( – promoted by buhdydharma )
I’ll be mercifully brief. I just listened to a program on KPFA which is an interview with Michelle Alexander speaking of her new book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
Basically, her contention that the 5 fold increase in incarceration in this country is thew way the elites have managed to use prisons as a means of social control as industries have moved away from population centers and left in its wake unsustainable ghettos. Which were invaded, starting under Reagan, by federally subsidized efforts to incarcerate a high proportion of African-American men through the spectacularly disproportionate application of drug laws against the poor and, largely, ignoring the white middle-class. SWAT Teams were sent in and funded to roust people out of their beds, seize and confiscate their property and deprive them of their civil rights.
All this was done in order to shore up the racist white south (let’s call a spade a spade here — sorry for y’all in the south but face it) for the Republican Party. Meanwhile the Democrats just encouraged the general mayhem and attempt at destruction of whole communities. People here probably think that blacks use drugs disproportionally. Not so. But that’s what the propaganda organs started blasting over the air and cables in the 80’s goal: demonize black men. And it suceeded! The sheeple just ate it up — wow their racial prejudices (which they were not allowed to articulate and just fueled more resentment) proved right! What euphoria, wave that American flag. We aren’t racists — it’s just that black people are naturally morally inferior, hey pass that joint around man.
This elephant in the room is one of the pillars of delusion in this culture — that we are nice people who don’t build concentration camps or practice racial/ethnic cleansing. We want to spread freedom through incarcerating the poor and frying villagers in Islamic countries just for fun — for more in this vein see ANKOSS’ terrific diary, War Junkies.
Ms Alexander makes some exquisite and clearly logical points that are well worth listening to.