Saturday, August 29, 2015

Justice for Some: A System of Racial Control

"I don't have a gun, stop shooting!"

The incarceration rate of the United States of America is the highest in the world. The inhumanity of the American prison industrial complex is unprecedented for a so-called "first world country."

America is just 4.5% of the world's population, but it has 25% of the world's prisoners. In a 2012 piece on the overcrowded American prison system, the DailyMail reported on the cramped lives lived by more than two million inmates.

How Many Prisoners Are in Solitary Confinement in the United States?
We can only estimate how many prisoners are in solitary Confinement in the United States, because the American Prison Industrial Complex doesn't keep good documentation, but it evidently has tens of thousands of prisoners in 23 hour lock-down everyday losing their sanity.

Why are Black people represented in such disproportionally high numbers in America's Criminal Justice System?

Malcolm X concluded that the "cops are in cahoots with the criminals" in this speech 53 years ago (May 1, 1962 in Los Angeles) and his assessment is still the case for Black communities in America.

Malcolm described how the white press collaborates with the police in criminalizing Black communities, turning them into occupied police states where Black men are harassed, profiled, stopped, frisked, and arrested for the "crimes" of walking while Black, driving while Black and the latest outrage to be captured on video (Freddie Gray was pursued and killed by cops for it): making direct eye contact while Black.

Fear is currently the preferred verb to excuse white cop's reactions and killings of Blacks nowadays. The "stand your ground" laws in some states are being applied to selectively defend the hunting down and killing of Black people by cops and white vigilantes (1 unarmed Black killed every 28 hours). The "stand your ground" defense is denied to people like Marissa Alexander, who only fired a warning shot at her abusive husband. Alexander was initially sentenced to 20 years before there was an outcry against the unjust ruling, eventually leading to her release.

Malcolm X Speech in Los Angeles (May 5, 1962)


"The white press, inflames the white public against black people. The police are able to use it to paint the black community as a criminal element.

The police are able to use the press to make the white public think that 90% or 99% of the people in the black community are criminals.

And once the white public is convinced that most of the black community is a criminal element, then this automatically paves the way for the police to move into the negro community, exercising gestapo tactics, stopping any black man on the sidewalk, whether he is guilty or whether he is innocent, whether he is well-dressed or whether he poorly dressed, whether he is educated or whether he is dumb, whether he is a Christian or whether he is a Muslim. As long as he is black and a member of the black community, the white public thinks that the white policeman is justified in going in there and trampling on that man’s civil rights and on that man’s human rights.

Once the police has convinced the white public that the so-called negro community is a criminal element, they can go in and question, brutalize, murder, unarmed innocent black people, and the white public is gullible enough to back them up.

This makes the black community a police state. It is the most heavily patrolled neighborhood, it has more police than any other neighborhood, yet it has more crime then any other neighborhood. How can you have more cops and more crime? Why? It shows you that cops must be in cahoots with the criminals!
-- Malcolm X

Below is another of the regularly occurring stories about indefinite detention in the American Prison Industrial Complex, not making mainstream media headlines. Check out this story about a guy who spent 7 years awaiting trial for a crime he did not commit. Sandra Bland paid with her life when a cop stopped her for not signaling a lane change, this after he started following her, forcing her to move over. These instances of police misconduct and cruelty exemplify The New Jim Crow era as described in Michelle Alexander's book of the same title.

HatTip to The Guardian for investigating this case and similar ones going on across America and failing to get the attention of the U.S. mainstream media.
Jamycheal Mitchell, 24, who was charged with stealing $5 worth of snacks from a 7-Eleven, died in a Virginia jail cell last week while being held without bail, weeks after a judge ordered him transferred to a mental health facility;  an order repeated at the end of July.

He was arrested April 22 in Portsmouth for allegedly stealing Mountain Dew, a Snickers, and a Zebra Cake.

They kept Mitchell indefinitely detained in a Virginia prison regardless of two court orders for his release. How does this happen?
"The clerk said that typically in such cases “we do an order to restore the defendant to competence, send it to the hospital, and when the hospital has a bed, we do a transportation order, and he’s taken to the hospital.” Whitlow reiterated the order on 31 July and was due to review the case again on 4 September, according to the clerk. 
But the hospital said it had no vacancy and the 24-year-old was therefore detained in jail until his death on 19 August, according to Adams, Mitchell’s aunt, who said she had tried to assist the hospitalisation process herself but was left frustrated. 
“He was just deteriorating so fast,” she said. “I kept calling the jail, but they said they couldn’t transfer him because there were no available beds. So I called Eastern State, too, and people there said they didn’t know anything about the request or not having bed availability.” 
When asked which state agency was ultimately responsible for ensuring Mitchell was transferred to the hospital, the court clerk said: “It’s hard to tell who’s responsible for it.”
Officials from the court, the police department and the jail could not explain why Mitchell was not given the opportunity to be released on bail."

The American prison industrial complex, in the service of the White Supremacy System's agenda may now apply the death penalty to Black people with prejudice.

Blacks are kept in America's jails in indefinite detention; tortured, starved, medical attention is withheld and their deaths are being blamed on them, not the "system" put in place to destroy Black lives.

This is a must read testimonial of what is going on in the Prison Industrial Complex: how jailers are getting away with murder: A prison nurse's look at Sandra Bland's death.

Michelle Alexander, the author of "The New Jim Crow" in a 2013 Lecture

“I am deeply disturbed that in this national debate about violence and gun control, there is little honest discussion of why, truly why, some communities  are war zones, while others are not? For while I support gun control and background checks and all the rest, let me be very clear about that. I think we’ve got to admit that the reason that some communities are war zones and some are not, is not at bottom about the number of guns in that community. After all, I live in a community where I’ve come to learn that many of my white neighbors own guns. But my neighborhood is safe. At bottom, what makes a community safe is not the number of guns, but the number of good schools, the number of good jobs, the number of educational opportunities, the numbers of opportunities people have for living a decent life.

Those are the numbers that matter most when it comes to violence. And in Chicago, as in so many other cities and communities across America, a choice has been made. It is a deliberate choice and it is a choice that has been made over and over and over again.
Rather than good schools, we have been willing to build high-tech prisons. Rather than create jobs and invest in the communities that need it the most, we have embarked on an unprecedented race to incarcerate that has left millions of Americans permanently locked-up.”
-- Michelle Alexander


• Prison Privatization & The Prison Boom -- 1970 : 280,000 prisoners | 2000 : 2,000,000 prisoners

• 158 Drug Convictions Tossed in Philly -- Narcotics officers were accused of being crooked

• 2006 FBI Report on White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement: You Will Be Assimilated

• Justice for All?
  • 95% of elected prosecutors are white.
  • 85% of prosecutors run for election unopposed.
  • There are over 2,400 elected prosecutors in America - only 1% are women of color.
  • In the criminal justice system, prosecutors often wield more power than judges and the police.
  • In 14 states, all elected prosecutors are white.
Report: Nearly All of America’s Prosecutors Are White Men

• White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement (PDF)

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