The First Step…

I applaud the work done on a bipartisan basis to pass the First Step Act. But I recognize it is just that, a first step. And in the process of criminal justice reform, it is the last step. The first step being policing, arrests and incarceration. Acknowledging that warehousing people in jails with harsh sentences for minor infractions is detrimental to our society and not productive, is a good thing. Addressing the need for rehabilitation pre and post release is another. But most importantly, we must recognize the fact that prison and release accommodations are the end of what must be addressed before we can celebrate any social or political victory. The fact that the population in prisons is 38% African American, in a country where African Americans comprise only 12% of the total population. And the fact that there are 47,000 more Black prisoners than white, shows a bias towards and a history of, racial profiling. I know you’ve heard these statistics before, but the policies and practices which make these facts a reality is what is important. This inequity is about the perception of Black criminality. Let’s be honest and recognize that the First Step Act is not really that, it is really a last step. We would not need to rehabilitate, if we did not incarcerate to begin with.

But for systemic racism, would we criminalize being Black for everyday behavior? This is most importantly and certainly THE question. Economics has been at the root of our history with criminality. Economics ignores why there are so many Black people in jails and the resultant effects on African American communities and justifies it in the need for labor. And for this reason, we must take seriously and understand the basis from which our discussion of criminal justice emanates. I do not see the First Step Act as a triumph of this administration or any politician or celebrity, beyond acknowledging the decrease in the need for unskilled labor.

So why is our criminal justice system so full of Black people to begin with? Dealing with criminal justice reform is crucial in rectifying the unequal prospects for people’s lives, specifically recognizing the overwhelming impact on the lives of Black men and women. Historically we know that at emancipation, prisons and laws were created and implemented to control the newly freed slaves. In this way, slavery could continue “legally”, and free labor could continue. It has been a practice starting with reconstruction and Jim Crow, that for more than 100 years, police have been used to control African American communities.

Police who patrol and arrest are central to the supply chain of the criminal justice system structure. It shines a bright light on the practices which have allowed no police officers to be convicted for murder in Chicago in the fifty years before Jason Van Dyke. It highlights the reason for the last act of Jefferson Sessions, which was to tear apart any consent decrees to monitor police behavior, and yes it speaks to the righteous claims of Black Lives Matter. Policing practice is also critical to the economic model which supports large profit margins from cheap labor. How have the police and courts on the front end been used to arrest more, and sentence more harshly African Americans to maintain a stock of cheap labor before we even get to rehabilitation post incarceration?

When slavery was dismantled and “free labor” tagged as slavery was no longer legal, creating a free workforce through prisoners, and eventually undocumented labor, became essential to building a burgeoning economy. In order to justify this system, it has always been necessary to create a narrative around who these people are and why they are being arrested. This would explain why incarceration was warranted based on a demographic profile and proclivity towards violence, work habits and sexual aggression. This stereotyping, now blatant and normal, justified incarceration, it enhanced the safety of our communities to just “lock them up”. The business of incarceration became integral to the functioning of a society which excludes people who once incarcerated cannot get a job, a loan, or a home to live in with family. At one point this labor was free, then it was cheap, and then it became too expensive to maintain.

We cannot forget that the billionaire Koch brothers were one of the first participants in for profit, private prisons. And when it became unprofitable, they were one of the first conglomerates to determine that the business model was unworkable and that for-profit prisons should be closed. And now we’re all on board for the First Step Act which starts a new business based on the lives of formerly incarcerated people. Why else would Trump indicate that he thought that Black and Brown people should want the border closed more than anyone else? Is it because he thinks those low wage jobs that undocumented workers seek are suboptimal enough to only be filled by Black and Brown people? This mind set is just that, which has been used to justify prison as a way to secure under class citizenship. The business model is changing faster than our ability to react to the effects of centuries of racist policy and multiple decades of evolving manufactured inequity and exclusion. Underutilizing all of the assets and depending only on a part of our population has damaged, rather than enhanced, the capitalist model.

The fact is the economy has changed and we haven’t kept up. The supply has gotten too great for the level of demand for marginalized, low value labor that we have created. There is no coal industry of the future, farms don’t operate without technology and manufacturing is advanced. The rush to technology-based innovation has put an even more urgent face on the necessity for change. If we had educated everyone fairly, if we had allowed each American to compete on a level playing field, if we acknowledged the humanity and worth of each individual, we would not have to resort to or revert to barbarism to exclude some from livable wages and the promise of a great America. And when you start to see each person as an asset, a valuable input to a business model upon which a real return on investment is based you open a whole world of possibility.

And so, I say let’s take a real first step. The bottom line is that there is no way to police our way out of the effects of bad policy rooted in racism. The answers are not in post incarceration rehabilitation, but in police reform. If it takes press events for Kim Kardashian and Van Jones to bring attention to the failures of our system, that imprisons innocent people and makes good photo ops but does not make good policy, for it to never happen again, then so be it. We simply cannot continue to blame Black families and Black fathers for poor parenting to justify the practice that has created conditions that work against their success. We cannot continue to teach generations hate and othering that leads to this condition. Criminal justice reform is not just starting a new inequitable system of halfway houses and ankle monitors, it means taking real steps, up and down the chain, to rectify the current state of affairs. It means addressing education inequities and providing real access and opportunities. It means less reliance on police to control and diminish others. Most importantly it is clear that we must confront our issues with race and inequitable treatment of all people. It is about recognizing the value and humanity of each and every individual in our world.

It is not a short-term fix, and it is a complicated issue, and therefore it is urgent that we get started. Criminal justice reform means confronting our issues with systemic racism. Valuable time and lives are being wasted every day. And this is a conscious choice. This is a first step.

112 Comments on “The First Step…”

  1. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve visited this site before
    but after going through many of the articles I realized it’s
    new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely pleased I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

  2. Asking questions are genuinely nice thing if you are
    not understanding anything fully, but this piece of
    writing offers fastidious understanding even.

  3. Wonderful article! That is the type of information that should be shared
    around the net. Disgrace on Google for not positioning this post higher!

    Come on over and discuss with my web site . Thanks =)

  4. My partner and I stumbled over here from a different website and thought I
    might check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you.

    Look forward to checking out your web page yet

  5. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.

    I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will
    come back someday. I want to encourage you continue your great writing, have a
    nice holiday weekend!

  6. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources
    back to your weblog? My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would genuinely
    benefit from some of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks!

  7. Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would appreciate your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me
    an e-mail.

  8. I simply want to say I’m very new to blogs and really liked this website. Almost certainly I’m planning to bookmark your website . You certainly have tremendous well written articles. Regards for revealing your web site.

  9. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of
    your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here
    and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Exceptional work!

  10. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done an impressive
    job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  11. I just want to mention I’m beginner to blogging and truly savored you’re blog site. More than likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You surely have remarkable writings. Appreciate it for sharing with us your web site.

  12. Aw, this has been a very good post. In idea I have to devote writing this way additionally – spending time and actual effort to generate a top notch article… but exactly what do I say… I procrastinate alot and by no indicates seem to go accomplished.

  13. A lot of thanks for your entire work on this blog. Kate really loves working on research and it’s really easy to see why. Most of us hear all concerning the dynamic medium you provide both interesting and useful secrets by means of the web blog and as well cause response from other people on that subject matter and our own child is now studying a whole lot. Have fun with the rest of the new year. You are always doing a fabulous job.

  14. This is the correct blog for anybody who wants to seek out out about this topic. You understand so much its virtually onerous to argue with you (not that I truly would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

  15. Dead pent subject matter, thanks for entropy. “You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it.” by Samuel Butler.

  16. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  17. Very interesting points you have remarked, thanks for posting . “I don’t know what you could say about a day in which you have seen four beautiful sunsets.” by John Glenn.

  18. It¡¦s in reality a great and useful piece of information. I¡¦m satisfied that you shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Good post and straight to the point. I don’t know if this is actually the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to get some professional writers? Thank you 🙂

  20. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Excellent work!

  21. Nice postGood post. I learn something newsomething totally new and challenging on blogssiteswebsites I stumbleupon everydayevery dayon a daily basis. It will always beIt’s always interestingexcitinghelpfuluseful to readto read through contentarticles from other writersauthors and practiceand use a little somethingsomething from theirfrom other siteswebsitesweb sites.

  22. Hey, you used to write magnificent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

  23. I have been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts in this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website. Reading this information So i¡¦m glad to convey that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I so much without a doubt will make sure to do not omit this website and provides it a glance on a constant basis.

  24. Thank you a lot for giving everyone a very special opportunity to read critical reviews from here. It is always very awesome plus jam-packed with a great time for me personally and my office mates to search your site a minimum of thrice per week to see the latest issues you will have. And of course, I’m actually fulfilled with all the exceptional strategies you serve. Certain 3 ideas in this posting are completely the most impressive I have ever had.

  25. I have been surfing online greater than three hours as of late, yet I never found any fascinating article like yours. It’s beautiful worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content as you probably did, the internet will probably be a lot more helpful than ever before. “I finally realized that being grateful to my body was key to giving more love to myself.” by Oprah Winfrey.

  26. Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and fantastic design and style.

  27. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such magnificent info being shared freely out there.

  28. I think other web site proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and magnificent user genial style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  29. Awesome post. I am a normal visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a regular visitor for a really long time.

  30. There are some attention-grabbing deadlines on this article but I don抰 know if I see all of them heart to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like more! Added to FeedBurner as nicely

  31. I together with my buddies have been digesting the excellent points from your site and then the sudden developed an awful suspicion I never thanked the blog owner for those tips. My women were for that reason joyful to learn all of them and have in effect without a doubt been using those things. Appreciation for being indeed accommodating and also for picking out some fine subjects most people are really desperate to learn about. My very own honest regret for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  32. I have not checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  33. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He used to be entirely right. This publish truly made my day. You cann’t consider simply how so much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  34. Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an exceptionally wonderful opportunity to read in detail from this website. It’s always so pleasurable and full of a good time for me personally and my office colleagues to search the blog particularly thrice weekly to study the new items you will have. And of course, we’re at all times pleased with your stunning tactics you give. Selected two areas in this article are undeniably the most efficient we have ever had.

  35. Great work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the web. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my website . Thanks =)

  36. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thank you

  37. Wow, fantastic weblog format! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is magnificent, as neatly as the content material!

  38. After I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any approach you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks!

  39. I truly appreciate this post. I¡¦ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again

  40. I’ve learn a few excellent stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much attempt you put to create this kind of great informative website.

  41. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I’m hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it.

  42. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such wonderful information being shared freely out there.

  43. Once I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any way you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  44. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So good to find any individual with some unique thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this website is one thing that’s wanted on the web, someone with just a little originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

  45. I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again!

  46. you’re really a good webmaster. The website loading speed is incredible. It seems that you are doing any unique trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a fantastic job on this topic!

  47. Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Kudos

  48. Whats up very nice blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds also¡KI’m happy to seek out numerous helpful info right here within the post, we want develop more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  49. you’re in reality a good webmaster. The website loading velocity is incredible. It sort of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a excellent job on this matter!

  50. Hey there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

  51. Hi, Neat post. There is a problem with your web site in internet explorer, would check this… IE still is the market leader and a big portion of people will miss your excellent writing due to this problem.

  52. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely wonderful. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it wise. I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is actually a great web site.

  53. I’m extremely inspired together with your writing skills and also with the layout for your blog. Is this a paid subject or did you modify it your self? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is uncommon to look a nice blog like this one nowadays..

  54. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really understand what you’re talking approximately! Bookmarked. Please also discuss with my website =). We could have a link trade arrangement between us!

  55. Awsome article and straight to the point. I don’t know if this is actually the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thanks in advance 🙂

  56. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this superb blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  57. great post, very informative. I’m wondering why the other specialists of this sector do not understand this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  58. You are so awesome! I do not believe I’ve read through anything like that before. So nice to find someone with some unique thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a little originality.

  59. After looking at a few of the articles on your website, I honestly appreciate your technique of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my web site as well and let me know how you feel.

  60. Hey there! I just would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for the great info you’ve got here on this post. I will be coming back to your website for more soon.

  61. hey there and thank you for your info – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this web site, as I experienced to reload the website lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective exciting content. Make sure you update this again very soon..

  62. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

  63. Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  64. you’re really a excellent webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a wonderful job on this matter!

  65. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is fantastic, let alone the content!

  66. I am really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A number of my blog audience have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any solutions to help fix this issue?

  67. I haven’t checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  68. Good site! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!

  69. Having read this I believed it was rather informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it.

  70. Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your site unintentionally, and I am stunned why this accident didn’t came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

  71. I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?

Leave a Reply to Washington DC furniture removal Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *