The Cat You Saw was for Your Protection
There was a cat at the end of the previous post which was to indicate I have little interest in arguing over this topic. But perhaps you were not aware of that. So in the interest of saving time, I will let my sinister feline spokesman answer you:
Felis Silvestra Sinister, Esq.
You are free to believe what ever works for you. But the numbers work for me and if it looks like slavery, acts like slavery, promotes like slavery, enriches like slavery, then I am going to go ahead and call it what it ends up being.
As to the assertion the system is corrupt, do I really need to bring up any number of images indicating just how often corruption is seen in our legislation regarding people of color? Okay. If you insist:
The Kids for Cash Scandal (For Profit Incarceration)
The “kids for cash” scandal unfolded in 2008 over judicial kickbacks at the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Two judges, President Judge Mark Ciavarella and Senior Judge Michael Conahan, were convicted of accepting money from Robert Mericle, builder of two private, for-profit youth centers for the detention of juveniles, in return for contracting with the facilities and imposing harsh adjudications on juveniles brought before their courts to increase the number of residents in the centers.
For example, Ciavarella adjudicated children to extended stays in youth centers for offenses as minimal as mocking a principal on Myspace, trespassing in a vacant building, or shoplifting DVDs from Wal-Mart. Ciavarella and Conahan pleaded guilty on February 13, 2009, pursuant to a plea agreement, to federal charges of honest services fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States (failing to report income to the Internal Revenue Service, known as tax evasion) in connection with receiving $2.6 million in payments from managers at PA Child Care in Pittston Township and its sister company Western PA Child Care in Butler County.
The plea agreement was later voided by a federal judge, who was dissatisfied with the post-plea conduct of the defendants, and the two judges charged subsequently withdrew their guilty pleas, raising the possibility of a criminal trial.
How about you just take my word for it when I tell you this isn’t the only example of such activity in the legal and penal industrial complex? No? Okay.
You don’t have to take my word for it. How about you take the word of a legal scholar who has dedicated years of her life to the study of the disproportionate incarceration of people of color in these United States, Michelle Alexander.
Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar. In recent years, she has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor of law and directed the Civil Rights Clinics. In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship, which supported the writing of The New Jim Crow, and that same year she accepted a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Since its first publication,The New Jim Crow has received rave reviews and has been featured in national radio and television media outlets, including MSNBC, NPR, Bill Moyers Journal, Tavis Smiley, C-SPAN, and Washington Journal, among others. In March, the book won the 2011 NAACP Image Award for best nonfiction.
In her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, legal scholar Michelle Alexander writes that many of the gains of the civil rights movement have been undermined by the mass incarceration of black Americans in the war on drugs. She says that although Jim Crow laws are now off the books, millions of blacks arrested for minor crimes remain marginalized and disfranchised, trapped by a criminal justice system that has forever branded them as felons and denied them basic rights and opportunities that would allow them to become productive, law-abiding citizens.
NPR’s Fresh Air segment discusses with Michelle Alexander how she came to these conclusions and how society’s assumptions about the penal industrial complex are simply under-informed and in some cases, outright incorrect.
As is my wont, I ask you not to speak on things you are obviously ill-informed on and if you must, that you do it someplace other than here, so that I do not have to waste time educating you, because you can’t be bothered to educate yourself.
Enjoy your life, free from the distractions, interruptions and threats I deal with on a regular basis. Take your privilege and use it to make the world a better place rather than telling Thaddeus his perspective may be skewed, because you think so.
And if you want to make my world a better place, please don’t respond with excuses or rationalizations as to how this particular issue is an isolated case, because I am not interested in anything you have to say on the subject. There are too many highly paid scholars disproving your perspective daily already.
Felis Silivestra Sinister. Esq
Thaddeus Howze is a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding. You can follow him on Twitter or support his writings on Patreon.