Thursday, March 27, 2008

Golden Shower

Most intelligent black people understand that this whole America thing is rigged.

While we may be better off than black people in many other countries, it's an indisputable fact the America has yet to live up to its ideals about the equality of man. But, even the most cynical black people, the kind of black people who never let their kids believe in Santa Claus because they don't want a white man getting too much credit (What up mom and dad!), are shocked when they learn about sentencing disparities for crack cocaine and powder cocaine.

For those of y'all who need a primer on this problem, check out this link.

Look, this isn't a new issue, in fact, I jacked that link from the cats over at Too Sense who have written about sentencing disparities at length. But, when I read that article, I just got angry all over again.

It wasn't just that you get a minimum of five years in federal prison for possession of five grams of crack cocaine while it takes possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine to get the same time. And for those of y'all who don't know, five grams of crack is worth about $500, while 500 grams of powder cocaine is worth anywhere from $22,000 to $50,000.

No, what really got this lunatic angry was that although two-thirds of the users of crack cocaine are white people, only 9 percent of the people sentenced under the federal guidelines are white.

Now that's one of those things that make you go "hmmmmm?"

See that statistic invalidates any argument about the impartiality of police officers or the fairness of the American judicial system. You mean to tell me that although 66 percent of the people using crack are white, they somehow consistently manage to avoid having enough dope on them to trigger the mandatory sentencing guidelines?

Don't piss in my mouth and tell me it's ginger ale.

Thats Racist!

It's obvious that the police and federal prosecutors are enforcing the laws differently based on the criminals involved. Black folks get the pleasure of facing nearly all-white federal juries with conviction rates in the high 90th percentiles, while white folks get probation after taking their chances in state court. There is no way that 90 percent of white crackheads or crack dealers are so disciplined that they never have at least five grams of crack cocaine on their person.

Look, even if you adjust for the fact that black people are more likely to sell crack then white people, it doesn't make sense that black people are able to supply all the white crackheads in this country. Although there are quite a few white folks willing to come to the hood to cop their fix, many of them are getting high on drugs supplied by their neighbor on White Deer Trail in the Forest Glen subdivision. (That is not a real place, just a stand-in for Pleasantville.)

See, what the statistics tell me is that a whole lot of white drug dealers and users are being allowed to avoid prosecution because police departments are not concentrating their resources on catching them with dope.

Oh, the police will gladly take a bust involving criminals of any color, but they aren't conducting aggressive traffic stops outside of Barnes and Noble, and they don't have surveillance teams setting up on Bed, Bath and Beyond. Nope, they are too busy profiling black people driving and walking through the hood.

I've spoken to law enforcement officials who will pretty much admit to racial profiling, although they prefer to call it "criminal profiling." They claim that they don't see color when they are investigating crimes, and note that they concentrate their resources in those areas with high crime. Shockingly, it just so happens that black neighborhoods are where crime occurs.

Funny how that works.

Personally, I think that legislators need to either bring the sentencing guidelines for powder cocaine up to the same level as the guidelines for crack cocaine, or they need to reduce the mandatory minimum sentences for crack. Police officers need to shine their flashlights in a few more white cars just for the hell of it.

Either piss on everybody, or keep your ginger ale to yourself.

7 comments:

WNG said...

This has been a pet peeve of mine for years,, ever since a great US Econ and Gov teacher I had in high school assigned us a paper on race in the courts and I did mandatory minimums. As a person with plenty of lawyers in the family - some of whom have judicial aspirations I have another question: Why bother vetting federal jurists if we're going to tie their hands? How fair can the system be if a box grid decides your fate before you even set foot in court?
Thanks for letting me get that out.
Don't even get me STARTED on the cops...

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

dont pioss in my mouth and call it ginger ale - classic LOL

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Don't forget, we got the former first Black POTUS, aka, Bill Clinton, to thank for that mess.

He coined it on his watch, and helped out his boys in the prison industry complex, by giving them opportunities to build more prisons to house all the brothas (Latino, Black and Asian) he knew were going to get caught in that net.

Bobby Scott and Jim Clyburn have been trying to bring forth legislation to correct this disparity for the last five years, but the brethren in Congress won't hear of it. In fact, the only time you hear about it is during CBC Legislative Weekend, and only during the cocktail hour, if at all.

And you only hear about it, when, if you're a hell-raiser like me, you're in their faces, asking, "So what are you working on, and what are my tax dollars paying your salary to do?"

::crickets chirping::

But, I like that "Nausea, Upset, Indigestion, Diaharrea" look they get on their faces when they see me coming to ask those questions...so, it's worth that, at least.

I don't allow people to piss up my leg or in my mouth, because piss by any other name is still PISS.

dewfish said...

great article, i don't think there is anything I can really add to this. business as usual I guess.

Truthiz said...

Happy TGIF to all!

I wholeheartedly Agree__ “America has yet to live up to its ideals about the equality of man.”

And lawd knows “corrections” to appropriately address racial disparities, across the board, are well past due!

However, as to this particular discussion, I have to tell you_

With 13 years of working in the field of Forensic Behavioral Science_ and more specifically working with Blacks who are on state and federal parole, for drug related crimes, who've repeatedly FAIL to follow through with mandated orders _ the bigger Concern for me is seeing the lives of so many Blacks, particularly young Black males being ravaged, wasted, destroyed by drugs, from marijuana-to-heroin!

I’ve witnessed countless numbers of Black families, 2 and 3 generations deep, “trapped” in the vicious and Deadly cycle of drug addictions and other illicit drug-related activities.

Truthiz, many (Not all)_but Many Blacks (male and female) have confessed to me, that prison, on more than one occassion, has actually "saved” their lives!

They feel that had it not been for prison they'd probably be dead by now.

Those same Blacks tend to present with serious psycho-social “issues” (if you will) that have long gone ignored and unaddressed. As I see it, the most important thing is trying to help those people identify the root causes of their destruction thoughts and behaviors. WHY have they chosen to live their lives in such self-destructive ways?

In short, I’m much less interested in getting “equitable” jail time for my people...and I’m much more interested in addressing their overall psycho-social well-being!

Big Man said...

Truthiz, great comment.

I wish we could address the root causes and make the sentencing equitable. Unfortunately, I believe that addressing the root causes will take such an investment from the larger world that it's unlikely to occur anytime soon. And that's why I'm focusing on the sentencing issue, it's easier to change immediately.

Christina Springer said...

"Don't piss in my mouth and tell me it's ginger ale."

You done stretched the metaphor sideways, inside out and backwards. That was nice.

Raving Black Lunatic