Don't you think that it's time to reform America's criminal justice system? It's an unfair, racist and dishonest system in need of abandonment. In the last 40 years an insidious prison industrial complex has developed to the detriment of African-American males. It appears that politicians of all stripes are more interested in sending African Americans to prison than to college. It's time to sound the alarm on the harm the country's prison industrial complex is causing across Black America.
How is it that African Americans are so dismissive of the mass incarceration of our male population? It's time to publicly scrutinize African Americans' disproportionate prison population numbers. Going to prison represents lifelong exclusion from "proper society" including job discrimination, elimination from juries and voter rolls, and disqualification from access to food stamps, public housing and student loans. Those who are considered [Black leaders] need to address the devastating effect of the war on drugs.
The American justice system is racist, outmoded and deserving of public scorn. Today, Black males are the most socially disenfranchised group in the country.
It should be of major concern to Blacks that 10.4 percent of the African-American male population ages 25 to 29 is incarcerated. We all know someone "in trouble." More than 3 million Black households have a close relative currently or previously on parole or probation. The number of Black men in prison has grown to the point that more African-American men are in jail than in college. Since the "War on Drugs" was launched, the U.S. has spent more than a trillion dollars to incarcerate millions of young people on drug charges. The "War on Drugs" has created a marginalized underclass that's denied equal access to jobs and educational opportunities.
Black voters guilty of electing the same politicians to office repeatedly need to consider the harm the war on drug has wrought over the past 40 years. Isn't it time to take these elected officials to task for the laws they helped to design, write and legislate? These activities have helped toward the genocide of Black males. To allow these laws and lawmakers to remain in office is a crime.
Blacks receive little of the $321.6 billion the global drug trade generates, but suffer the most in law enforcement and the legal system. The U.S. is the single largest marketplace for illegal drugs. Approximately 13 million Americans buy or sell, cocaine, Ecstasy or weed on a regular basis. Whether it's for recreational use or for profit, they're not the ones who go to jail for drug crimes. American drug sales and their huge profits exist outside Black communities. It's estimated that $10 to $30 billion in drug profits goes south to Colombia and Mexico each year. The real beneficiaries of the American drug trade are: wealthy bankers who launder money, land owners who grow and export product, and Wall Street investors and business folk who profit from designing, building, supplying and managing prisons.
Black voters are the key to correcting this problem and its inequities and hold sway over this debilitating situation. Though these issues are real for Black Americans at the local, state and national levels, they are never talked about in racial terms. Candidate Ron Paul is the only one willing to say: "The true racial problems in this country involve drug law enforcement. The drug war is out of control ... and undermines our civil liberties. It magnifies our problems on the borders. We spent, over the last 40 years, $1 trillion on this war ... It just hasn't worked. It has to do with enforcing the drug laws."
It may not require voting for Paul, but Black Americans must take more aggressive political positions to rid our people of this criminal justice and prison system. Stop the genocide. People of conscience must let our elected officials know that we want to decriminalize cocaine, heroin and marijuana in order to close the doors on diabolical prisons and policies.
William Reed is Publisher of Who's Who in Black Corporate America and available for speaking/seminar projects via the Bailey Group.org