Sunday, June 26, 2011

Michelle Alexander at Riverside Church NYC: New Jim Crow convict under-caste

I remember when I was younger, a man called my father to inform him that my uncle, a man who was once-upon-a-time, destined to go to the NBA, had just overdosed and was laying out somewhere on the streets of Long Beach.

That wasn't the first call, or the last. And if you are African-American, in the United States, someone in your family has been destroyed and/or gravely affected by the wave of drugs that were dumped into the US in the 70s to neutralize the growing angst and youth power that challenged government policies.

Shortly thereafter crack hit our country like a social implosion.

It is as if we have amnesia, when this new war on drug emerges and the political industrial complex widens. Who will fill these walls. Well, the same people who have been doing so for years, you.

Especially as the economic gap becomes something similar to a Saharan desert, a gap that is like a sinkhole.

Check out Michelle Alexander's talk that explores how the prison industrial complex is the new Jim Crow, or a social-racial-class caste system.

2 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

Mildred said...

While many more lives are still destroyed by alcohol, the social consequences of illegal drugs has been absolutely devastating.

On the intellectual/spiritual level, the idea of checking out and numbing yourself takes hold. It's clear that the dire circumstances many AAs face has sunk many into apathy.

On the social level, the associated lawlessness has taken a profound toll. And I don't just mean street level but the laundering of $$$, etc. The acceptance of the pimp-prostitute template I think has to be related to drugs.

Reggie said...

The person in my family that stands out is my cousin Randy. He had all the hopes and dreams of my family. He was that kid with all the charm and personality in the world....and then he discovered drugs. He spent the next three decades on the street until he died at 50 a few years back.

I think we all know someone who chose the wrong path.

God rest their souls.