Posts Tagged ‘Justice System

30
Apr
14

On the death penalty

2000-03-01

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I will start by saying this.

There are times I read or hear about a case. Someone who, for example, rapes and murders a child. And my gut reaction is to say, “Kill him”. He doesn’t merely deserve to be removed from society, but to be denied of life for his abomination. It is a gut reaction, a cry of the heart, a revulsion at a crime so heinous that it defies understanding. And as humans, often what we don’t understand must be excised, like a cancer. I know if someone murdered a person I loved, my thirst for vengeance would be nigh unquenchable, sated only by the ending of his or her own life.

In Iran a few weeks ago, a young life was about to be extinguished in punishment for murder. The noose was around his neck. He was begging and pleading for his life. Then, the mother of the boy he killed ascended to the hangman’s platform. She slapped the convicted’s face. And then she told the executioner to remove the noose.

This happened in what many Americans consider to be a barbaric, retrograde state, a terrorist state, opposed to all we hold dear. A mother climbed onto the platform where her son’s murderer was about to be executed, and forgave him. No more blood would be spilled. The cycle would end then and there.

Yesterday, an execution in Oklahoma was botched due to an incorrect mixing of the lethal cocktail. This was an execution pushed for by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. She suspended the second—SECOND—execution scheduled for that day “pending further review”.

But we have much to learn from that courageous Iranian mother.

Continue reading ‘On the death penalty’

28
Apr
14

Team Obama-Holder

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Julia Edwards: U.S. Justice Department To Collect, Study Arrest Data For Racial Bias

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday said it will begin collecting data on stops, searches and arrests made in five U.S. cities to weed out possible racial biases within the criminal justice system. Later this year, a $4.75 million federal grant will be awarded to recipients who compete for the funds to work with their local law enforcement to analyze arrest data and find ways to reduce any biases they find, particularly toward young minority men.

Black men were six times more likely, and Latino men were 2.5 times more likely, to be imprisoned than white men in 2012, according to Justice Department data. Attorney General Eric Holder said the data collection effort is in response to President Barack Obama’s call for better relations between law enforcement and young men of color following the “not guilty” verdict in the shooting death of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

More here

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RTXDA5M

U.S. President Obama and Attorney General Holder attend the National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the Capitol in Washington

Barack Obama, Eric Holder

06
Apr
14

Hey Ta-Nehisi Coates, Pres Obama is No Paul Ryan

Hey Ta-Nehisi Coates, Barack Obama is No Paul Ryan

by @zizii2

It is alarming, the increasing venom with which Atlantic Magazine’s ONLY black writer Ta-Nehisi Coates (TNC) has attacked President Obama (e.g. here, here, here and here) over what he calls the President’s embrace of the discourse of Black pathologies. He accused the President of being no different than Paul Ryan who made the offensive comments about “lazy inner city males.” In a nutshell, TNC’s beef is that whenever President Obama speaks to black audiences he resorts to admonitions about moral behavior instead of attacking the structural obstacles that White Supremacy has placed on black people since this country’s founding.

TNC asked:

“Paul Ryan’s explanation for urban poverty isn’t much different from Barack Obama’s. Why did it make liberals so angry?”

He argues as head of the very government that has throughout its history, overseen the institutionalization of racist policies and physical harm to African Americans to this date, President Obama, as a black man, has even greater responsibility not to patronize and blame the victims of said policies. In a series of exchanges with Jonathan Chait (follow up rebuttal here) about  his accusations against President Obama, TNC details the long history and examples of how White Supremacist ideology is not incidental to, but the very structuring principle of this country – from the well-known creation of American wealth out of black slave labor, to the denial of civil rights to black people, the redlining domicile and housing practices, social security limitations, and exclusion from the GI bill that shut them out of the budding Middle Class boom and wealth accumulation of the mid-20th century, to current freighting of criminalized black bodies through the profit-making prison industrial complex, and worse.

History all true. And it is good for Coates to “blacksplain” it to his readers, many of whom commented that he had “opened their eyes.” But none of this history is news to any conscientious social justice activist, black, white, or brown. It certainly is no news to Professor Barack Obama who taught courses on race relations, civil rights, and the mechanics of POWER contests:

Kantor

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Continue reading ‘Hey Ta-Nehisi Coates, Pres Obama is No Paul Ryan’




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