Re: politically insane

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Tue 09 Sep 2003 - 00:08:30 GMT

  • Next message: Ray Recchia: "Re: Meme-strongholds"

    >From: John Croft <>
    >Subject: politically insane
    >Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 16:50:04 +0100 (BST)
    >Jonathan wrote
    > > I also note the Michael Mooresque moan about
    > > incarceration rates and black
    > > Americans. The simple and horrible truth is that the
    > > incarceration rates
    > > reflect the offending rates perfectly. You does the
    > > crime , you does the
    > > time.
    > >
    > > The Americans have enjoyed an enormous drop in
    > > crime over the last 10
    > > years. The recent peaceful blackout in New York is
    > > an excellent example of
    > > how much things have improved. Simply contrast the
    > > riots in 1977 with last
    > > months peaceful and relatively crime free blackout.
    > >
    > > That great society is defeating crime, we ought to
    > > imitating their
    > > success.
    >Interesting that during this time the number of people
    >incarcerated rose from 200,000 in the 1970's to 2.3
    >million people today, with a further 1.8 million out
    >on early release schemes and parole. You surely
    >cannot be arguing for fifteen fold increase in the
    >crime rates since 1970?
    >The chief reasons for the increase in crime rates seem
    >to have been due to the privatisation of the industry
    >and a powerful lobby in politics to "get tough on
    >crime" even when crime figures were improving.
    >Regarding the figures for black imprisonment, it is
    >true that the figures are disproportionate. It is
    >interesting that most states now spend more on
    >incarcerating their black male youth than educating
    >them. It is also interesting that figures show that
    >fewer blacks than whites are represented by top
    >lawyers, more are encouraged to plead guilty on
    >promises of leniency. The rate of offending black
    >versus white is not the same rate as the rate of
    >incarceration. Blacks tend to attract more custodial
    >sentencies, for longer periods than whites found
    >guilty of the same crime.
    >We have similar circumstances facing our Australian
    >Aboriginal populations in Australia.
    >Hope this helps explain the situation better.
    I watched Michael Moore's _Bowling for Columbine" documentary not knowing what to expect. I wound up thinking he did a good job of addressing a lot of issues, including the perception of black males in the US. Not only do I wonder, as your post makes relevant, whether blacks (and native Australians too for that matter) are targeted not only by law enforcement, but also by the story vipers in the media.

    The name of the politically militant (definitely not the same as gangsta) hip hop group "Public Enemy" is pertinent here, for when they became popular in the mid to late 80's, there did seem to be a targeting of black men in the popular zeitgeist as public enemies.

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