Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Angry Black Man: You Want To Protest Something? Fine! (Okay so I'm a Hippie, Commie, Liberal Bastard Child of the 60's)

Okay, okay after this I'll shut up about it. Anyway the thing that always annoyed me about the indignation over the Zimmerman case was that it always appealed to emotion and I've always been of the opinion that that the reason we have law is so that the execution of administrative services and justice isn't determined by whether or not the guy hearing the case happens to be in a good or bad mood that day, and legally it always seemed like there was very little chance Zimmerman would be convicted.

Why? Because of the laws that could be applied to the case. But who made those laws? Us. My point is that people  shouldn't be protesting the individual outcome of this case, especially considering that there can't be a do over without resorting to double jeopardy, but rather should be protesting for reforms in laws that intentionally or otherwise disenfranchise minorities.

So here's a list of those.

1. Budget Appropriations and Geographical Disenfranchisement
All over the country, but especially in my neck of the woods there has been a quasi-re-segregation, with people who can afford it getting as far away from the cities, in particular Detroit as they can. And yeah I could make an argument that race has something to do with it, especially when these trends first started showing up after the 1960s race riots, but that's not my argument.

My argument is that the people left are often minorities, but more importantly they are often poor. These are the people who do not have the resources to leave. With all of the money leaving these areas they there is a general downward spiral in social and civil services that hurt those left who again are often poor minorities.

This social trend has a tendency to hurt poor minorities moving the country backwards from social and economic progress of the civil rights movement.

And to me that seems like something we should at least make an attempt to fix.  And there is a simple way to try to move in the right direction. Implement and fund programs aimed at rebuilding urban services. Fund education programs, housing programs, infrastructure programs.

Here are some of those

You know what? In the span of the last couple years of cut cut cut alot has been trimmed or axed complexly, locally, federally and statewide. Protest something, protest that.

2. Educational Reform
I am not an expert. I have no ideas to fix it. But of because the aforementioned re-segregation schools are starting to look like they did prior to Brown V. Board of Education.

Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does... Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [retard] the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racial[ly] integrated school system... We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

3. Equal Protection Under The Law
As stated because of the downward spiral of social services caused by declining tax bases it might be a long wait for various social services depending on where you live, and since where you live is linked to how much money you have, which lets face it has a correlation to you skin tone... you get where I'm going. If you call EMS because your Mom had a heart attack an ambulance should come regardless of where you live, how much money you make, or what race you are.

4. Tough on Crime Laws

In the 90's there were a lot of judges, legislators and mayors who came to power by promising to be tough on crime. They trumpeted broken window theory. They instituted polices, like mandatory minimums, three strikes laws, and draconian drug policies that disproportionately incarcerate not just black folks but young folks, and poor folks.

The jails are overflowing to the point where we can't even use them anymore. And they're overflowing with the poor.

You know in a perfect world you're not supposed to be afraid of the cops. In a perfect world they should be your first call when things get really bad. This is not a perfect world. My view of what cops do is that they minimize damage. When  there is no good ending they keep things from getting worse. But when the worse thing that can happen is getting locked up and that's almost a guarantee when you call the cops nobody wants to do that.  So bad goes to worse to HOLY FUCK!

And we all know who lacks the resources to get out of  "HOLY FUCK!"

5. The Privatization of Prison

I know why we do it. On a ledger government is squeezed and a good deal is a good deal, but it just seems wrong to me that people are profiting from and making a business out of what should be a necessary evil of the state. Especially when these prisons can use the labor of the incarcerated which can amount to slave labor. You shouldn't be able to make money from locking people up.

6. Equal Enforcement of the Law
You know all that other crap I said it amounts to this. There should be a number of black people in prison proportional to the general population. If you screw up, you go through the system. Race, class or wealth shouldn't have anything to do with it. For that to happen we have to look at how the factors that correlate to incarceration, education level, wealth, geography, and access to social services, are connected to race and incorporate them into our laws. .

7. Gerrymandering and Race Based Districting
The dirty little secret of politics is that if you draw the map right you can rig who wins, and the maps are always rigged. Both the Democrats and the Republicans want to minimize the number of contested fights. We know our guy is going to win here and your guy is going to win here. You get it. It's been suggested by writers wiser than I that this is why it's easier for minorities to win districted seats and harder to win national and statewide elections.

We, the black community in the know, mostly accepted this under the assumption that especially in the immediate aftermath of the civil rights movement the general populous was not going to vote for a black candidate so the map should be drawn so a concentration of Blacks could vote their guy in.

The trade off is that it's harder to vet and gauge how those candidates will perform in a general populous election like a statewide gubernatorial or a senate race reducing the chances of having a black governor, senator, or president, President Obama not withstanding.

And that kind of sucks. The system has built in a glass ceiling.

8. Campaign Finance Reform

Alright Black wealth is on the rise, but there is still a wealth gap. As a result a system where those with the most cash make the rules and those with the most cash are old white guys, that system is going to be old white guys make the rules.

Let's make that not the system.

Never going to happen because everyone is making too much money, and campaign ad time costs but a man can dream.

9. Redesign Civil Rights Legislation to Account For Poverty and Provide Equal Opportunity
Okay so less than a month ago the Supreme Court knocked down a big part of the Voting Rights act of 1965. I wrote a little ditty where I said Congress got complacent. Let me explain why without all the grandiose language.  Over the past couple decades The Supreme Court has been generally ruling that using race any any law is unconstitutional. And you know what. I kind of agree with that. The reason why we sort of wink wink nudge nudge it is because the laws generally in question were created to undo a societal racial bias that had persisted for years and that racial bias was considered the worse of the two evils.

I'm Black and so I mostly harp on black issues. But, most of what I've described could be summed up as not stuff that keeps black people down, but stuff that punishes people for being born poor.  Circumstances that are out of your control should have little to no impact on your lifetime earning potential, and you shouldn't have a harder time in life just because of where you happened to be born.

Today being poor caries the same social stigma and disenfranchisement as not being white did previously and oddly enough there is a pretty big overlap in those two circles on the Venn Diagram.

10. Stand Your Ground
I hinted at it previously but I'll say it here flat out. There is a societal prejudice against young urbanites who often happen to be not white. Yes it is kind of insulting for old women to cross the street at my passing. That said, I can't nor do I really want to fix what's in people's heads being the free will and by extension free speech cultist I am. At the end of the day I'm the guy who will defend to the death the Clan's right to march up and down Main Street.

But I draw a line at violence, so yeah. Any law that makes it okay to kill a black kid because you got paranoid is one we should think about knocking down.

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