America practices a politic of distraction by condemning parts so that it can preserve the whole. Political fetch if you will. Focus your ire on police who disproportionately arrest Black people but not the prosecutors who choose to prosecute all those cases. Be mad at the public defenders who advise their clients to take “bad pleas” but not the prosecutors who make the offers or the judges who threaten to do worse if convicted at trial. Be angry at the jury that convict but not the legislators who created the mandatory sentencing. P
I am so thankful we have your voice. It's so clarifying and so powerful.
I agree 100%. Let's call it what it is...slavery!
Yes to all of this. The focus on private prisons is one I hear a lot -- people don't realize how private companies profit off of families in public facilities everyday. And speaking of slavery -- how THAT ensnares entire families and communities.
There's a line I read once in a decades-old history book at my grandparents' house (regrettably, co-authored by my great grandfather.) "The South Looks At Its Past." I don't have it in front of me, but there's a line in there that says something to the effect of "slavery was unfortunate, and it's especially unfortunate that families were torn apart so brutally, but it's not too tragic because people of African descent don't naturally develop or share the same family bonds as people of European descent."
I thought of that line every time I sat in waiting room at the DC Jail and watched families get denied visitation with their loved ones for whatever petty reason. And the children. The babies crying out for their fathers and the guards who would walk over and pick up a child who just ran to Daddy for a hug. It still haunts me.
This is the first newsletter post I've gotten from you, and I am so glad I subscribed. Looking forward to more in future. I appreciate your words, work, and presence so much. Wishing you all the very best!
Thank you for delivering your audience the truth. Like its literally here - for free! I appreciate your insight more than you know.
What resonates with me the most is your discussion on the language used to describe the criminal system and how it brainwashes people into believing these system is built to serve and protect when in actuality, its reinforcing the oppression of racialized communities right under our noses. And I agree that this is a tough pill to swallow which could explain why many people have not devoted the time to think critically about this reality… and so the marathon continues.
Like you, I hope that one day long term changes can actually be made. For now, I will adopt your take on never referring to the criminal system as a justice system.
Thank you for your words of inspiration. This is my first time reading your articles and it wont be my last.
the most important part of true advocacy for change is the HUMILITY to swallow this whole. thank you for constantly challenging us to do it
This is so, so well-said. Thank you!!!
I'm obsessed with you. Your mind is brilliant
I learn so much every time you write something. Thank you!
I love your writing :)