re: darkcycle

        “Yeah. Racist. And ignorant, too. I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em.”

        No, you simply make personal attacks in knee-jerk fashion without any intelligent argument to back it up.

        “P.S. Last time I checked, NAACP had 300,000 card carrying members….that’s a lot of voices. And Prop 19 was a California measure.”

        That’s total membership nationwide, not the California chapter. I haven’t seen any influential black movement nationwide against the drug war.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAACP

        “And since the last sixty years have seen a civil rights struggle where African Americans have had to fight for everything from a basic education and voting rights to being able to eat at a lunch counter”

        Those issues were 50 years ago and people are sick and tired of hearing about that shit. The drug war has been going on in overdrive since the racist Richard Nixon was President and blacks have served it proudly. Baltimore, which is mostly black, has one of the highest arrest rates for marijuana in the country.

        “fighting the war on drugs would seem to be something of a luxury. White folks who don’t have to fight for every little basic human right have had that privilege so far. Not surprising it hasn’t captured the same attention within the African American Community. They’ve had other problems to deal with. But I would venture that’s changing.”

        Really??? What bigger problem exists today than a policy that has put “More African-American men in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.”?

        If anything, fighting the drug war seems more like a luxury for whites since we are not the ones being arrested at such a massive rate but YET whites are far more vocal about it.

  • DdC

    “I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of the land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of ‘stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.’ I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which every where surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. . . . The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies and souls of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other—devils dressed in angels’ robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.”
    — Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)

    Thank you Miss Rosa

    Blasphemy

    Lowest of the human life forms, barrel bottom scrapings. Snitches and Narks feeding DA cases to propel them up the politicop ladder. Stuck in the primordial ooze a bit too long. Mindless Phucks. American terrorists. Loyal members of USA!qaeda. DEAth Merchants selling the Ganjawar. Franchises to obedient Drug Worriers. Ad agencies, printers and Paraphernalia keeping the Hobgoblins employed. Trashing, stigmatizing and scapegoating we the tokers.

    • DdC

      Daddy, What Did You Do in the Great Drug War?
      Johnson, Riddle & Co., Ltd., London, S.E., c. (1915 or 2011)

      “This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
      — Frederick Douglass

  • ThunderRock

    Prohibition is culturally acceptable slavery that crosses all racial boundaries. It is the modern “we don’t like your kind around here” strategy. Prohibition is a strategy that claims that its purposes are to protect our children, to be tough on crime, and to insure domestic tranquility. When in reality, prohibitions real purpose is to segregate hundreds of thousands of undesirables from the “we’re better than you” society.

    Prohibition creates the slavery of second class citizenship that withholds educational, social, and economic opportunities from hundreds of thousands people who choose a different recreational intoxicant. An intoxicant that has proven medicinal properties, is non-toxic, and has been consumed for thousands of years with no fatalities. Unlike the approved intoxicant of choice, alcohol, that kills tens of thousands of people a year and causes untold hardship and tragedy.

    While prohibitionists call it the “War on Drugs”, it is in reality a “Civil War” for the continuation of institutional slavery. It is a “Civil War” to keep “those kinds of people” out of society. When will we all come to the realization that the “War on Drugs” is not some cute political catch phrase? We are in a “Civil War” and people are dying!

  • vicky vampire

    I’m not going to through stones at folks just,wake up folks I know folks from their own kind are there worst enemies don’t help their brethren leave them hanging, in more ways than one.

    Well is Montana going to arrest those 30,00 now on Medical pot and that guy who had his kid all over TV doing the Cannabis,I think at least I would hope ACLU and some activist groups will keep at thorough check on every travesty and injustice and craziness that they pull after this repeal passes it going to be a weird scary spring and summer for Montana folks. How MANY WILL STILL USE CANNABIS AT RISK OF ARRESTS?

  • vicky vampire

    What am I talking about it will continue to be weird and scary for all of us until they legalize or decriminalize more across the board. Montana Government,you are freaks especially with current science coming out almost daily on benefits of cannabis of course they must think its just fairy tales.
    I guess folks in Montana will go deep underground.

  • darkcycle

    Duncan, ignoring the will of the people seems to be the way the games of politics and prohibition are both played these days. The stoic in me says good, the Montana initiative will be re-filed, we’ll come back like we always do and the politicians responsible will be sent packing. Message sent, next fight, please. BUT the disgusted, impatient and indignant side of me says this incrimentalist bullshit is just that: bullshit. One wonders when is enough enough? Like Wisconsin, I can’t believe people will lay down for this crap the way they do.
    And how about that?, thinking that Niel Franklin (or any prohibition opponent, for that matter) can just call CNN and say “Get me a debate with Bishop Allan”? Certainly the media is an open forum for the truth….WTF? Seventy years of W.R. Hearst’s Yellow Journalism, and the media supressing the truth disregarded, just to defend his perverse belief that somehow African Americans put themselves in jail. That’s a head scratcher.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      DC, that wasn’t me above. I agree with you. IMO the pushback against calling it racism is a defense mechanism that a lot of white people adopt because it’s a horrid reality that they just can’t bring themselves to face.

      With a lot of my business happening in west Baltimore I get to see the lives of blacks living in a lower socio-economic venue first hand. To date the only real inaccuracy I’ve been able to pin on The Wire is that black people in Charm City don’t refer to each other as “——“* anywhere nearly as frequently as depicted in that show. Indeed a lot of black suffering is self inflicted bot nowhere near all of it, perhaps not even more than isn’t.

      When the subject of white people owning slaves as a example intended to support the argument that all white people are racist I like to point out that it was some white people who told other white people that they couldn’t own slaves anymore. All in all I’m pleased that all of my direct ancestors immigrated in the 1880s from Ireland and Scotland, neither of which allowed slavery. There’s no way that I can be held responsible even adding the qualification that guilt passes from one generation to the next. On the other hand my wife’s ancestors landed here in 1620. No kidding, her great great great great great (etc) grandmother was the first immigrant on the eastern shore of Maryland to give birth. She must have made the trip with the bun in the oven because it was only a couple of months after landing. Unfortunately it’s untrue that everyone who landed in the very early days of white people in the US made all sorts of money and that they’re progeny are still enjoying their good fortune.

      The argument that blacks arresting blacks supports the argument that it isn’t racism falls flat on its face when the history of pre-Civil War plantations is considered. It was not infrequent that the plantation owners would grant at least one slave the power to be the overseer. One slave whipping another slave does not make that action not racist. Aside from that, is one disqualified from being a racist if it’s his own race he believes to be inferior, you know, a little self hated thing going on?

      I am inclined to believe that a lot of people forget that hatred isn’t a required element of racism. Many people have dogs which they believe to be an inferior species but dogs have still been dubbed “man’s best friend”. An objective observer in the early 1800s might interact with slaves and their lack of education would provide a confirmation of their bias that the slaves weren’t as smart as white people. No emotion required, just missing the fact that they weren’t being judged on an equal playing field would do the trick.

      Wow, did you know that in many States slave owners were required by law to punish runaway slaves? Another great piece of trivia to throw in the face of “the law is the law” Know Nothings.

      (* I’m not allowed to say that word even as part of an objective observation.)

  • Re: darkcycle

    “Seventy years of W.R. Hearst’s Yellow Journalism, and the media supressing the truth disregarded, just to defend his perverse belief that somehow African Americans put themselves in jail. That’s a head scratcher.”

    Have you ever heard of the Bolshevik Revolution or McCarthyism? People eat each other up during times of radical hysteria. It’s what we have been witnessing in the black community for the past thirty years. Many of them think that the drug trade is a scourge fostered by whites to keep blacks down. You don’t have to take my word for it, watch this movie:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panther_%28film%29

    Or talk to some of the black community leaders about how we need to legalize marijuana and other drugs and see what kind of response you get, especially if you are white.

    • Duncan20903

      Neither do all black people speak with one voice and march in lockstep. That’s the same poor reasoning employed by a not insignificant cohort of Know Nothing prohibitionists as part of their hysterical rhetoric.

      “well all we ever hear from these dopers is that they want to make cigarette smoking illegal but are fine with legalizing pot.”

      Do you know of a lot of potheads that favor discarding one idiotic prohibition from the other? I’m sure we could locate a cohort that does but with 22 million people in the pothead cohort you should be able to find cohorts that believe in or are whatever cohorts are found in the general population. E.g. Jared Loughner’s existence does not prove that potheads become psychotic. Presuming potheads suffer schizophrenia same rate of schizophrenia to the general public means that there are at least 220,000 schizophrenic potheads in the USA.

      “All potheads are liberals who have never spawned childrens.”

      “all muggles smokers are in favor of heroin being sold to school children.”

      etc, etc, etc. Christ, one thing you definitely can’t pin on potheads is that we all agree with each other.

      “all potheads do is sit around eating cheetos and collecting welfare.”

      “every pothead is stoned 24/7/365 so you can’t trust a word that they say!”

      • RickG

        “Neither do all black people speak with one voice and march in lockstep.”

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to give that impression. However, the dominant voices among black community leaders are supportive of drug war crackdowns. While they may not march in lockstep, very few march to the beat of ending the drug war. Who cares what they say or think behind closed doors, it’s what you do that matters. More blacks are in the criminal justice system than were enslaved before the Civil War and it’s mostly blacks arresting other blacks. So when you hear some old white reformer talking about how racist our drug war is, you will probably find plenty of black police officers scratching their heads.

  • darkcycle

    “Or talk to some of the black community leaders about how we need to legalize marijuana and other drugs and see what kind of response you get, especially if you are white.”
    I have. And I do. And the response is overwhelmingly positive, as long as you ask the question of people under 55 or sixty. Same identical response when you talk to groups of “enlightened whites”. And, guess what? Prohibition IS “is a scourge fostered by whites to keep blacks down. You don’t have to take my word for it,”….just look up the testimony from the hearings of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. Then go LOOK at the history of Hearst and the newspaper syndicates from the same period. Now. I am finished with this and with you. Go read some history, meet a black person once, and come back when you can make some sort of sense.

    • Re: darkcycle

      “Prohibition IS “is a scourge fostered by whites to keep blacks down.”

      I’m not talking about prohibition, I’m talking about the racist sentiment among black people that heroin and cocaine was invented by whites to keep blacks down. I don’t need to go all the way back 50 to 150 years to understand that blacks are arresting each other to purge their communities of the white devil’s drug influence, while hitting up the federal govt for social welfare relief from the destruction they themselves caused. Deep racism and hatred among blacks is the primary reason why they will not unite with whites to fight the drug war. Of course, another big reason is simple economics: The best paying jobs in black communities are those in government or in government-funded nonprofits that perform social welfare services. If the drug war ended, much of the law enforcement and social welfare industry would collapse, like a lot of the defense industry did after the Cold War.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Nah, prohibition wasn’t fostered by the whites to keep black people down. It’s was done to keep Asians and Hispanics down as well. Black people were actually added last. 1875 finds the first opium/opium den laws definitely targeting Asians. California criminalized cannabis in 1913 to get rid of the Mexicans. After moving east the prohibition juggernaut needed a new boogie man. It also came in handy when the commies and subsequently when the hippies showed up. It really is an equal opportunity hatred.

      • Julian

        You beat me to it! I just wrote a philosophy paper on the history of Prohibition and the perpetuation of the war on drugs as a direct and indirect form of oppression to minorities (by race and by subculture). A tip of my hat good sir.

        It is the enlightened and evolved form of discrimination/oppression, a form that can and has been easily supported by those who honestly think they are doing Good. I use the bird cage example to describe how powerful yet evasive this oppression is. When someone looks at how we deal with drugs in this country they do not directly notice the overwhelming oppression and inequality because it is blended so well into legitimate legal concerns and traditional legal punishments. People notice one or two little things and think “Oh, that is nothing. That is not unjust. They just do it, learn their lesson, and they are done. What’s the big deal?” but when you take everything relating to the drug war and it’s repercussion and put it all together you notice that all those little things create overlapping bars that encage individuals in a manor that not only sets them up for failure but punishes them more severely then any other “criminal” for the inevitable failure and then, if they ever make it out of the continual cycle of set ups and punishments, leaves them with a political and social status that is about equal to property (lacking the right to vote being the biggest but also disallowing them funding for education, housing, fair and equal employment, et cetera.) This is the number one thing I try to bring to people’s attention because this is one of the things most people don’t realize and it is the heart of the War on Drugs. When I get the chance to sit down and really show someone what being arrested for drugs truly leads to they are almost always shocked and appalled because they honestly thought “No one really gets punished for cannabis anymore.” or “They way things are being done is working to make our country safer.”

  • jewel

    Whomever you are riding on darkcycle’s handle, please pick your own and stick to it. A suggestion for curtesy.

    There is a measure of truth in what you are saying but it is no surprise that some prefer to fight the scourge via policing it, given history AND present circumstanses.

    Here is an example:
    http://www.accessnorthgeorgia.com/detail.php?n=237589

  • Windy

    http://www.snopes.com/katrina/soapbox/peterson.asp
    At the above link you will find the beginning of an op-ed by Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, he is the kind of black leader the American minority populations need (and white America needs it, too). It would be well if we could get him on our anti-prohibition bandwagon, too. Perhaps someone who has some pull and credibility could make an inquiry to see if he’d be willing?

    If you cannot find a working link to the original op-ed, I can provide the whole thing (I have it saved on my hard-drive), just ask, and I will post it here.

    • DdC

      Both cut from the same cloth…

      Moral Poverty Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson

      Body Count: Moral Poverty… $1.95
      and How to Win America’s War Against Crime and Drugs
      by John J. Diiulio, William J. Bennett , John P. Walters

      If it is difficult to take seriously a book on crime-fighting that starts by calling the Reagan-Bush drug war “the most successful attack on a serious social problem in the last quarter-century,” consider that the authors up the ante with their alarmist forecasts of an approaching wave of youthful “super-predators,” members of “the youngest, biggest and baddest generation any society has ever known.” Evidence for this army of thugs seems slight in the face of sharp nationwide declines in rates of violent crime, but then former drug czar and self-appointed virtue expert William Bennett is preaching to the choir here anyway.

  • strayan

    Amazing lecture on slavery being put on trial (like the drug war should):

    http://sydney.edu.au/podcasts/2011/slavery_rethinking_the_past.mp3