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Racism and Resistance Public Interest Collective.

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Presentation on theme: "Racism and Resistance Public Interest Collective."— Presentation transcript:

1 Racism and Resistance Public Interest Collective


3 Wealth Gap Grows – White families have 20 times that of Black families median wealth 1984-2007 npr




7 One Example of Institutional Racism Criminal “Justice” and Mass Incarceration

8 The Crime of Criminal “Justice”




12 USA Prisoners 2010 Black males were 7 times as likely to be imprisoned as white males 7% of all black males ages 30- 34 were in state or federal prison



15 Review the system : Use of Drugs Police Stops Arrest Bail Bond Representation Trial Sentencing Prison Parole Freedom

16 “blacks and whites engage in drug offenses- possession and sales- at roughly comparable rates” May 2008 Targetting Blacks: Drug Law Enforcement and Race in the US - HRW


18 From 2005 to 2008, 80% of NYPD Stop and Frisk actions were of Blacks and Latinos (who make up 53% of population). Once stopped 85% of Blacks and Latinos were frisked compared to 8% of whites.

19 Arrest

20 “State-by-state data from 2006 show that blacks were arrested for drug offenses at rates in individual states that were 2 to 11.3 times greater than the rate for whites” March 2, 2009 Decades of Disparity HRW

21 Blacks are 33% more likely to be detained awaiting felony trials than whites facing felony trials in some parts of NY state. NYState division of criminal justice services, 1995 study in disparities in processing felony arrests.

22 Once arrested, 80% get

23 “All too often, defendants plead guilty, even if they are innocent, without really understanding their legal rights or what is occurring… The fundamental right to a lawyer that America assumes applies to everyone accused of criminal conduct effectively does not exist in practice for countless people across the United States.”

24 American Bar Association 2004 Gideon’s Broken Promise

25 Only 3-5% of criminal cases go to trial – rest are plea bargained.

26 “Who wouldn’t rather do three years for a crime they didn’t do than risk 25 years for a crime they didn’t do?”

27 Sentencing? Since 2005 (US v Booker) Black and Latino men receive federal sentences 10-23% longer than whites. Report - March 2010

28 African Americans comprise 13% of population and 14% of monthly drug users but 37% of persons arrested for drug offenses, and 56% of people in state prisons for drug offenses. May 21 2009 testimony before Congress of Marc Mauer The Sentencing Project

29 Consequences for Drug Felons No public housing OK to discriminate against in private housing OK to yank right to vote OK to discriminate in employment No food stamp assistance No jury service Prohibitions on associating with others

30 Criminal “Justice” and Mass Incarceration Racialized System of Social Control


32 1700s - Birth of Slavery 1863 - Death of Slavery 1877 - Birth of Jim Crow withdrawl of federal troops 1950s-60s - Death of Jim Crow 1980s - Birth of Mass Incarceration

33 Stigma of criminality functions in much the same way as Jim Crow: Legal boundaries between them and us; Social and economic boundaries between them and us; Cannot vote; Can legally discriminate in jobs and housing; Warehouse a disposable population;

34 Poor whites and people of other ethnicity are also subjected to this system of social control because if they are out of line they are treated just like poor blacks – the worst possible treatment


36 Criminal Justice System is Integral Part of the Domestic War on Marginalized

37 Criminal Justice System is Part of the White Supremacist Domestic War on Marginalized

38 Domestic War relies on Technology of Domination (Criminal Justice System) for Capture Immobilization Punishment Liquidation

39 Thus Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, US jails & prisons are all the same – domestic & international versions of domination

40 So What?

41 Don’t let anyone ever quash your dreams

42 No Fear of Radical Change

43 Recognize, This is as much about Liberating Ourselves as Liberating Others In fact We cannot Liberate Ourselves Without engaging in Liberation with Others

44 Anthony Mello: First, realize that you are surrounded by prison walls, that your mind has gone to sleep. It does not even occur to most people to see this, so they live and die as prison inmates. Most people end up being conformists; they adapt to prison life. A few become reformers; they fight for better living conditions in the prison, better lighting, better ventilation. Hardly anyone becomes a rebel, a revolutionary who breaks down the prison walls. You can only be a revolutionary when you see the prison walls in the first place.

45 A radical approach to injustice means to go to the root of the problem not trimming the leaves not pruning the branches but ripping up by the roots the injustice.

46 We need a radical redistribution of economic and political power…

47 Justice Says People Are More Important Than Property Rights

48 What to do? Free Your Mind Learn How Social Change Happens Work with Organizations Immerse Yourself in Human Rights Solidarity Love

49 First, Liberate Your Heart, Mind and Spirit

50 Refuse to put up with walls in our minds

51 Free Your Mind I could have freed more if they knew they were slaves

52 Free Your Mind Reject Law School BS Do not put up fences in your own mind Consider the 100 year rule

53 Adopt a 100 year perspective on law and justice

54 What will people think 100 years from now about our criminal justice system?

55 100 Year Rule: What was TOTALLY LEGAL but unjust 100 years ago?

56 Women won right to vote in 1920

57 1935 Right of Workers to Organize Protected by Wagner Act

58 Child labor was outlawed in 1938 with Fair Labor Standards Act

59 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

60 Segregation legal in US until 1960s

61 Voting Rights Act 1965

62 1965 Medicare and Medicaid

63 1970 Clean Air Act

64 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act

65 1994 Violence Against Women Act

66 Increasing Legal Recognition for Same Sex Couples

67 Then ask What will people in 2112 think of 2012?

68 Learn Social Change How does social change happen? No one frees anyone else Develop a working theory of social change Must be able to handle chaos and conflict

69 “Nothing short of a major social movement can dismantle this new caste system.”

70 Hope has two beautiful daughters: Courage and Anger. Augustine of Hippo


72 Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.

73 Work with Organizations of People Impacted by Injustice

74 Support Prisoner Organizing and Resistance


76 Justice is a Team Sport

77 Join the Movement

78 Challenge War on Drugs

79 Resist in Place: Prosecutors, Defenders, Judges

80 Immerse Yourself in Human Rights

81 Human Rights More Important Than Constitutional or Civil Rights





86 Solidarity


88 Seek Out Hope Joy Love

89 Our Hearts Must Be Totally Open To Tragedy and Pain And Totally Open To Hope and Love

90 Wherever you find tragedy and injustice You will also find resistance and inspiration

91 Liberation is up to us.


93 Pakistani Lawyers Protesting for Freedom of Judiciary

94 Common Law staff Karen Gargamelli, Mike Wang, and Jay Kim.

95 Monika Kalra Varma RFK Center Human Rights

96 Denise Siwatula: Representing Rape Survivors in Eastern Congo


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