I am not of the Left yet I have been reading Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft because of her coverage of the Zimmerman case. I continue to be impressed by most of Jeralyn’s comments and I see where her heart is, and I find that what is being said comes close to my own philosophy. I do differ on some things, especially because I see illegal immigrants through a different prism from Jeralyn. I do think that if she was to open her eyes a little bit wider she would end up agreeing at least in principle. I am personally about Freedom, but I am not a libertarian. My ethos remains that of a Catholic and I see social justice in the way that I think it should be seen, without the Leftist overtones. When I refer to an article at TalkLeft it is because there is much of merit that has been stated, and this is also true of her lastest post. There is a lot to be digested.
Without having a full knowledge of the prison system in the USA I am not able to comment on all of the points that were raised. If I am going to fault the points raised it is due to the fact that I think that we all need boundaries and civil laws should be outlining those boundaries. I do not belong to the group that wants to decriminalize cannabis, yet I think that I am ok with the idea of decriminalizing possession for personal use but not when it is for sale. I am ok with the idea that people caught in possession of cannabis should be fined, but not incarcerated. The reason that I think along those lines is that I do believe that pushers do a lot of harm to their customers. On top of that I happen to think that people need to pull off the blinders that do not allow them to see that cannabis, when abused can be a dangerous drug. It is because I am continuing to form my own views on the matter of drugs that I will decline to get involved in arguments about whether possession should be considered as something criminal. Please note I have never possessed or used any of these “recreational drugs” and yes I drink wine.
Jeralyn has highlighted a report that has quite a bit to say about the prison system and what appears to be the excessive imprisonment of minorities. Without knowing all of the facts I am not able to give an opinion on the subject, but I will note that those who created the report looked at the historical context.
However, taking a lead from Jeralyn I do think it worthwhile to explore the fact that teenagers and subteens are facing incarceration in greater numbers. When I first saw the article, I think one case did come to mind, and that is the case of the Florida Hispanic boy Cristian Fernandez. This is another case involving Angela Corey, BDLR and overcharging, but the difference is that this time it is of a child under the age of 14, who was charged with First Degree Murder. Having read about some of the story, I am of the view that Cristian’s civil rights have been abused by the State of Florida.
Cristian Fernandez is accused of the murder of his half-brother. The younger boy died after Cristian pushed him into a bookcase. The issue for me is whether or not a boy of Cristian’s age could in fact be guilty of murder in the first degree because he was still at an age when he would not necessarily understand the meaning of intent to kill. The persecution did manage to get a plea bargain in this case, and so a murder trial was avoided. My point here is: was this fair for either the boy or his mother in the surrounding circumstances.
The mother was pregnant with her son when she was something like 12 years old. This indicates to me that she was the victim of sexual abuse, in that adults were taking advantage of her vulnerability as she was beginning to mature. She had to raise Cristian from a very young age. I do not know all of the circumstances of the case, but did read that Cristian himself had been abused by an adult. Yet, it was BDLR and Angela Corey who claimed that Cristian was a bad ass who had sexually abused his little brother. I do not recall ever seeing any positive proof where such a claim is concerned.
Not all cases are like that of Cristian Fernandez because there are a lot of teenagers who are involved in petty crime, drug addiction, gangs etc. and they are getting hold of guns. The worst place for the deaths of black teens is Chicago. The rate of murders in Chicago is probably the worst in the USA, yet until recently Chicago had laws that prevented people from having concealed carry weapons. Most, if not all of those deaths of black teens in Chicago are the result of teens possessing illegal guns, as well as their involvement in gangs.
Whilst Jeralyn makes very good points with regard to the level of minorities in prisons, and she explores the reasons why these people end up in prison, I do think that she misses one of the elephants that are sitting in the room. The largest of those elephants would have to be GANGS and gang culture.
There are other elements including the Black Grievance Industry and the hate that this particular industry generates. I do think that there are many issues to be considered. Some of the issues that have been raised also pertain to Australia, but some of the issues are unique to the USA.